This Is Not a Book : On Beyond Pages of Masaki Fujihata


Hidetaka Ishida

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At a time when the use of electronic books is generalized with devices, such as the iPad or Kindle, reading books undergoes a great transformation ever known since the invention of printing by Gutenberg. Since I have promoted information semiotics — or semiotics of/by information technology — for some decades, it is time we should turn to the issue of transformation of reading. I take this issue in terms of hybrid reading: we read both paper books and e-books. This hybridization of reading requires a new semiotic approach of reading that can articulate types of semiosis involved both in reading the physical books and e-books, both in reading books and in reading other multimedia devices. In this paper, I will give my analysis on the work of a Japanese media-artist Masaki Fujihata, Beyond Pages (1995 collection ZKM), a major masterpiece considered as a classic of interactive art. My goal is to re-examine what is the semiosis of e-book. My purpose is to state that we do not yet know what an e-book is, or even what indeed a book is.


1. Cracking Clicking (Cracking the Interactivity)
1. Absent Room
2. This Is Not a Book
3. Lesson of Pages
4. Sign and Event
5. Zen in Fujihata
6. The Critique of Book
7. Clicking the Crack of Critique (Critique of Electric Books)
8. Reading — This Practice5
9. The Impersonal and the Infinitive
10. On Humor


  • Hidetaka Ishida Professor / The University of Tokyo


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