Danné Ojeda, Vanitas book series
White, black, gold and skull versions, © 2018.
660 pages
140 x 200 x 140 mm
Printed and bound in The Netherlands
Photography: d-file studio


Vanitas book series is a contemporary interpretation of Vanitas still life Dutch paintings. Vanitas makes literal the allegory of the book as a mental portrait of its author. With the help of clinical technology of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the anatomic representation of the author’s skull and the brain becomes the book content. The latter are ‘imagined’ by software after a complex process that facilitates the ‘readings’ of the brain’s molecular frequencies. Skull and brain are first, computer generated and finally materialized into a sculptural sequence of paper ‘body’. The result is a representation of the ‘architecture’ of a human skull and brain, which emphasizes the ‘ineffable space’ of the mind. The book size follows the skull size of its author.

Book design technology also plays an important role in this series. A book-as-object is, among other things, a singular expression of the technological development of its time. Vanitas book has been made possible, thanks to the medical devices that translated human anatomy into digital data; that is later processed by a combination of visualization software. Lastly, the resulting representation has been printed and bound into a book with the utmost technological as well as manual craft development present in the Netherlands in the printing and binding industries.