The shape of our writing surfaces is usually rectangular. This arises naturally from the properties of the substrates used for writing on. While a parchment was originally the shape of the pelt, the clay of Mesopotamia and the Egyptians’ marvellous plant material were most conveniently moulded into rectangles.

Digital media now allow us to imagine other geometries.


The page is a device for the presentation of information. This page may appear to you as rectangular. But while its content is a string of binary symbols carried by voltage variations, its appearance is defined by your device and your software.

We might imagine this page to have a shape other than rectangular; say a regular pentagon—in which case a dozen such pages could form a dodecahedron, the carrier of the message now an object 'taking space' and quite unlike a stackable, foldable, rectangular—in many ways convenient—sheet of paper.

But perhaps the practice of arranging data in such imagined spaces will become useful.

The sides of this dodecahedron, unless you have suitable computing equipment, you will have to imagine as pentagonal. The links on each page provide means to turn to adjacent pages of the volume.

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Denis de Castro, Auckland, November 2020