Book of Pages: 2000–2020

Although the first version of Book of Pages was written and illustrated almost a decade earlier, it was published in 2000. The book’s illustrations are black-and-white line art. To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their publication, here is how the pages might have looked had they been in colour, thanks to Jiriki’s friend Claudia.



On page 7 Jiriki meets someone whose possessions no longer recognise them as their owner.

When Book of Pages was written this seemed fanciful. But it’s turned out to be one of several prescient topics: more and more people are discovering that in the digital age things they thought they’d bought are only “theirs” for as long as the controlling company lets it stay that way. In this case, the owner of the shoes has fled the Metropolis to avoid being prosecuted for theft. A cautionary tale of DRM gone bad.

The idea of being inappropriately prosecuted by algorithm — and that people wearily accept that such a thing is an occupational hazard of living in the modern world — is a recurring theme in the book, and was a reaction to my having worked, for two years, on software that the (UK) police were using in investigations. Resigning from the job and starting work on Book of Pages was a direct consequence of my disillusionment with what I’d seen.