Australia – Editions at Play’s latest publication is a blockchain-based book that challenges conventional notions of ownership.
Editions at Play is a collaboration between London-based experimental publisher Visual Editions and Google’s Creative Lab team in Sydney. Their latest publication, A Universe Explodes, written by Creative Lab creative director Tea Uglow, is ostensibly the story of a parent losing their grip on reality.
The publication’s main purpose is to act as an investigation into what constitutes book ownership and readership in 2017. Uglow has used blockchain technology to create a piece of non-linear literature that is accessible to all but only owned by 100 people at a time. ‘With digital work, it’s almost impossible to get the sense of who owns it,’ Uglow told Wired.
These privileged few must edit the book, removing two words and adding one, before passing on control to another. This will occur 100 times. The aim is for the book to become shorter until it only consists of one word per page.