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Manifesto

Ulises Carrión 
THE NEW ART OF MAKING BOOKS

page 6

THE READING

In order to read the old art, knowing the alphabet is enough.
In order to read the new art one must apprehend the book as a structure, identifying its elements and understanding their function.

One might read old art in the belief that one understands it, and be wrong.
Such a misunderstanding is impossible in the new art. You can read only if you understand.

In the old art all books are read in the same way.
In the new art every book requires a different reading.

In the old art, to read the last page takes as much time as to read the first one.
In the new art the reading rhythm changes, quickens, speeds up.

In order to understand and to appreciate a book of the old art, it is necessary to read it thoroughly.
In the new art you often do NOT need to read the whole book.
The reading may stop at the very moment you have understood the total structure of the book,

The new art makes it possible to read faster than the fast-reading methods.

There are fast-reading methods because writing methods are too slow.
To read a book, is to perceive sequentially its structure.

The old art takes no heed of reading.
The new art creates specific reading conditions.

The farthest the old art has come to, is to bring into account the readers, which is going too far.

The new art doesn't discriminate between its readers; it does not address itself to the book-addicts or try to steal its public away from TV.

In order to be able to read the new art, and to understand it, you don't need to spend five years in a Faculty of English.

In order to be appreciated, the books of the new art don't need the sentimental and/or intellectual complicity of the readers in matters of love, politics, psychology, geography, etc.

The new art appeals to the ability every man possesses for understanding and creating signs and systems of signs.

The New Art of Making Books by Ulises Carrión was published in Kontexts no. 6-7, 1975, and was printed by the Center for Book Arts in 1975 at the request of the author and distributed free to the Center's members. Ulises started the artists' bookstore Other Books and So in Amsterdam in 1975. He died in 1989. This essay is also reprinted in Joan Lyons, Ed. ARTISTS' BOOKS: A Critical Anthology And Sourcebook, Visual Studies Workshop, 1985, 1993.  and also reprinted in Guy Schraenen: Ulises Carrión. We have won! Haven't we?, Amsterdam, 1992.