Philipp Schmitt


You know how it never quite works right when you want to highlight longer sections of text in a PDF? There a enough variables between user, application, and computer to give PDF highlights emergent properties.

art.pdf is a generative prepared PDF document. Initially presented with a blank page, the viewer activates and becomes part of the work using their computer's PDF highlighter tool. The viewer is not quite in control. On a single Macintosh computer, an art.pdf can look different between the Finder app, Quick Look, and Preview app. It varies more dramatically between operating systems, OS versions, and software.

The project originated from an interest in the research paper PDF as a medium, its role in knowledge production and dissemination, in the culture of science.