Tim Lewis, “Today: A Book of Change”

Book cover

Open book


Sample page 1

Sample page 2


Tim Lewis (Whittier, NC)

Today: A Book of Change
Edition of 12
Pages: 30
Dimensions open: 9″ x 18.5″ x 1″
11″ x 9″ x 1″

[from the introduction…]
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh
-AA Milne

Web page content is ephemeral, it is there one moment and then replaced within minutes or hours. Millions of photographs produced each day create this constantly changing nature of the World Wide Web. Some of the web pages add a single new image each day but others, especially news sites, add or replace images in response to winds of local or world events. This book records this ephemeral world of the World Wide Web through Quick Response (QR) code technology.

“Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR codes now are used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile-phone users. QR codes may be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user’s device, to open a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), or to compose an e-mail or text message.” (Wikipedia)

In this case each image of the QR Code printed on a page of the book represents a web page, and through QR technology each image is also an access point to the ever-changing daily content of the web pages they represent. As both the links to the web page’s content and the QR code technology inevitably change and disappear, the book becomes an artifact of the ephemeral world of the World Wide Web.
It is a book of this time; of this day.

The structure of the book refers to the history of books of photography, now commonly called photobooks. In 1843 Anna Atkins published the first photobook using cyanotype photograms in a similar 8” x 10” size. The pages of this book as well as the cover and liner of the box are cyanotype contact prints using digitally printed negatives. In addition this book is unbound in a folio-style wrapping presented in a drop-side box. The loose-leaf folio is a traditional presentation for collections of loose prints.

The QR codes on each page link to digital pages containing photos created by individual photographers and a wide variety of other sources. Six of the twenty four codes are unique to each of the twelve books in the series. The content of the websites linked changes each day creating a completely new confluence of ideas. Though the structure and presentation is based on a traditional format, in fact the books’ content pages are as unbound as the internet itself: Loosely associated, disordered, unnumbered, untitled and ever-changing. Because of this an alphabetical list of the web sites is included so links lost over time will have historical references.

Mobile devices with the appropriate application are necessary to access the photographs.