Book Fairs need to innovate. But how? The International Book Fair of Frankfurt does so through technology, promotion programs and changes in infrastructure and its dynamics.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair on one hand spaces for the traditional trade of licenses is preserved (Hall 5, 6 and 7, directed mainly at international exhibitors) and, on the other, spaces for education, services, innovation, promotion and mass sales of book in German language and translations, mainly from English (Hall 3 and 4.) Within these there are spaces to discuss the hot topics (Weltempfänger), tribute to authors (Das blaue Sofa) and programs to promote the developing industry through the Invitation Programme.
But changes at the Frankfurt Book Fair are evident, specially in the area dedicated to international exhibitors. During the total renovation of Hall 5, scheduled for 2019-2020 –as the trend is to give an individual appearance to each Hall– international exhibitors will be relocated to Hall 1, which is among the busiest areas of the fair. The Weltempfänger ("World Receiver"), the space to discuss hot international issues, has already moved from Hall 5 to Hall 4.
In Hall 4 is also located THE ARTS +, the space of technological innovation. 3D scans and prints are made, the Reality is confused with the Augmented Virtual one on a kermes of mechanical toys, while an industrial robot arm generates incessantly hand-written manifestos from a databases and algorithms on infinite paper.
Algorithms of Artificial Intelligence also generate pictorial works from the legacy of human Art History, accessible through databases that make obsolete the painter of flesh and bone, lacking of health insurance. If we are not before the man vs. machine- opposition, or a post-human world view, is it our favorite algorithm what will determine the future?