Itu Chaudhuri Design has launched the Re:Reader, a digital experience celebrating Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. As part of the launch Lisa Rath, principal and digital head, ICD was in conversation with artist and writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta who spoke about literature, art and the digital experience.
Lisa Rath (left), principal and digital head, ICD was in conversation with artist and writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta (right)
The Re:Reader is a digital experience that blurs the lines between reading books and digital art. ICD says, “We think it’s a new and relevant way to reach younger and older audiences.”
“I’d call it Utmost Perennial. It’s a new, fun way of introducing a book to people who haven’t read it. And another way of enjoying it is for people who have. And it’ll be out there—everywhere—without an expiry date. Really lovely,” says Arundhati Roy about Re:Reader.
Arundhati Roy at Icd
At a basic level, it’s for millennial readers who spend a disproportionate time on their mobile phones; Re:Reader may trigger a visit to the nearest book store or online marketplace to buy the book. Yet it’s not like selling, but a light touch that people can experience joyfully, even if they go no further. But more than that, it invites the reader to engage in an ergodic form of reading and experiencing a novel. A re-reading, so to speak.
This experience may act as a catalyst to read the book, and for those who have read it to add an experiential layer to it.
Re:Reader has snippets of text from the XII chapters of the book. Animations show the text in a new light; music brings the period to life, and with portions read by Arundhati Roy, it makes for a dreamy, heady ride. It allows the reader to go back, forward, skip and play around with the toy as they wish. Each click delivers a different reward, a little as it would be if you could talk to the author one to one. Each reader will take a different path, and therefore differently experience the book, its mood and its narration.