Cover of The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan / Agel / Fiore and the Experimental Paperback (Inventory Books 03), 2011, New York. © Project Projects.
The third book in the Inventory Books series delves into the period in mass market publishing when former backstage players—designers, editors, coordinators, and producers—stepped up onto the publishing stage alongside authors to produce a set of exceptional books reconfiguring the process and outcome of knowledge production and reproduction. The book's main text focuses on a nine-year window of time, beginning in 1966 when Jerome Agel and Quentin Fiore, in collaboration with Marshall McLuhan, developed The Medium is the Massage into "an inventory of effects," until 1975, when Agel collaborated with exobiologicist Carl Sagan on Other Worlds. These were books for the electronic age: visually fast, nonlinear paperbacks designed for a restless readership of television-age reader-viewers. Conceived and produced by Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Adam Michaels, with contributions by Steven Heller and Andrew Blauvelt, Inventory Books 03 juxtaposes original research with abundant book reproductions, reinvigorating the approach of its subject matter.
Adam Michaels is a founding principal of the New York-based design studio Project Projects, and the editor and designer of Inventory Books.