the electro library


Another serendipitous find: This is a page from an issue of MERZ, the Dada journal published by Kurt Schwitters in 1923. ( I was actually looking for merz, a German journal on media education.) It features extracts of El Lissitzkys text “Topography of Typography”. El Lissitzkys proclaims pen and ink dead and stresses the importance of the relationship between content, typography and the mechanics of print, and the predominance of the visual over the phonetic. Ah, I just found a translation here. The text ends with this enigmatic sentence:

“The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the infinity of the book, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.”

Its odd, no?  It sounds like he is talking about the internet and world wide web  – in 1923.

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