‘A Cookbook of Invisible Writing’, written and designed by Amy Wu, is an introduction to analog steganography, a type of secret writing that is hidden in plain sight. It is an invisible ink colouring book, recipe book, puzzle book and artistic research book. This book also serves as a starter pack to run workshops for those who are interested in alternative forms of communication. A Cookbook of Invisible Writing 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 marginalised cultures. Additionally, it aims to inspire communities to develop their own new poetic and playful forms of communication as a way of nurturing social bonds.
In the tradition of esoteric manuals published on secret writing, this cookbook also channels the spirit of everyday access and the easy distribution and sharing of practical knowledge. Following 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. The publication includes a critical essay about the history of surveillance through a feminist and postcolonial lens. In the last Chapter is the artistic practice of the author and her body of work that aims to resuscitate analog techniques in light of surveilled and censored contexts.