Speculation on the future of books, creative and conceptual playground, Occur Books is first and foremost an invitation to travel through time thanks to the wonderful and timeless medium that is the book.
Like a door leading into a virtually infinite literary world, a book’s cover is the focus point for our experience with it. As a bibliophile, Frédéric Tacer has always been fascinated by the narrative aptitude and power of evocation of book covers. He wanted to explore these matters within the creation of a fictional publishing house.
The desire to imagine a collection of books from the future arose as a reaction to the so-called “death of books”. Despite the various and relentless pleas of a fully digital era, the designer firmly believes in the durability and efficiency of printed books. In an attempt to bury a debate that he judges vain and stereotypical (especially when it comes to the “physical vs. digital” dichotomy), he commits himself to demonstrate the existence of tomorrow’s books by trying to predict them.
Occur Books doesn’t talk about the future of the book. It reveals the books of the future.
Above all, Frédéric Tacer contemplates this project as some sort of speculative time machine. Throughout history, numerous books have been considered as major witnesses of their time. Similarly, the output of Occur Books might be seen as glimpses of tomorrow, allegories of possible futures.
Justifying his work for the publisher-to-be by the invocation of the ultimate fantasy that is time travel (their collaboration supposedly started in 2025 when he was approached to design the cover of the World Wide Web War book as a contemporary of this historic event), Frédéric Tacer chooses to make any notion of chronology obsolete, allowing himself to imagine topics and social matters of the near as much as far future.
In an exercise of futurology, the designer — and science fiction aficionado — amuses himself fantasizing future scenarios, drawing inspiration from his readings and insatiable curiosity for science, technology and future studies.
He then focuses on shaping those visions of potential futures by mixing two of his most profound passions: books and graphic design.
As part of the limited edition box made for the Science Friction exhibition, the mysterious scifi author Alice Dune wrote an exclusive short story directly inspired by Occur Books. It depicts an odd future in which books are reduced to their very own covers and where readers are regarded as genuine authors thanks to their natural ability to project into a book title and speculate about its potential content…Read the short story
The project Occur Books was initiated in 2015 for the design festival Une Saison Graphique and introduced to the public within Frédéric Tacer’s Science Friction exhibition in May 2015.
The forty book covers imagined for this initial exhibition were meticulously screen printed from February to May 2015 by the artist/teacher Yann Owens (assisted by his students) in the printing workshop of the School of Fine Arts in Le Havre.
The project was also featured at the parisian contemporary editions art fair (SOON Paris) in December 2015 and exhibited at the prestigious Palais de Tokyo museum in Paris in April 2016 as part of the Vision group show.
Interested in exhibiting Occur Books? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Books from the Future
Books from the Future is a one hour video project created alongside Occur Books.
It aims at gathering all the occurrences of printed books, newspapers and magazines in popular science fiction movies and TV series set in a near or distant future.
The video was then adapted as a Tumblr page that you can visit at: futurebooks.tumblr.com.
Silkscreen printingYann Owens
Une Saison Graphique
Copyright © 2016 Frédéric Tacer. All rights reserved.