At Book Sprints we acquired our first piece of art for our office in Berlin, and we could not identify any more than we do with the chosen piece. By South Africa/New Zealand artist Nicky Broekhuysen (www.nickybroekhuysen.com), “Unbound” is a sculpture composed of an arrangement of books written in German, all on the subject of Human Sciences. The way the books are piled up, their front edges line up to create a canvas. This is the canvas for a beautiful image of a flock of birds. However, if you come closer, you see that the “birds” are actually binary code stamps, 0 and 1 exquisitely arranged by the artist. The binary numbers are Nicky’s artistic language, through which she explores the potential of information. Depending on how the numbers are arranged, vastly different objects and ideas are created. In Nicky’s own words:
The binary numbers represent data. Everything in life and nature gives off some form of data in a complex world of information and meaning. My work uses this binary data as a metaphorical language for potential and change with in an environment of chaos and order. I shift the numbers in and out of structures and forms forever adapting and evolving them away from fixed states. With in the binary numbers lies an endless potential of meaning and form which exists beyond time, filled with past, present and future potentials.
We appreciate this work so much because it speaks to our own relationship with information; we produce objects of collective information in flow, as we evolve and transform with each new project and new community we work with. We use information technology to translate knowledge into the book format, one of the oldest and most reliable forms of knowledge transmission. Something abstract and intangible, such as ideas, perceptions and codes become matter, accessible to touch and other senses. One does not replace the other but instead complements, in the endless and increasingly dynamic production and transmission of information that we experience.
We understand that each bird is part of the strength and complexity that characterises a flock of birds, just as each author contributes with his or her inputs for the production of a Book Sprint. The achievement of a commonly desired outcome is only possible through collaboration and commitment of all involved, and we at Book Sprints really enjoy fostering these processes and celebrating the results: it is our own form of art!