Mutations is a short essay by Jorge Luis Borges about the changes of meanings (signified) and symbols (signifiers) through ages. I decided to refer to the subject of metamorphosis by physical analogies. Instead of illustrating a mutation – I wanted to make the book mutate in the hands of the reader.
The book is made with photographic paper, coated by me with a light-sensitive chemical formula in the darkroom. The text of the essay was printed on transparent foil. This negative was then irradiated on the paper, giving dark letters on white paper. These images weren't fixed though, so they were still sensitive to light exposure. When exposed to light, the pages are rapidly covered with splodges, hiding the text.
The book transforms when we turn the pages over. Turning of a page activates its automatic destruction. The first and, at the same time, the last reading was recorded with a camera – you can see the film and the photos of the destroyed book below.
The accordion book block was made in the darkroom, prepared, irradiated, bound by hand and then inserted into the hard cover, detached from another old book, found in an antique shop.
This is a student project. It was realized at the prof. Maciej Buszewicz's Book and Digital Publishing Design Studio, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw.