Reactive books, 1994—1999

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When I was just starting out in 1992 to create interactive, or reactive as I dubbed them, graphics, there was a great deal of CD-ROM-based content emerging that seemed to miss the point of computational media. With the digital media publisher Digitalogue, I created 4 books (the 5th never made it to print) that focused upon different aspects of the computer as related to the visual medium.

The first was entitled The Reactive Square released in 1994. The Reactive Square was 10 squares that respond to input from the microphone. After that came Flying Letters in 1995 which used the mouse as input to manipulate typographic marionettes. I then created the series of 12 digital clocks in 1996 entitled, 12 o'clocks that played upon simple graphical time-based behaviors. In 1998, I released Tap, Type, Write as an homage to the typewriter rendered in only black and white. To be released in 1999 was a piece called Mirror Mirror that used video input as the primary interaction means, but Digitalogue closed its doors in 2000 due to the founding publisher's illness.

These books are no longer published, and the software exists only in Macintosh format (pre-OS X). A 10-minute video was created in 2002 that documents these pieces that you can now view on Vimeo.

A multi-lingual promotional piece for the first 3 books is visible here.


Copyright 2005, John Maeda.