Friday 13 March 2015 I will present in New York my latest book La magia dei libri (in Italian) with the lecture show “Magic Books” (in English). The event will be hosted at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, 686 Park Avenue (click here for reservation).

The blog Boing Boing has presented the event with a post by Ferdinando Buscema.

The lecture will culminate with the opening of “Magic Books – The Secret Art of Book Hacking”, my interactive exhibition mixing storytelling, technical notes for designers, secrets revealed and practical ideas to make a subversive object out of a book – in a true celebration of the epical, underground story of book hacking; its constant presence at the margins of the mainstream offers invaluable stimuli for those who trust in the subversive power of creativity and wonder.

The exhibition will be open from 13th to 26th March 2015.

We tune up engines and hack computers to improve their performances. What if we tuned up a book? Altering its structure and content, magical things may happen: volumes with movable parts, pages offering cinematic experiences, images appearing with a blow, non-linear structures to predict the future, pop-up magic shows...

“Magic Books” is an interactive exhibition retracing the story of the secret art of book hacking from Medieval times to our days: an unprecedented collection of design principles through which authors and publishers have activated magical powers out of plain paper.

Created by the wonder injector Mariano Tomatis, the exhibition will open on Friday 13th March with a lecture show focused on the Italian influence of the art of book hacking – from the Venetian 17th century mind-reading books to Bruno Munari’s magic shows on paper: the spectators will live the double experience of wonder before the magical effects produced by the books displayed and the Cartesian pleasure of discovering the ingenious mechanisms behind the curtains.

If you love Books and Magic, this cross-over will amaze you!

A life-size Snakes&Ladders Board Game

Visiting the exhibition will be like playing a life-size Snakes&Ladders Board Game along 29 cases, one for each magic book – described in the corresponding panel, installed near the physical book the visitors will be able to play with.

Opening the doors of the magic lab

Since one month I have documented step by step on Twitter the creation of the event, opening the doors of my magic lab and using the hashtag #NYCMagicBooksExhibition: discover in my photo album what is behind the curtains.

The photo album is also available on Facebook as “Magic Books – The Secret Art of Book Hacking”.


The exhibition has been supported by the Consul General of Italy Natalia Quintavalle. I am grateful for their help also to Barbara Dalfovo, Volker Huber, Allegra Iafrate, Dan Kainen, William Kalush, Malina Mannarino, Max Maven, Angelo Monne, Danny Orleans, Gregorio Samà, Rufus Butler Seder, Mark Setteducati, Jill Margaret Taylor, Marco Tempest, Fabio Troisi, Helen & P.G. Varola, Marcus Williamson and Wu Ming.

In writing my lecture show I have been helped by David Ben, Ferdinando Buscema, Carlo Cicala, Raul Cremona, Volker Huber, William Kalush, Max Maven, Aurelio Paviato, Mark Setteducati and P.G. Varola.


The official poster created by Angelo Monne.

The official catalogue of the exhibition.

• The three promotional postcards (one | two | three).

The opening panel with the Snakes&Ladders Board Game.

• The banner Book Hacking – Join the Crew.

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