Songs of Imagination & Digitisation,
an illuminated book for the digital age, published by if:book with support from Arts Council England.
Unlike more conventional books on paper, this one contains sound and moving images, involves walks and talks, even an imaginary brain made of copper plates, plus opportunities to enter your own thoughts and ideas.
Over the next few months this book will be growing as we commission new work and discuss the themes it explores.
We'll be gathering readers' thoughts on where Blake lives now, talking to members of the William Blake Society about the future of the book, visiting festivals around the country and doing work in schools to explore new media opportunities for literature, and asking a range of readers and writers to contribute to the book using tools like Twitter, Flickr, Blogger and a 'Blake Netbook' assembled by Bill Thompson, to express their own visions of our digital future. You can watch this grow at blakesnetbook.blogspot.com. Writer Caleb Klaces was the first contributor. Caleb is a poet, writer and Editor-in-chief of Likestarlings.com, a project that pairs poets and gets them talking in poems. He has co-authored a beginner's guide to sustainability, due to be published by Duncan Baird, Autumn 2009, and was, and may still be, the world expert on the environmental credentials of Premier League football clubs. Poems are forthcoming or recently published in Poetry and Oxford Poetry. Blake scholar Paige Morgan is next.
On April 22nd Toby Jones undertook the first of three Blakean walks devised for him by Tim Wright and reported back his visions shortly afterwards.
Read the book to find out more.
A recent addition to the book is Paris based artist Julie Dalmon's slide show of illustrations to The Sick Rose.
Contact us with your comments and ideas:
chris at futureofthebook dot org dot uk
Songs of Imagination and Digitisation
is produced and curated by the if:so press team:
Toni Le Busque, Chris Meade and Sasha Hoare,
with contributions from Lisa Gee, Tim Heath, Toby Jones, Daljit Nagra, Sue Thomas, Bill Thompson, Tim Wright, a poem by the much missed poet and Blake fan, Adrian Mitchell.... and more in the pipeline.
Many of the interviews were filmed by Eray Hussein in the House of Blake, South Molton Street, London. Thanks to Tim Heath for making this possible. Keep coming back for updates to the book.
SONGS OF IMAGINATION AND DIGITISATION
is listed in the first issue of WIRED UK as one of 10 cultural bites for May.
"In another world, William Blake could well have been a blogger. Taking its cue from his innate distrust of systems and their limitations, the literary think-tank if:book is exploding the confines of print to create a 'netbook' based around the works of the poet.. the project aims to emulate Blake's own profound spirit of innovation."
"It's taken me all this time to get around to looking at your site, (songsofimaginationanddigitisation.net) but I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it, and that I found it completely inspirational. I've never seen short films so creatively integrated with the design before, and its making me realise how very small minded I've been in my disinclination for our multi media world!"
- Ally Scott, film maker