Front (Cover), Iphone photograph, image source: Multinational Enterprises


Plastic Comb binding

Publisher Note

"I have a baby with the system."

ISBN, International Standard Book Number, is a common numeric system to identify and record published books. Publishers obtain ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency. One ISBN number is assigned to one edition of books.

Son Ni's ISBN 978-986-97269-4-8 takes its own ISBN as the book title, and the content consists only of the ISBN number. The book becomes an identifier that denotes itself.

As ISBN 978-986-97269-4-8 is both the name and content of the book, the whole book reduces and exists inasmuch as raw data when input to the ISBN record system. The artist takes the book system as the subject and engage in it. "It's like I have a baby with the system", says Son Ni.

In Taiwan, when applying for an ISBN number, the National Library requires that the book has to have a book title in order to assign the ISBN number. However, for Son Ni's book is a realization of the idea, the book's title was yet an unknown during application because the number was still waiting to be assigned. It raised the existential question - "The book has no title, how can we assign an ISBN number?" Fortunately, after negotiations, the book finally is born with the name ISBN 978-986-97269-4-8. It is in another sense that the artist "has a baby with the system."

With only its ISBN number, the book is reduced to its essential form. The papers, and the binding. The binding coil allows a free navigation of the numbers. The book indeed carries thoughts and beauty.

Artists’ Book

ISBN 978-986-97269-4-8

by Son Ni

Release Place Taipei, Taiwan
Edition 1st edition
Release Date 2021
Artist: Son Ni
Printrun 500
ISBN-13: 978-986-97269-4-8
Dimensions 16.5 × 20.0 cm
Pages 36
Technique One-Color Risograph

last updated 382 days ago

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