This do-it-yourself Kindle scanner is probably the best possible outcome from a union of Legos and Kindle. The contraption is a scanning tool for your eBooks. As you can see in the mesmerizing video, the machine loops several actions that scans each page of your eBooks. One pushes the next page on the kindle while another pushes the spacebar to capture its image. It’s like reading time for your computer’s camera.
By Peter Purgathofer, Associate Professor of the Vienna University of Technology. Artist statement:
DIY kindle scanner. This is an art project reflecting the relation of book scanning, copyright, and digital rights management. This is not intended to be understood as an instruction or invitation, but rather as a provocative thought experiment.
In 2002, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in an open letter to the authors guild: When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this.
A few years later, his company built a device that effectively violates the very ideas he expressed in this statement.
The DIY kindle scanner is an art installation reflecting this loss of rights Jeff Bezos first defended for us, but then chose to remove. It also is a statement about the futility of DRM.
As a tool, this machine is more visually interesting than effective, but it does demonstrate how much fun you can have simply by using Legos to perform some mundane task of digital protest. It’s not very different from another project we’ve covered before, Jesse England’s printed eBook backup, though it involves a bit less manual labor.