Paperback of Changes

2014

Custom software, digital prints

Hexigram 23 / 11
Hexigram 23 / 11

 

This software produces generative science-fiction paperback covers.  In combination with a print-on-demand machine, this software will generate paperback IChing (Book of Changes) readings for the user.  Each cover provides a symbolic representation of the resultant hexigram.  The text within will include pertinent selections from the most popular translations and commentaries of the IChing.

The following are prototype cover backgrounds, generated through an algorithm based upon the coin-toss method of IChing divination and Lejaren Hiller’s ILLIAC II subroutine ICHING [1].

The aesthetic of these generative covers is based on 1970s science-fiction pulp paperbacks.  Unlike the cover art of the 1960s, 70s cover art tended toward the more surreal, psychedelic, and symbolic.  Many of these artists and authors found inspiration from Eastern philosophy – a prominent example being Philip K. Dick and his interest in IChing divination.

Hexigram 54 / 64
Hexigram 54 / 64

 

Hexigram 23 / 29
Hexigram 23 / 29

 

Hexigram 24 / 22
Hexigram 24 / 22

 

1. This process is documented in Lejaren Hiller’s article “Programming the I-Ching oracle.” Computer Studies in the Humanities and Verbal Behavior 3 (1970): 130-43.