Secret Lives book fair

Books & Print Sandbox projects announced

The second round of REACT Sandbox funding has been announced today – eight successful bids have secured funding to complete their proposals for the Books & Print Sandbox.

The second round of REACT Sandbox funding has been announced today – eight successful bids have secured funding to complete their proposals for the Books & Print Sandbox.

Books & Print Sandbox will be exploring books as historical, contemporary and future phenomena, to develop new digital products and experiences for a publishing industry at a critical stage in its history. It’s a brilliant opportunity for creative companies with big imaginations to partner up with academics for three months of funded research and development into potentially the next big thing in publishing.
With the help of high profile participants (including celebrated cult author Neil Gaiman) Books & Prints Sandbox aims to ensure that the act of reading remains exciting through the use of new technologies. From dancers transforming a quiet library to writers responding to real time train journeys, to exploring the use of behavioural psychology to gather local news, the successful projects include a rich and fascinating mix of ideas and topics.
The eight projects and academic researchers will now come together and spend three months exploring, building and testing their ideas as part of a supportive community.

Executive Producer Clare Reddington says:

“I am incredibly excited by the Books & Print Sandbox projects, which include a rich mix of ideas, technologies and subjects. In a time when the publishing industry continues to be put under pressure to change because of new creation and distribution channels, the strength of the collaborations and the focus on narrative and writing within the group is particularly rewarding. Over the next three months, these projects will explore the many opportunities for the written word in a digital age and I can’t wait to see what they will produce.”

REACT is one of four UK Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Books & Print Sandbox is the second of seven funding programmes that will develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations over the next three years.

The eight selected commissions are:

Jekyll 2.0 by SlingShot and Anthony Mandal is a pervasive media adaptation of the novel for the age of the bio-hacker that will use readers’ bio-data to shape a live game experience.

Writer On The Train by Fabrizio Nevola, Agant and James Attlee will use the linear space of the Bristol to London mainline, utilising smart phones and GPS to deliver a new literary form that will respond to the reader’s journey in real time.

‘these pages fall like ash’ by Tom Abba and Circumstance will work together with leading authors Nick Harkaway and Neil Gaiman to invite an audience to participate in a digital-first narrative experience where they can alter a story, challenging traditional publishing norms.

The Next Time(line) by Amblr and Bradley Stephens will work with three classic literary texts to create a dynamic and malleable timeline for the digital world using data visualization and offering much more than its paper counterpart.

Book Kernel by Hodcha and Alexis Nuselovici will explore event-based publishing. Experimenting with a live poetry reading in Swansea, Book Kernel will allow audiences to curate and print a personal memento of the event.

The Secret Lives of Books by Guerilla Dance Company and Tom Mitchell will transform a quiet workspace at the new Library of Birmingham into a beautiful interactive platform that visualises the unexploited data sets of our public libraries.

Digitising The Dollar Princess by Nicola Thomas and Bow Software will break new digital ground in the genre of biography to create a compelling non-linear reading experience exploring the story of Lady Curzon of Kedleston.

‘Little j’ Hyper Local News by Justin Lewis and Behaviour tackles the problem of how to create a digital model for collecting local news content using behavioral psychology to explore how to inspire local people to become citizen journalists in an age where local reporting is in decline.

Keep up with the progress of the projects as they develop.