ISBN Maschine | Maschinist und Maschine


Machinist: Stefan Kumpfmüller


„Brauchbar ist eine Maschine erst dann, wenn sie von der Erkenntnis unabhängig geworden ist, die zu ihrer Erfindung führte.“ (Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Die Physiker – Gespräch zwischen Inspektor Voß und Newton (1. Akt))

„When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.“ (Sol LeWitt, in Artforum 1967)

The isbn-maschine is a machine for the presentation of phrases of literary works on web browsers.


The source for the phrases is the printed book.


Like every self-respecting machine, the isbn-maschine has got a machinist. The machinist feeds the isbn-maschine with phrases out of books he has read. Doing so he follows the rules laid down in the rule book. This is where his control ends.


The presentation of the texts follows the rules. Neither machine, nor machinist or observer can manipulate the presentation.


The books have complete control.


(The machinist is indeed aware of the fact that the isbn-maschine is actually an automation).