In 1966 British artist Tom Phillips bought a second-hand book for threepence that he transformed into an entirely new work of art by changing every page through painting, collage and cut-and-paste techniques. He titled his altered book “A Human Document” or A Humument, and it is now a classic example of book art.
The first version of all 367 “treated pages” was published in 1973 since when it has been continuously revised and there have been three new editions.
Who would have thought it would live well into the digital age?
The Humument App has just been developed for the iPad by Tom Phillips, it combines the most recent 367 full-colour pages with an entirely novel interactive feature, The Oracle. Released on Nov 15th 2010 available from the App Store. A Humument App for the iPhone follows on 17th January 2011.
The Humument App combines the 367 full-colour pages with an entirely novel interactive feature called “The Oracle.” Using a date and a randomly generated number the oracle will cast two pages to be read in tandem. Like the I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, chance pairs of pages, taken together and interpreted, act as a guide and cryptic commentary on life in word and picture. “The Oracle,” more playful than serious, offers direction.
There is amusement in the game but watch out for the odd uncanny prophecy. You can email your personal choices or oracle reading to friends, or post them to your Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter profile direct from the App.
(See yesterday’s extra Daily Heller on Blood Libel)