Wht is a Book?

by Paul Chan


"For a writer, this is not an entirely happy read (except for the spelling errors. They make me happy)."

—The Malcontessa

What is reading? How does reading turn into knowing? How does knowing become doing? Does it matter if knowing only knows? What is a book? Is reading a book different from reading a menu, or an affidavit, or a painting? Why are books associated with bodies? When books are burned, why is it natural to assume that people are next? Does it have to do with Eros? How do you burn an ebook?

Wht is ? is a series of handmade books and ebooks by Chan created using a special technique of overprinting images and texts onto existing sheets of book paper to create works that read like nothing else. The series premiered at the 2011 NY Art Book Fair. Each handmade book exists as an edition of one with two artist proofs, and as an ebook with a unique ISBN available on Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle.


ISBN: 978-1-936440-30-6

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-936440-30-6

80 pages


Paul Chan

Paul Chan is an artist who lives in New York. A survey entitled Selected Works was mounted by Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland (April 11-October 19, 2014). His work has been exhibited widely in many i... more