A Cookbook of Invisible Writing
A Cookbook of Invisible Writing, by Dutch artist, designer and teacher Amy Wu, is an introduction to analog steganography—a type of secret writing that is hidden in plain sight.
An invisible ink coloring book, recipe book, puzzle book and artistic research book, A Cookbook of Invisible Writing also serves as a starter pack to run workshops for those who are interested in alternative forms of communication.
The cookbook provides a wide variety of invisible ink recipes and other communication techniques that may be used to subvert surveillance, bypass censorship and make visible the struggles of minorities and other marginalized cultures. Additionally, this book aims to inspire communities to develop their own poetic and playful forms of communication as a way of nurturing social bonds.
In the tradition of esoteric manuals published on secret writing, ACIW also channels the spirit of everyday access and the easy distribution and sharing of practical knowledge. Following Giambattista della Porta’s 1558 popular science book Natural Magic—one of the first major publications that detailed simple but diverse recipes of invisible inks for public consumption—this cookbook aims to bring this obscure field to a wider audience.
Includes a critical essay about the history of surveillance through a feminist and postcolonial lens, along with a final chapter that presents Wu’s own body of work, showcasing her ambition to revive analog techniques as a counter to today’s digitally-surveilled mediascape.
Written, designed and illustrated by Amy Suo Wu
Edited by Clementine Edwards
Published by Onomatopee, 2019
Softcover, spiral binding with flaps, 224 pages, color and b&w images, 6.75 × 9.5 inches