Christian Bök

Bibliomechanics is “bookish artware,” consisting of 27 Rubik’s cubes, stacked together into a block (3 × 3 × 3) so as to create the kind of pataphysical writing-machine described by Jonathan Swift in The Voyage to Laputa — “a project for improving speculative knowledge by […] mechanical operations” so that, by such a “contrivance[,] the most ignorant person […] may write books […] without the least assistance from genius or study.” Every facet of these cubes displays a white word printed in Futura on a black label so that, when properly stacked together, the cubes create eighteen separate surfaces (six exterior, twelve interior), each one of which becomes a page that displays a readable sentence (81 words long). Each sentence paraphrases a poetic theory about the machinic function of language itself. The reader can, of course, scramble each cube so as to create an alternative permutation, generating a new text from the vocabulary of the old text.

27 black Rubik’s cubes, labelled with text
17 cm × 17 cm × 17 cm

Featured in POÈME SBJKT, an exhibition of works of literature both on and off the blockchain that enhance, reinvent, and reimagine the relationship between text and image, analog and digital, blurring and challenging the lines that seek to divide.

POÈME SBJKT was curated by theVERSEverse in partnership with L’Avant Galerie Vossen and took place at Librairie Métamorphoses from May 25 – July 15, 2023.