In 2012, if:book Australia created a project that took a book from concept to print within a single twenty-four hour period. The book was written and edited using an online platform where every edit made to the text was captured and stored in a database. Willow Patterns documents the complete output from that database: authors and editors at work.
In its online component, Willow Patterns creates an API and searchable interface to the data, making every version of every story accessible and open to remix and response.
Its physical component is an export of the book’s complete database published in a lavish 28-volume hardcover with a continuous spine design.
If the future of the book includes print as an aesthetic choice, then Willow Patterns highlights the possibility of printed books designed for purposes other than reading, borrowing from print’s powerful symbolism without devaluing the collected stories within.
In 2015, Willow Patterns undertook possibly the smallest World Tour ever undertaken by a 28-volume database in print.
In May, the book visited Melbourne Art Book Fair accompanied by if:book manager Simon Groth and director of the Melbourne Writers Festival Lisa Dempster. Read about it here.
In August, a brand new copy of the book was exhibited in Vancouver for New Text, part of the International Symposium of Electronic Art.