Tonight: Rhizome Google+ Hangout with guests Jenna Wortham (New York Times) and Sarah Hromack (Whitney Museum)

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Join Rhizome tonight for our first open hangout on Google+. New York Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham and writer /website manager for the Whitney Museum, Sarah Hromack will be joining us on the group video chat service. Jenna will share her favorite YouTube videos. Sarah will talk about post-blog publishing and digitizing art books (see her recent interview with James Bridle for Rhizome.)

The hangout is open to everyone with a g+ account. A link will be available on senior editor Joanne McNeil's g+ page starting at 8pm EST.

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RECOMMENDED READING: Sarah Hromack on Paul Chan’s new publishing venture in Frieze

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No one mistakes a Kindle for a codex any more than they might an iPad for a canvas – that much is clear. Yet the impact of electronic publishing on the book itself is becoming increasingly relevant to the art world, where the recent advent of art e-book publishing has posed an entirely new set of challenges – technical, philosophical, political and otherwise – to the artist’s book.

In the autumn of 2010, artist Paul Chan launched a publishing venture, Badlands Unlimited, out of his Brooklyn studio as a means of negotiating the rapidly shifting relationship between physical and virtual methods of book production. Aided by a cohort of designers and developers, Chan has since published a small catalogue of books, DVDs and artist-designed ephemera, rendered in both digital and print forms. ‘We make books in the expanded field’, claims the company’s website, a deceptively simple mission statement that belies the implications of re-calibrating an entire process – and by proxy, the history of a genre – in order to broach the digital divide.

E-book publishing complicates the interplay between the image and virtual page; the limitations imposed by code and hardware alone necessitate a somewhat radical re-thinking of that relationship. For an image-heavy e-book to retain its visual legibility across platforms, its author must consider the image in service of the electronically produced book and not the other way around. Hallmarks of a well laid-out publication – a strong correlation between text and image; a sense of visual rhythm; considered choices in typeface, paper stock, printing and binding methods – are impossible to replicate in some cases, and in others elusive at best. Whereas the printed book bears its maker’s mark more readily, the e-book places a comparatively stringent set of limitations on the endeavour from the outset; software and hardware developers dictate the platforms and products that publishers have to negotiate with during the production process.

— EXCERPT FROM "OFF THE PAGE" BY SARAH HROMACK, FRIEZE ISSUE 139.

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