FULL PANEL ABSTRACTS

Session A1

Susan Viguers, Sequence and Rhythm in the Artist’s Book

One of the defining qualities of the artist’s book is that it is time-based and sequential, “a sequence of spaces,” as Ulysses Carrión describes it, and it is that that will be my topic of this paper.

Of the many subjects for analysis by narrantologists are sequential ordering and rhythm, although the focus of such studies is for the most part the literary text. I propose to examine a number of artist’s books through the lens of some of the concepts of narrantology (in particular as delineated by Mieke Bal)disturbance of chronology, the slowing down of time, ellipsis, and parallipsis, to name a few. The visual and spatial components of artist’s books (for example, the intertwining of text and image and the turning a page) both complicate and enrich features of sequence, rhythm, and pacing. Keith Smith’s discussion of sequence and rhythm in the artist’s
book is also pertinent to this topic.

I will discuss a variety of books to illuminate the intricacy and effect of how book artists manipulate and render sequence and rhythm. A few of the books will be well-known: Clifton Meador’s A Long Slow March, Scott McCarney’s Memory Loss, Warja Lavato’s Snow White, and Julie Chen’s Radio Stories. Others will be more recent: Sam Winston’s A Dictionary Story, Lara Henderson’s Space in Between, Donna Globus’s Sensitive Dependence, and a couple of my own books.

Kyle Schlesinger & Aaron Cohick, Duration, Sequence & Structure

Letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, pages. The codex has a distinct sequence that, at least traditionally, is designed to honor the author’s manuscript. Bound books are often divided into chapters rationally organized in ascending order, as are the page numbers which are conveniently listed in the table of contents, while the index creates a sophisticated network that is easy to cross reference among identical copies of a given book; i.e. the third word of the third sentence in the third chapter of the first edition of Moby-Dick is intended to be the same in every copy. But artists’ books and poetry often don’t rely upon such conventions, which is one of the reasons that the two genres have such a rich and intertwined relationship. The time of a book (unlike the time of a dance performance, film screening, or bus ride) is subjective and determined by the individual reader. Readers of poetry rarely read a collection cover to cover, and poets know this. The same is true of some artists’ books. In this collaborative paper, poet and artist will discuss the concepts of time and sequence citing various books, texts and other artworks that have informed their practices, including Robert Grenier’s Sentences, Kit Robinson and Lyn Hejinian’s Individuals, Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Millards des Poemes, Samuel Beckett’s Molloy, Andy Warhol’s repetitive,  screenprinted “paintings,” Frank Stella’s stripe paintings, and conclude with a discussion of their recent collaboration, What You Will.

Sandra Kroupa, Capturing Memory: Artist's Books and Time

Books are dynamic and interactive; time is fixed and fluid. Artists struggle both to capture in and release time from the genie’s bottle, providing a way to expand or concentrate it in a single opening. Information is not meaning; time is not reflection. Artists’ books provide the venue for contemplation. Artists strive to seize time, confirm its passage, describe its richness, decry its leanness. Artists document their lives, assisting readers to live more fully.
Artists’ books operate within a time frame: a lifespan, the calendar of a relationship, chronicle of significant life events, the record of political incidents. They require time to create, to read, to understand, to carry with us; they take time, provide time, are time. Time is required for forming and fixing text and image; time is reflected in each press run, every color building layers like earth strata. Artists’ books are performance. Readers interact with the work and the artist. Artists select to privilege sequence or not; create pacing or not; require time for understanding
or not. Books are read start to finish or as single sheets, interchangeable, continually re-sequenced.

I would like to share examples of time in modern artists’ books: time as subject, process, treasure, ambiguity, memory, achievement, metaphor, voyage--past, present, future. Searching for meaning, our time passes, folding out like a meander book, both predictable and astonishing.

Session A2


Re-sequencing Expectations: Combining New and Old Book Technologies in Pedagogy and Practice

The book is an evolving form. The creation and teaching of the book arts is by necessity a complicated one because it involves cutting edge technologies, more than a millennium of handmade craft skills, and the exploration of the social contexts in which books are made and used. The three papers in this panel of book arts professors at the
College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University suggest a few of the possibilities that emerge for artists and educators as they grapple with the best way to engage the nebulous field of the book arts. In the first paper, the book form is seen as a conceptual focus, to bring together time and sequence in both analog and digital manners to
facilitate students understanding of design. In the second paper, there is the notion in the book arts that collaboration is key: between artists, with the community, and in collaborative technological combinations. In the final paper, there is a questioning, not of the value of digital technology, but of the value of artist books made solely by digital means. In each paper, there is a common refrain, a query about what is the best, most
useful capacity of the book as a medium, as an artifact, as a didactic tool. In the 21st century, as the definition and form of the book is changing so rapidly, questions such as these are what will help us collectively redefine the future of the book and the book arts.

Elaine Rutherford, The book as an Entry Into Teaching Design: Using Sequence, Narrative and Time to Teach 2D/4D Design

In revising our foundations program at The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University we acknowledge the relationship between time and sequence in both 2D and various time-based media. For many of us the physical book has become the bridge between the physical and the virtual. The movement between platforms facilitates a
dialogue around questions of intimacy and scale, public and private as well as the relationship between the body and timing. The curated space of the book provides the perfect platform from which to question our assumptions about sequence, timing and the development of narrative. Students begin explorations in time and sequence
through the creation of flipbooks. Stop motion animations become the digital version of this process in which students animate a sequence, which plays out in virtual space. In doing so we are able to question the differences between the digital animation and the analogue narrative. How are they similar how do they differ? How does the body and its relation to the piece affect the timing? How can we use this awareness to inform our approach to content as we move between the space of the physical and the virtual?

Rachel Melis, Ganging Up: Mixing Digital Designs, Historical Precedents, Polymer Plates, and Collaborative Methods to Teach Students How to Make the Most of Their Experiences, Prints, and Books

When teaching an Art of the Printed Book class, one realizes that a single course cannot cover everything a budding book artist needs to know to solve the problems of designing and printing digitally and traditionally. However, I have worked toward giving students the hybrid experiences they need to ask good questions. This means I
de-emphasize individual projects and make teams of students sample various technologies and book production stages. The course centers around a collaborative fine press book that not only obliges each student to digitally-design a book spread based on the work of a historical designer, but also makes them process and print a photopolymer plate with other students in their “quarto.” Because of the “ganging up” of contemporary
and historical designs, each student’s spread with a classmates’, and each team’s signature with others’, students gain a set of questions applicable to any digital or analog book design: should I use a multiple or single signature structure, when does it make sense to use hot vs. cold type, should I print four “up”, etc.? Furthermore, in some
iterations of the class, students work with a community partner to produce content significant to a charitable or creative mission. Ultimately, the students learn to think in terms of multiple pages, prints and books; and to seek the multiplication of effort that occurs when book artists plan printed projects efficiently and collaboratively. The goal is a book that can be printed digitally or traditionally, and an equally versatile book artist.

Scott Murphy, The Digital-Analog Divide: A Sequence of Complimentary or Competitive Components?

In the 21st century, the book is being revolutionized by the rapid advancement of digital technology, on-demand printing and virtual dissemination. Where do artist books fit within this new horizon? As an artist and educator, the possibilities are grand but there are certain pitfalls as well. In most artist books, it seems that a digital method is
engaged in at least one step in the sequence of production, be it design, polymer plate creation, or printing. What happens when a book follows an all-digital trajectory, and the sum of its parts is an on-demand printed product, PDF or kindle download? In my classes I teach students to make these kinds of digital books for portolios or catalogs. They are useful, but not valuable. As an artist, I recently created a digital on-demand printed artist book. It is not meant to be useful, but to be valuable. Is it? The advent of digital technology in other arenas of art, such as photography, has resulted in a revolution in practice and an accepted default; i.e., most photographers shoot digitally and display images on an LCD screen or via prints from an inkjet printer. These products are valued highly by the art world. In the artist book world, is digital enough? Or, because of the tactility of the book form and history of its production, do we still favor the inclusion of a craft process - binding, letterpress printing or some other kind
of handmade method – to make a valued artist book?

Session A3


Isobel Anderson, The Shell: Incorporating sound art practices within book art

Artist’s books have re-imagined the traditional book in many ways: incorporating objects, experimenting with text layout and utilising unusual materials and surfaces. By contrast, there are few audio books that match the experimental approach and aesthetic quality of artist’s books such as Genevieve Seille’s Map ed Veveiis (1990), or A.S.C. Rower’s On The Slates (1992). Audio books generally fall into two categories: touch-screen electronic books for consumer readership, and books with built-in, lo-fi speakers. This paper argues that by combining creative
sonic arts practices with Book Art, the audio book format can become a far more communicative and engaging means of expressing and sharing language and text.

The focus of this paper is my audio artist’s book, The Shell (2010), an interactive book based on James Stephens’s poem The Shell (1908), which is part of the Linen Hall Library’s poetry collection in Belfast. Many of the sonic and visual materials incorporated in this work -- including found objects, soundscape recordings, interviews and photographs -- were sourced from a journey I made to Sandymount Strand, the inspiration for Stephens’s poem. This book sought to explore the role of the library in inspiring and reflecting the stories and landscapes of the world
outside its walls. Therefore, this paper will explore the combination of sound within an artist’s book in order to create an artwork that literally speaks to a number of the senses at once, interpreting a Libraries collection in an engaging way for its visitors.

Alexander Mouton, What is a Digital Artists' Book Anyway?

The artists' book community takes its shape through the intersection of fine binders and printers, visual artists of all stripes, and the literary minded. We are practitioners in a diverse field, which in turn can be examined from diverse
perspectives. If we consider the artists' book along a continuum that encompasses such varied forms as sculpture through to the codex and on to the purely conceptual, a contemporary archivist might wonder where the digital book fits in? The most popular “digital book” today, Amazon's Kindle, was certainly not developed to expand the possibilities of the book form, but rather it's function, particularly as related to convenience, marketing, and availability. On inspection of the actual form, however, it would seem the aspiration was simply to come close enough to the analog book that we (hopefully) would not notice it's sensual inadequacies (visual, tactile, aural, olfactory). But this digital book clearly isn't any more related to artists' books than the perfectly bound mass markets we might find at the grocery store. What then of a digital artists' book? What might such a book look like and how might it behave? Can we follow our artistic senses into new territory without the fear of leaving “bookness” behind? Where do the innovative possibilities for expressive and conceptual processes lie within the
promise of a digital artists' book? With examples both physical and virtual, I propose to examine and raise questions about the potential this new form has for the artists' book.

Megan Berner, In a Shifting Landscape

The combination of image and sound seems like a fairly contemporary pairing, most often realized through the media of video and film. However, long before the ubiquity of film and video, artists illustrated texts and often these texts were read aloud. Most often, children’s books are associated with the combination of image and text. As a child, I had books that included a record or tape that allowed you to listen to a narrator reading the text while you turned the pages and followed along.

When a Seattle-based composer approached me about collaborating, we naturally started thinking of ways in which sound and books have historically been presented. The collaboration led us to create an artist book with a score that is played while ‘reading’ the book. The sound and music serve as the text and create pacing while the book is composed of imagery.

The book is an accordion fold structure printed on vellum, inspired by the Chinese scroll with imagery slowly transforming through the book. The music is based on abstractions of weather and landscape, birdcalls,  expressions of deep ecology, and utilizes field recordings to link the landscapes and different movements together.

The book/score, titled In a Shifting Landscape, explores the connections between geographic locations (tundra, desert, prairie, ocean), seasons, migration, and concepts of time in the natural world. We will present our work together and talk about the process of combining sound with book structure. Part of the presentation will be audio visual.

Session A4

Lightning Round: Book Art Student Presentations

Monique Belitz, Artist Books: Sculptures based on Performance Contemporary

artist books are visual expressions located in the nexus where artistic disciplines intersect, such as bookmaking, sculpture, painting and drawing, as well as performance. In this paper I propose to illustrate and demonstrate the importance of the performance aspects of two of my artist books for grasping all levels of content. “The Shape of Sound” and “The Border Crossed Me” function ultimately as free standing sculptural units, yet in order to fully appreciate and discover all ideological and aesthetical aspects, the viewer needs to ritually open and close the book. This performance in time and space allows for the necessary unfolding of meaning. Aseach new “page” adds information, profound changes of the overall design inflect its reading. In “The Shape of Sound” the landscape slowly expands to a panorama while abstract marks gain representational clarity. The viewer can then derive further meaning from walking around the three-dimensional object and changing the angle of observation. The reverse performance of compressing an experienced space is even more significant. When folding up the accordion book “The Border Crossed Me” the world of human migrants is compressed and their agency minimized. The long raffia strings are tied at the side of the book, creating a double cross, symbolically sealing the fate of the human migrants as they are relegated to silence. By necessity exhibited as objects only, the meaning of my artist books is curtailed by the loss of the performance aspect.

Claire Sammons, Composing in the Stick: Typeface as Muse of Poetry

Stern Comp (in progress) is the title of a letterpress printed artist's book that uses metal type to explore the process of composition and its relationship to a unique typeface. It is an experiment in how a text is affected when the writing attempts to fit the typeface, rather than finding a typeface to fit the writing. I have chosen to use the upright italic, Stern, by Jim Rimmer, the first typeface to be simultaneously released in digital and metal forms. With Stern, I am exploring how the physicality of a particular visual representation of the alphabet can influence the creation of a text. In other words, what poem will I make if I don’t compose it until I am touching its material? My method for exploration is quite simple: I compose text as I set it in the composition stick. In this manner, I am able
to engage directly with the typeface I am writing for. Time is an essential aspect of this work; I can only compose text as fast as I can set it in metal and vice versa. The inherently slow nature of this process causes me to be more deliberate and careful with my writing, as I do not have the luxury of an eraser or delete key. Due to the limited amount of type available, the process revolves around a rigorous sequence of composing/setting, printing, and distributing. This project relies wholly on the conditions and constraints provided by the technology of letterpress printing.

Natalie Baldeon, Consume/Expel

My work attempts to capture the various stages of a reaction to an action performed, particularly the moment when the act of indulgence has just taken place. This is a transitory moment when the subject is still elated with pleasure, but is beginning to experience more complicated emotions, such as anger, pride, regret or acceptance. By
portraying the body in the midst of, or immediately following an act of indulgence, my work embraces the complexities of desire as it relates to time.

Orality is a centripetal link between consumption and sexuality, and is a prevalent theme throughout my work. The mouth exists as a boundary between internal and external, wet and dry; as well as the means through which we ingest (i.e. food) and expel (i.e. words, speak). I created four small oil paintings, meant to be displayed in a serial
fashion, depicting a variety of objects one would consume or put to their mouths in a given day, emphasizing the implications of an oral fixation.

This Was A Mistake is a series of three flipbooks that illustrate the mouthing out of that phrase in different contexts. The mouths are stained with the residue of an act of consumption while simultaneously expelling words. The books were created by shooting a video, isolating the sequenced still frames, and putting them into the palm sized form of a flip book. I chose this method so that the speed and intimacy of the phrases could be controlled by the viewer. The grammatical tense of the phrase implies the liminal time period that my work strives to capture.

Amy LeePard and Suzanne Sawyer, Pulp Diction

In this joint presentation inspired by the conference theme Time, Sequence & Technology, two artists will report on their collaborative research into alternative sequencing in papermaking, printing and sculpture. While printing on dampened sheets and forming three-dimensional work from wet sheets are familiar processes, this research involves experiments with the sequence of working with handmade paper. Prior to the completion of fiber-to-fiber hydrogen bonding, theoretically, a printed wet sheet can be formed around an armature and allowed to dry. One aspect of this research is to challenge the time-tested sequences of traditional papermaking and printmaking for use in sculptural objects. How early in the sequence of sheet formation can printing take place, in order to still allow for shaping a three-dimensional object? Printing on the wet sheet prior to forming it around an armature allows for truly integrating the printed word into the structure of a three-dimensional work as opposed to it simply resting on the surface. In this way, printed words can become a part of objects that cannot be sent through a press. The research includes an analysis of how beating times, types of fiber, sheet thickness, and level of dryness affect the success or failure of assorted printing processes and subsequent three-dimensional applications. The presentation will include images and descriptions of the different processes and their varying levels of success. The emphasis of this work is on experimentation and the goal is innovation in the combined use of handmade paper in printing and sculpture.

Jennifer Baker, Strategies of Visual Narrative

My approach to artmaking centers on how the visual narrative of installation and the artist book operate in conjunction. Employing this strategy allows me to present narrative to be experienced publicly and privately, each offering different implications. I will discuss my methodology by describing two installations and the artist books that accompany them, and by speaking to how the presentation of each form influences the content of the work.

Lick was created by installing a Stealth Cam, a tool associated with hunting, in my bedroom for five days. During the night, the motion activated camera took pictures of my nocturnal activity. Both the installation and the artist book, December, offer an uncensored, serial account of this period of time and invite the viewer to consider their role as both voyeur and viewed.

A second collaborative installation, Another Day, features the outcome of artists' engaging each other in everyday, banal performance of assignments for one week. Recorded sound, video, and the placement of my cell phone in the space (logged into social networking platforms and available for use) allowed the viewer an excerpt of experience defined by time and persona. This installation is accompanied by two artists books: Another Day acts as document of the installation in photographic form and offers the only source of the original text describing the artists' assignments to each other. Catagory 7 details the online exchange via Facebook and Twitter iPhone  applications that is a mash-up of dialogue describing an apocolyptic science fiction movie and a listing of the symptoms of menopause.

Mirabelle Jones, The Book As Physical and Mental Microcosm

In recent projects, I’ve aimed to explore both physical and mental space through the creation of book art and sculptural works. STRANGERS is a sculptural meteor containing a tape recorder of digitally edited audio samples manipulated from real world environments and a book containing mixed media and digitally altered
photographs. “The Art of Flatlining” (Edition of 40) is an accordion structure depicting a letterpressed timeline spanning six months with carefully plotted gaps, an invitation to the reader to imagine the peeks and valleys of an EKG, while text above and below creates an abstract poem. “Hello How Are You?” explores emotional space in contrast to the perfunctory physical actions of matrimony through a tunnel book structure of cut pages resembling veins that repeat the same one-sided romantic diatribe in seven different languages. “Jarring” is a community-driven collaboration and call to dialogue on the subject of rape and assault. Inside a black and red box, three jars represent the collective experiences of over thirty survivors of assault and rape challenge traditional notions of emotional containment. Transferring the two dimensional written word into a three dimensional space, “Nothing In That Drawer” is a sculptural interpretation of a sonnet by Ron Padgett containing 14 drawers with diminishing red letterpress. Condensing a large physical space into book form, “The Bulb” is a welded storage book containing mixed media objects and narrative. “To Wave” presents a series of boxes that must be opened to reveal a poetic invocation of fear.

Session A5


Daniel Mellis, Historicizing the Idea of Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing is often presented as an unbroken tradition beginning in the 15th century and continuing into the 21st. This stance conceals a complex development of overlapping technologies, each with its own characteristics and affordances. This paper historicizes the idea of letterpress printing and creates a framework for analyzing the æsthetic constraints and consequences of technologies from the iron handpress to the  photopolymer plate. I will focus on four major developments in the history of letterpress printing: The industrial revolution and the development of the pantograph as a method for the manufacture of type.

Photography and the influence of the halftone and line-cut.
The iron handpress and flatbed cylinder press as catalysts for experimental printing.
The photopolymer plate and the relation of digital technologies to letterpress printing.

Paula Jull, Evolving Approaches to the Use of Print Technology in Artist’s Books

In the 1980’s many teaching institutions and individual artists acquired letterpress equipment that was to be used in the process of creating artists books. In many cases the presses and type are still in use. In our 21st century, digital printing has emerged as a more contemporary application. A key question has to be how has this
transition of technology affected the creation and production of artist’s books? Has the immediacy and affordability of digital printers supplanted letterpress in some respects? Are letterpress and digital being utilized parallel to each other, or are they being combined for greater effect? To what extent is this being done? How does this potential partnership evolve? Where does photopolymer platemaking fit in as a bridge between processes? Has lack of funding and institutional roadblocks hindered this partnership of technologies? What can be done to encourage full exploitation of this potential?

Surveys from CBAA institutions and artists can shed some light on this potentially powerful partnership of these technologies. My presentation will reveal the results of this this research as well as examples and strategies for future development of this partnership.

Betty Bright, From Visceral to Virtual: Ken Campbell’s Wall

“Walls protect, walls constrain, and walls sometimes get run into. Five years ago I started this book, calling it 'wall', knowing that I was going to hit it. Hopefully, by running at the page, it has been passed through.” Ken Campbell

For over thirty years Ken Campbell has produced letterpress printed books such as Dominion (2002), whose pages carry a dense interplay of pattern, imagery and poetry (much of it his). Campbell’s creative assaults on the press resulted from working instinctively, even viscerally, resolving each sheet through multiple ink runs. The finished works orchestrate Campbell’s characteristic pacing that turns on a conceal/reveal interchange throughout the arc of a book.

After he finished Dominion health issues intervened, and Campbell realized that letterpress printing was no longer a viable artistic option. In the intervening years he struggled to surmount a creative block as he sought a new means of giving voice. In 2010 Campbell published Wall, printed from digital inkjet. The content of Wall interweaves several themes as in Campbell’s previous works, but the look of the page, and so the book’s resulting voice, is  absolutely fresh. Campbell’s intense reworking of imagery now occurs at the computer and through a complicated photographic process. Beyond its compelling content, Wall poses questions including: Are there characteristics from letterpress that survive even when transposed into a digital medium? What are the lineaments (and limits) of style? And, does craft have a role in digital printing media?

Session B1


Phillip Zimmerman, Printing Technologies Used in the Production of Artist's Books and How They Have Affected the Use of Photographic Imagery

Where is the e-book at today? What are contemporary practices in the e-book format? How can one use this medium in and out of its expected formats? What can book artist’s do with it?

This paper will examine contemporary practices, limitations and possibilities and show examples from kindle, ipad, and digital displays from computer to cell phone. In, Books still big business in 2010, Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor, The publishing research firm Bowker (which maintains the Books in Print database) issued a print isn't dead report. Indeed, it isn't undefined despite the emerging popularity of e-books, millions of books first emerge in the paper and ink version. Big category winners included anything that might help you get and keep a job. Books published about computers rose 51 percent in 2010; science books, 37 percent; technology books, 35 percent.

As the Great Recession proceeded apace, books without a career application took a hit. Literature (literary fiction) was down 29 percent, and poetry was down 15 percent. History titles were down 12 percent, and biography titles were down 12 percent.

But these figures are dwarfed by the nontraditional category of publishing, which issued a whopping 2.78 million books, a 169 percent increase over the year before.

That is amazing in this economy. In this presentation, I will find examples of e-books and show examples that might be paths for book artists to pursue in this medium (or not).

Clifton Meador, Seeming and Being: Photography and the Book as Medium Panel Proposal for the College Book Art Association Conference January 2012

Artists’ books can be categorized as displaying a heightened sense of  authorship, meaning that all the physical and conceptual attributes of a book represent conscious choices directed toward a particular experience. Many contemporary artists’ books produced over the last twenty years have been made using letterpress and the traditional book arts as a strategy for artists to control the physicality of the book. The exclusivity of this particular production methodology has limited the discourse in artists’ books by largely ignoring work that incorporates photography as a central element in the content, since most artisanal methods of book production do a poor job of printing photographs. However, during the past 50 years, photographically based books that exhibit a very high degree of authorial integrity, creativity, and moving poetics have grown to become a
major discourse, one that should be included in the discourse of the book arts and artists’ books. This panel will consider outstanding examples of this genre, raising questions about the critical discourse surrounding  photo-based artists’ books, and encouraging a lively consideration of canon building in book art.

Session B2


John Risseeuw, What Does Sustainability Mean to Printers?


Theories of sustainability seek to provide a basis for equilibrium in human activity on the planet. Making art and printed matter with graphic processes is subject to the same principles as manufacturing automobiles or building condominiums, in terms of sustainability, yet many printers do not fully understand the theories or their own places in a sustainable system. This paper examines current theories and issues of sustainability as they relate to print media. In a study completed at The University of the West of England's Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), the author investigated the literature and current thinking in sustainability, looking for applications of theory and practice that printers, artists, and educators might consider. A poll has been taken of print studios, commercial print
works, publishers, educational print shops, and other large graphic entities regarding sustainability practices and issues. The presentation, accompanied by PowerPoint slides and references, will include basic definitions of sustainability, the results of the poll, and suggestions for the future. Among other things, the paper will encourage printers to reconsider “toxic” and “non-toxic” biases, the contents of their inks, and sources of paper. It will examine the differences between sustainability and health issues, the benefits of digital technology, and the place of the artist, educator, and publisher in the larger world of sustainable responsibility. Rather than providing answers or prescriptions for practice, the result of the study and the paper is rather a raised consciousness toward sustainability and a series of questions for further research.

Session B3


Melissa Lucas, Time in Hypertext, Metatext, and Plain Ol'Text

Time is typically considered an unremittingly sequential process. The act of codex reading itself has usually been associated with this kind of time, as the reader turns one page after another in sequence. One of the beauties of artist books is the way they can play with this codex form, shaping its material body so that the reader is forced to experience time differently. Nowhere is this more evident than in works of electronic literature, whose materiality and hypertextual capabilities challenge assumptions regarding the necessity of sequential reading. When authors take advantage of this digital form of art and literature, they can cause the reader to experience time in nuanced and multifaceted ways.

I propose to present a work of electronic literature called The Prime Directive, or Primärdirektivet, by Swedish artist Johannes Heldén. Drawing in part from ideas set forth in the field of Comics studies, I will show how The Prime
Directive, a hypertextual poetic narrative, reflects at least six different kinds of time. At the textual level, readers are invited to consider repetitive, cyclical, and even apocalyptic time. At the metatextual level, The Prime Directive stimulates a mode of reading which integrates both sequential and suspended time. The interaction of these textual and metatextual facets provoskes in the reader a complex and varied sense of chronos.

Amanda Lastoria, Grasping a Book: An Iserian Interpretation of Print Design and Production Values

This paper investigates how the visual and material properties of printed children’s books influence phenomenology of reading, as theorized by Wolfgang Iser. There are two reasons for focusing on this genre: first, from board books to fine editions, children’s books arguably show the greatest breadth of design and production values within a single genre; second, many children’s titles are published in multiple editions by publishers targeting a range of markets. Reviewing multiple editions of one story (i.e. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) isolates editorial content, thereby enabling a focus on the role of design and production. Books are part of many people’s everyday lives: they are read silently while commuting and read aloud to children during storytime; they are prized possessions displayed in homes and lent to friends. How do print design and production mediate content and experience in these spheres of private and public engagement? Multiple editions refresh and repackage well-known children’s stories so that they become targeted to and consumed by diverse audiences. The one-size-fits-all approach to the design and production of ebooks restricts visual culture to a fixed frame and material culture to a container-like hand-held device. Because of these changes in the reading landscape, the contemporary importance of the age-old medium of the printed book needs to be re-evaluated.

Iser’s reader response theory – which was conceived as a literary theory – is used as a tool for investigating how books’ tangible qualities influence consumption.

Session B4


Marlene MacCallum, Intersections of Technologies and the Resulting Tangents

This artist talk will present a series of recent books that resulted from the deliberate decision to integrate contemporary digital tools into a historical photographic process. As an artist that has dedicated years to developing skill within a specific media, it felt necessary to challenge the assumption that I would always use this particular process. The subsequent multi-year exploration started from two questions. If an artist selects specific media as their visual language, what effect does this have on decision-making? What is the impact of combining analogue and digital technologies? The approach was focused by an investigation into the use of digital processes as an integral component in making color separation photogravures applied to books. The historical methodology was not discarded but it was used in tandem with contemporary means. The presentation will discuss how the research had significant and unexpected impact on content, imagery and construction of the material book form. The results clarified that the use of digital tools in conjunction with analogue processes produces output that is still analogue in nature, but allows the artist to personalize the surface of the digital output. The use of digital tools
prompted a reconsideration of the ways visual recording devices transform the representation of the physical world. Research into technological combinations led to inter-personal collaborations that informed the evolution of new work. It also opened up possibilities of alternate forms of dissemination. Lastly, using processes that require different time frames has led to new work that uses time as a significant component.

Katya Reka, Wanderlust: Handmade and Digital Journey

Time is digital and handmade; it can be measured in clicks and pages. I will present a talk about my work with a scroll book form both handmade and digital that explores the theme of journey. Nowadays, books are still the best solution for memory loss and the obsession with “what if” scenarios.

What if Pablo Neruda and Masanobu Fukuoka met each other. A zealous poet/politician with a gift for lusty language and an anti-government revolutionary farmer/nihilist. My project Wanderlust explores two most important journeys a man can embark on undefined loving and growing. It is an imaginary dialogue between Pablo Neruda and Masanobu Fukuoka, where one man speaks of his journey of love for a woman and other speaks
of love for the earth. It is a dialogue between the body and the nature.

A collection of handmade artist books made with vellum, handmade paper and leather are documented and re-interpreted on a digital reader device (iPad). Handmade artist books are presented on an iPad in an attempt to juxtapose and combine digital and handmade media and to encourage discussions about the future of the book and present possibilities of digital tablets for book artists. I will talk about the process of combining handmade and digital in the discipline of book arts, discuss possibilities available for contemporary book artists who wish to document their work digitally and possibilities for innovative collaborations between graphic designers, book artists, video artists, printmakers and story-tellers.

Edwin Jager and John O. Smith, Analog to Digital: A Collaborative Project Transformed

In 1995, we began to work on an artist’s book. We continued to work on the project collaboratively until its completion in 2008. Not only is this book the culmination of more than a decade of work, it also documents the profound technological changes that have affected book production during the same time period.

We brought various skills to our collaboration. One artist contributed a background in printmaking and letterpress, while the other possessed skill in both analog and digital graphic design. We both brought considerable experience in the art of the book, including: theory, history, binding and typography. Over the years, as the project evolved, we directly benefited from the development of equipment and software. We created an artists’ book that we could not have produced, let alone conceived of, in 1995.

In our presentation we will draw from our extensive project documentation to show the influence that changing technology has had on our creative practice, both in concept and production. We also wish to communicate themes that we believe have remained constant, throughout these technological innovations: the form of the
book, the story, and the relationship to the reader. In addition to outlining the execution of the project, we will further present our collaborative process and how it is supported and affected by new technologies.

Session B5


Shawn Simmons, Metaprocess Books: New Layers of Learning

Process books have long been used as a pedagogical tool by educators to accompany and enhance assignments in the design classroom. While this project component is generally underutilized, it can be effectively combined with
book art instruction to push a student’s concept development, and therefore learning, to new levels through metaprocess book creation.

To build process books, students typically use simple binding techniques (often commercial tape or spiral) to consolidate printed documentation of the sketches and ideas behind their final artifact. These books are usually submitted with that final product, and the instructor refers to them in order to assess skill level, creativity, originality, concept development and process. Unfortunately, this component is often treated as an afterthought and regularly becomes more of a tired collection than an opportunity for additional learning.

In combining this form with book art projects and/or instruction, however, educators can enhance a student's experience dramatically. When the process book instead becomes a respected component of a project, an arena for
enhancing the experience of the original assignment by allowing the binding, structure and sequential content to communicate an additional level of student analysis, here the metaprocess book is born and it can pave the way to better educated, and potentially more self-actualized, students.

This presentation will include: examples of process and metaprocess books; practical information on preparing students to create these books through analysis, collection and reflection; and direction on effective  implementation of this project component in both design and book art classes.

Ruth Bardstein, The Critique in Book Arts Classes: A Meeting of Theory, Practice and Process

The philosophy and practice of critiques are a continuing source of debate and discussion in terms of method, place in the Arts curriculum and their ultimate pedagogic value. Book Arts, as intermedia and work which operates in four dimensions, poses additional complexities.

This presentation will examine different critique philosophies and methods from the Book Arts perspective. Proposals and suggestions for incorporating critiques into the full Book Arts process, from concept development through final product, will be discussed along with potential critique questions and elements for thought/analysis.

Critical theory is part of the underlying framework of a critique, and the dialogue (and tension) between theory and practice is inherently part of the substance of a critique activity. The presentation will also explore how current Book Arts theory and critical discourse can help define possible methods and details of the critique process.

The ultimate intent is to structure critiques to best serve the students in both the short term (working on the particular project) and the long term (developing their body of work over time and a critical understanding of Book Arts).

Patrick Dooley and Linda Samson-Talleur, Discovery in the Fog: Process and Dynamic in a Collaborative Book Arts Class

In the spring semester of 2011 we team-taught the collaborative design and printing of two separate editions of a chapbook in an advanced Letterpress/Digital Design class. The class was comprised of 11 total Junior and Senior student designers that were divided into two groups of respectively 5 and 6 students. All of the students were familiar with Adobe Creative Suite and some had had previous letterpress experience. Our intention was to allow the students complete creative ownership of the concept of their chapbooks, while keeping them within fairly tight parameters in terms of a common page structure, and aware of the natural limitations of working in mixed digital polymer plates and traditional hand set media. Additionally, most of the students needed introduction to printing on the Vandercook, as well as guidance on managing the scheduling aspects of the project in order that, by the semester’s end, both groups would have a fully printed and bound edition of 18 chapbooks each.

The two resulting titles: “Discovery” and “Fog” were finished on time. Along the way both teachers and students experienced the rewards and frustrations of taking on a complex creative process fraught with learning curve and the dynamics of human interaction. Our presentation will chart from beginning to end the process of the project,
noting approaches that worked and some that are up for reconsideration.

Session C1


Anna Arnar, Dissolving the Fixed Sequence of Books: The Influence of Stéphane Mallarmé on 20th- and 21st Century Books

The French poet Stéphane Mallarmé occupies a special position in the history of the artist’s book because he helped shape some of the basic protocols for two distinct legacies of the artist’s book that endure to this day: the livre d’artiste or the deluxe limited edition illustrated book, and the livre d’avant-garde that radically interrogates the concept of the book in order to change both art and life. In Mallarmé’s late theoretical essays, his experimental poem A Throw of the Dice Will Never Eliminate Chance, and his unpublished notes for a performance referred to as
“The Book” the poet redefined the experience of reading by exploiting the textual, visual, and temporal elements of the book to empower readers as independent creative agents. This paper will examine the recurring metaphors and visual diagrams (from the aforementioned unpublished notes) that show the poet’s dedication to creating flexible structures that invite the reader to manipulate the sequence of a book. From gridded boxes and games with rotating parts to his “block-book” with pages spinning like a rolodex, the idea of flexible sequence was envisioned as a way to make books more democratic and participatory. Mallarmé’s radical dissolving of the fixed sequence of the codex inspired the 1967 publication titled Aspen 5+6 with contributions by Sol LeWitt, Dan Graham, Robert Morris, Brian O’Doherty, and Marcel Duchamp among others. Dedicated to Mallarmé, this “book in a box” invited readers to partake in combinatorial games with its multi-media contents thereby enabling them to shape their own experience. The idea of yielding power to the reader is also the cornerstone to digital books
where my paper concludes with an examination of the “prosumer”-reader gleaning fragments from diverse sources in order to weave new narratives.

Shandra Lamaute, Contextualizing New Media and the Book

The concept of the book as a specific object is constantly evolving. I am interested in the theories surrounding the use of technology within literature and visual art that address questions concerning materiality. I will explore the relationship between new media and the book through an examination of Ideas of Beauty: Conversations, a contemporary book form that facilitates the use of electronic media.

Ideas of Beauty: Conversations is a book resulting from an internet-based participatory activity that is composed of sound and text, and embodies a selection of women’s processes, thoughts, and advice about beauty. It involves the reconstitution and dissemination of written email responses through other media. Once the email responses were edited and organized, they were presented using a combination of audio and written text, which created a tension between the collected stories of the individual women and my decision to use one voice, my own, to create the
sound piece. Through an explanation of the processes undertaken to complete this project - from my examinations of the histories of writing to my methods of collecting, editing, and unifying all of the work’s elements - I will  identify what constitutes this specific new media artwork as a book form. I will also address how the use of  electronic media within this work challenges traditional boundaries of the book, and how the materialization of the components of sound and written text contribute to the creation of an extended writing field.

Katherine McCanless Ruffin, A Typology for the Structures of Book Arts Programs

The goal of this research project is to create a typology of structures for the teaching and learning of the book arts. As the field of book arts education develops, the tool of a typology for classifying programs can improve both practice and theory. A typology is particularly appropriate as the field of book arts education is emerging, and may be helpful in addressing some of the obstacles that book arts programs face with respect to sustainability.

In practice, program structures have strengths and weaknesses, but very little, if any, theoretical work attempts to describe or assess this. As the field of the book arts matures and as common obstacles are identified, a typology that is inclusive, clear, non-hierarchical, and flexible can aid teachers and students in developing and sustaining
book arts programs.

A purposeful stratified sample of forty individual book arts programs was identified. Features of programs were analyzed, and using inductive methodology, a typology of programs was developed. The typology reflects the variety of programs while establishing categories that allow for analysis and some generalization. The identification of strengths and weaknesses of various types, and the advantages and disadvantages of various institutional contexts, can lead to the growth of book arts programs.

Session C2


Tony White, Publishing and Distributing Networks for Online Artists’ Publications

Many contemporary artists’ are taking advantage of online communications and networks to serve as a hub for all activities related to publishing artists’ books. Working outside of established brick and mortar venues, artists, curators, dealers, librarians, publishers, galleries, students, faculty and many others increasingly came to rely upon online worldwide networks to facilitate the publishing and distribution of artists’ publications.

For this presentation I will focus on recent developments (past 5 years) in self-published, print on demand artist’s books available for sale online. I will discuss the recent developments in on-line distros (distribution networks) used to sell, market and promote print on demand, and related artist’s books. This presentation will focus on the transformative nature of recent online technologies and distribution strategies to increasingly make artist’s books available to a worldwide market.

The presentation will start with a very brief discussion of the rapid technological advancements in publishing opportunities for individual artist’s that began with the development of the internet in the last five years of the 20th century. Next, a discussion covering DIY printing, print on demand, and related publishing opportunities for artists. Examples of diverse worldwide distribution networks that are increasingly being founded by groups and collectives operating without any affiliation to traditional publishers or book dealers will be discussed. In closing I will address challenges related to finding, evaluating, and purchasing strategies for these new artist’s books/publications.  Specific books and websites will be displayed and discussed.

Sylvia Turchyn Head, Artists’ Books and Their Metadata : The Digital Artists’

Book Archive of the Women’s Studio Workshop

When one creates or owns multiple examples of the same type of object, a natural grouping of like elements and separation of distinct features becomes apparent. This may happen simply to identify what one has; however, it may become the path to a more noble cause: identifying the content in order to share it with others. By 2001 the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY had accumulated an archive of over one hundred artists’ books created on site, with many of those titles having become out-of-print and consequently not accessible to the general public. Tatana Kellner, co-founder and artistic director, embarked on a mission to expose this collection to the infinite world of the internet.

This presentation will feature the development of the Women’s Studio Workshop digital artists’ book archive and its evolution to the present. Using emerging technology to capture digitized facsimiles of each artist’s book, the developers paired detailed information about each book with its companion images. The database descriptions were designed to reveal a rich array of metadata that exceeded the specificity of conventional cataloging. Providing e-commerce was also an important goal of the creation of the digital archive, so it could serve as both a sales catalog and online purchase point for the in-print artists’ books. The presenter will also provide a digital tour of the archive, its search capabilities and reveal plans for future technological improvements.

Session C3


Marilyn Jones, Ying and Yang: A New Balance

Pedagogical challenges of design education have college professors at a loss for how to prepare the today’s generation to enter the work force and survive in a highly technical environment as designers. Traditional hands on courses such as printmaking, drawing and studio arts are being edged out to make room for courses in 3D modeling, web site design, interactive design, motion graphics, and HTML code. More, more, more digital  curriculum is leaving many educators confused and overwhelmed. What is the core curriculum? What needs to be taught? Art and design, once viewed as right-brained activities, now give way to left-brained math and computer science aptitudes. While many view the left-brained thinker as king, it is the right brain thinker that brings the human factor to innovation and problem solving with hands on techniques, visual thinking and tactile explorations.

This paper focuses on the increased need to create a balance of approaches not only for the student but also for the visual artist. While we cannot ignore the need for digital proficiency, exploration of traditional techniques opens opportunities for experimentation and discovery. It is the balancing of the practice of design with the art of design: the digital execution of design with imaginative exploration that uncovers innovative solutions. This paper shares examples of how to bring that balance to education and practice. Through content and techniques, ipod playlists
become three-dimensional books; digital and hand drawn typography merge and silk-screen and inkjet techniques become seamless.

Sue O'Donnell, Rotoscope Flipbooks: Using Technology to Introduce a Hands-on Experience

I teach in a digital lab where students spend most all their time staring at a computer screen and relying on the internet for much of their interaction. Many of my students depend solely on the computer to create work and have
little to no experience making an art object with their hands. I recently introduced a two-part rotoscope project where students create a hybrid flipbook – first as a virtual quick-time movie and then as a printed hand-held
interactive book. This project introduces students to the concept of time-based sequencing along with developing a very intense, disciplined work ethic. During the first part of the project, students draw between 100-200 individual frames from captured video footage using Photoshop and a digital drawing tablet. To add challenge, they are required to add a unique unexpected ending to their animations and audio, and then upload their finished quick-time movies to YouTube. For the second part of the project, students export each frame of their animation to a print template, then cut and bind, by hand, each page to create a printed, bound flipbook. It's an exhausting time consuming project but I have found that students are extremely proud of their accomplishments and gain a new respect toward making a book by hand and toward the rigor of digital animation. For this panel, I will describe the rotoscope flipbook project, step by step, and share student solutions, both hands on and digital.

Bridget Elmer, Object/Source: The Artist’s Book, Free Software and Thoughtful Digital Practice

This presentation addresses the importance of software in the contemporary field of book arts and serves as an invitation to scholars, artists and educators of the book to consider using Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) in their work. The speaker will present several options for using FLOSS in the context of book making, illustrating the potential for these alternative software choices (including OpenOffice, Gimp, Processing and Scribus) by using an on-going project, Open Edition, as a case study. Open Edition explores the philosophy of FLOSS through the medium of the artist's book, which is considered both for its potential as a free information technology and as a free cultural work. The first manifestation of the Open Edition project is Fibre Libre, a collaboratively produced artist's book that combines the traditional processes of handmade papermaking, letterpress printing, and book binding, with the contemporary processes of coding, digital image making and desktop publishing. Following an overview of this project, the presentation will conclude with a discussion of the conceptual, methodological and
pedagogical roles of software within our field, advocating for thoughtful digital practice and encouraging the understanding and use of free software in the book arts community.

Session C4


Molly Dotson, The Exhibition Catalog as Book Art: Considering Documenta, the Paolo Soleri Retrospective by Donald Wall

(Washington: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1970)

Paolo Soleri is an Italian-born architect who came to the United States in 1947 to study under Frank Lloyd Wright. He coined the term “arcology,” a combination of architecture and ecology, to describe his design concepts that departed from the order and clarity of the International Style of modernist architecture. Although he has very few built works, Soleri seeks to combat the sprawl encroaching on the natural landscape by re-imagining the urban environment as a highly complex, but condensed entity. Donald Wall is the architecture critic who curated “The Architectural Vision of Paolo Soleri,” a 1970 retrospective exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Wall’s exhibition catalog seems to pose a similar challenge to the International Typographic Style, presaging graphic design and book art trends to come.

Documenta is a subdivided cardboard box, containing 16 scrolled illustrations (ranging from three to six feet in length) and an 84-page booklet. Wall writes that, in order to represent concepts from Soleri’s work and to document an exhibition that included large-scale, intricate Lucite models as well as scroll drawings sometimes over 100 feet in length, the catalog itself became a “mini-exhibition.” Typically the exhibition catalog is a site for scholarship and reproductions. Through an analysis of time and sequence along with other design elements, this paper questions how the functional space of an exhibition catalog changes when one enters the realm of book art. The paper also considers the reading experience of a book-as-exhibition and how it differs from the museum-going experience.

Bonnie O'Connell, Collecting Views:/Views on Collections: The Personal Postcard

Archive as Book Generator

Historically postcards served variant functions beyond their primary current roles to advertise business deals, announce art openings, or share souvenir vistas from travel. To the postcard aficionado, the categories of historical postcards fuel the fascination for the panoply of reproduced images capturing culture on small paper cards. Early chromolithographic postcards rank among the finest examples of commercial printing, thus fine printers are often drawn to collect them. Dependent on photographic reproduction, postcards reveal a wide range of photo processes determined by budget or publishing venue, including the Kodak amateur snapshot. These fall into the category of “Real Photos” favored by professional photographers. If the curious attend a Postcard Collectors Trade Show (a heady hybrid of library card catalog crossed with museum) they are drawn into a array of tables abundant
with long slender boxes offering endless subjects: railroad, bridges, tunnels, waterfalls, pinups, literary, big letter, calligraphic, embossed, collage, military, Race, erotic, exotic, and foreign. The juxtaposition and collision of imagery from divergent eras inevitably triggers evocative associations.

This paper references the use of the postcard metaphor or imagery in contemporary fiction and poetry, but in particular examines how personal postcard collections generate works by book artists. The long-term collector must systematize, develop, and order their archive, activities that inform and reinforce book conceptualization.
We’ll also speculate on the future of the souvenir postcard, a “snail mail” survivor, in an arena where smart phones and social media enable users to instantaneously capture and post images from travel or daily experience.

Karen Zimmerman, E-Books: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Where is the e-book at today? What are contemporary practices in the e-book format? How can one use this medium in and out of its expected formats? What can book artist’s do with it?

This paper will examine contemporary practices, limitations and possibilities and show examples from kindle, ipad, and digital displays from computer to cell phone.

In, Books still big business in 2010, Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor, The publishing research firm  Bowker (which maintains the Books in Print database) issued a print isn't dead report. Indeed, it isn't undefined despite the emerging popularity of e-books, millions of books first emerge in the paper and ink version.

Big category winners included anything that might help you get and keep a job. Books published about computers rose 51 percent in 2010; science books, 37 percent; technology books, 35 percent.

As the Great Recession proceeded apace, books without a career application took a hit. Literature (literary fiction) was down 29 percent, and poetry was down 15 percent. History titles were down 12 percent, and biography titles were down 12 percent.

But these figures are dwarfed by the nontraditional category of publishing, which issued a whopping 2.78 million books, a 169 percent increase over the year before.

That is amazing in this economy. In this presentation, I will find examples of e-books and show examples that might be paths for book artists to pursue in this medium (or not).

Session C5

The Self-Righteous, Self-Indulgent, and Politically Correct undefined Can Paper, Ink, and the Personal Narrative Build Communities?

Has the introduction of self-publication to academia or to well-meaning community outreach programs really helped to create mutual respect and understanding among individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds? Can paper, ink, and autobiographical narratives act as agents of social change or are they merely placeholders in some great community scrapbook?

In a world that equates power as conquest, the feminist mantra, “the personal is political,” takes on even more importance. As Lucy Lippard, states in her essay, Sweeping Exchanges – the Contribution of Feminism to the Art of the 1970’s (Art Journal Fall-Winter 1980), “We take for granted that making art is not simply “expressing oneself” but
is a far broader and more important task: expressing oneself as a member of a larger unity, or comm/unity, so that in speaking for oneself one is also speaking for those who cannot speak . . . . .”

Contemporary theories about learning communities maintain that public self-expression and personal accountability undefined truthful public records of our individual actions and ideas allow complex societies to find common ground and move toward the establishment of common goals. This panel will investigate how narrative posters, handcrafted public art projects, democratic multiples, and the autobiographical codex move beyond the labels of self-righteous, self-indulgent, and politically correct to create a new language of discourse that demands aesthetic innovation and social accountability. Yes, Virginia, paper, ink, and books can and do build communities.

Cynthia Marsh, The Personal Is Political: The Woman's Building(1970)/Goldsmith Press & Rare Type Collection (2011)

As a young offset printer and book artist, I was introduced to feminism in 1973 when Sheila Levrant De Bretteville invited her to join the Women?s Graphic Center at the Woman?s Building. Initially, the mantra, “the personal is political,” felt like too much post-modern propaganda. Ultimately (like an old pair of blue jeans) the concept was a good fit. In this presentation, I will discuss her work using the printing press and the personal narrative to help strengthen communities from the Women?s Graphic Center in Los Angeles to the Goldsmith Press & Rare Type Collection in rural Tennessee.

The Goldsmith Press & Rare Type Collection @ Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee serves as a unique model for the successful development of a learning community based on self-expression and engagement in the democratic traditions of poster printing. As a working museum with 65,000 hand-carved wood letters produced in the late 19th century, the press remains committed to the “Posted Notice” as a surviving bastion of uncensored public discussion. The Goldsmith Press encourages citizens of Clarksville to write, print, and make public their individual stories. Federal and state grants fund collaborations between the Goldsmith Press and local public centers such as schools, army bases retirement homes, and churches so that the real stories and ideas that define the community of Clarksville, TN can be printed and posted.

Tate Shaw, Visual Studies Workshop Press: Rethinking Art Publishing This presentation recounts a bit of history of a press that developed at a moment, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when artists began building new, more inclusive, narratives and questioning the nature of art and its relationship to the political and perceptual world.
Artists were appropriating media images, photographic representations and the tools of mass media. Since new hybrid art forms--happenings, performance, installation, artists video and artists book--didn't fit into the traditional art world venues of museum and gallery, they began forming their own communities and organizations for  presenting work, and centers for working on collaborative ideas or for pooling technology.

The beginnings of Visual Studies Workshop Press were based on equal parts of enthusiasm, synchronicity, happenstance, and a bit of conjuring. Present when the emergent phenomenon of artists? books was taking shape, it did not take long for a community of interest to develop around printing and books. The Press was unique, as it
was not an isolated entity but an integral part of the Visual Studies Workshop, simultaneously an artists? space, graduate school, research center, exhibition venue, media arts program and publishing center.

Ann Kalmbach, Women's Studio Workshop: A Thirty-Five Year Commitment to Build and Support a Creative Community

In 1974, four young artists founded the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY. Since its doors opened, the WSW has been cranking out hand-printed posters, (democratic) multiples, artists’ books, and public art  installations. The initial idea was to find a space large enough to function both as a personal studio and to
support the creative needs of other female artists. I will discuss the growth and breadth of the Women’s Studio Workshop from its humble beginnings to its current status as a dominant creative force within the areas of arts education, public art, and artists’ book publishing.

Although it has been a difficult journey financially, the WSW has never lost sight of its initial commitment to build and support a creative community. During the 1970?s and 80?s, resident artists screen-printed a poster a week to market the ongoing public programs at WSW. Then there was a series of offset printed „inserts? (i.e. free art) in one
of the local newspapers. Throughout its history, the Women?s Studio Workshop has continued to produce regional events and public installations. Artists? books, however, remain at the heart of workshop activities. Since 1979 WSW has made a sustained commitment to publishing artists? books, which by their nature aim to affect society. Through grants and fundraising efforts the Women?s Studio Workshop has published nearly 200 books and placed them in public collections. Many of these artists' books have become iconic examples for the field.

Session D1


Marnie Powers-Torrey, Herding Cats: The Choreography of Instructional Strategies

From the moderator/ generalist:

As digital capabilities spiral outward, across fields of interest and varied applications, pursuits in the handcrafts persist. Obsolete technologies that might have collapsed are enjoying an incredible revival. Increased interest in the material object, in tandem with rapid advancements in digital media, has engendered a critical field of study. As academia embraces the multi-disciplinary, a fertile environment is cultivated for interdisciplinary investigations into multi-media, be they new, old, or cross-platform. With expanded volume and diversity of students, hook arts pedagogy must respond with innovative methodologies. This panel, comprised of three instructors and a graduate teaching assistant / fellow, presents a collaborative model that addresses simultaneous needs for varied instructional skill sets and maintenance of a workable classroom ratio. Multiple instructors, each with unique training and experience, offer diverse perspectives in response to the variety of learning styles, motivations, backgrounds, and skills that are commonly found in the book arts classroom. From the concerns of fine craftsmanship, to design and typography via letterpress or digital printing, to the development of concept and resulting text, imagery, and form, these four presenters speak from singular perspectives and experiences toward a mutual curriculum. The moderator, director of this program, anticipates the subsequent three, fifteen-minute presentations by offering an administrative glimpse at how the program has shaped itself. With specific examples of classroom scenarios and assignments, the moderator as generalist presents curricular elements of the program’s broadest course, Artists’ Books.

From the binder: Emily Tipps
Within the collaborative model, educators co-teach, establish curricula together, and are supported by qualified teaching assistants. This model relies on participants with the knowledge and skills to contribute meaningfully to classroom activity, and thrives on revisiting of studio practice and teaching philosophy. Instructional collaboration can present a well-rounded, cohesive course of study. Specifically, it can enrich bookbinding pedagogy. Physical circumstances often present challenges to teaching binding: while some instructors use academic classrooms, others teach in crowded studios, or adapted, shared spaces that are not equipped as binderies; whereas capacious, well-stocked binderies present tests of maintenance and organization. In a space that permits a large group, a single instructor could become overwhelmed by student needs. Collaborative practices can assuage such issues; for example, material prep is easily accomplished. With TAS assisting during studio time (gaining teaching experience), instructors can spend more time with individual struggling students, or those working at a more advanced level. Many binders learn under the direction of a master (the apprenticeship model). Yet they seel< opportunities to study under various teachers, and to exchange perspectives with colleagues at gatherings such as this and in studios and centers for the book (the guild model). Collaborative teaching brings an element of guildship to the binding classroom. Discussion and practice at the bench encourages students and instructors to consider critically the mechanics, functionality, and concept of bool<1nal<ing. Such analysis is crucial amid burgeoning rnedia technology and the shifting popular, scholarly, and philosophical positioning of the book.

From the designer: David Wolske
The romanticized ideology of the master/ apprentice model of letterpress printing education that endured for centuries falls well short of practicality in a 21st century studio environment with an average class size of24-30 students. Due to the unique positioning of this program, the faculty has developed collaborative teaching strategies that allow accommodation of large class sizes comprised of students with disparate backgrounds, interests, and skill sets. By leveraging the varied perspectives, experiences, and expertise of program and library staff, this faculty is able to provide an enriched interdisciplinary curriculum. Introduction of the history of commercial job printing alongside the traditions offine press and contemporary artists’ books presents a broad picture of where letterpress has been and where it is going. Fundamental printing skills including typesetting, press use and maintenance, and analog photopolymer platernal<ing are intrinsic to a course of study that also incorporates investigation into creative writing, typography, image generation, color theory, and basic graphic design. From the perspectives of a typographic designer and a photographer and printrnaker, and with the input and assistance of creative writers, rare book scholars, and fine artists, the letterpress course instructors use letterpress printing as a vehicle to encourage concept development and evolution of a personal artistic vision. The combined voices of instructors, teaching assistants, rare books curatorial staff, and students generates a critical dialog, expanding the ability of all to apply, discuss, and critique basic elements of writing, typography, design, photography, and printing in relationship to historical, contemporary, and future letterpress applications.


From the graduate student: Becky Williams Thomas
The Book Arts teaching faculty benefit from an army of foot soldiers functioning as teaching assistants and studio monitors. Students having successfully completed beginning letterpress join ranks with graduate fellows and studio support staff to handle class preparation tasks, co-teach lessons, and monitor all hours of open studio. The vast and varied backgrounds of these ancillary instructors provide a textured proficiency that enriches the student experience. Graduate fellows participating in the joint MFA in Creative Writing/ Book Arts approach words in much different ways than others whose experience arises from the territory of art and design. The wordsmiths discuss text and the book from the perspective of a writer extending the notion of the artist’s book. They are excited over notions of editions and publication and readily embrace concepts that couple fine craft with the digital in ways that expand their written work. Monitors experienced in printmaking techniques interject ideas regarding the craft and its affect on the materiality of the word adding to the discussion during book arts courses and open studio. The artists and writers learn from each other as they create a learning milieu where all options are open. All this conversation ripples far beyond the primary locus of the book arts studio, carried by these student assistants, by way of their individual academic and artistic endeavors, to numerous classrooms and specialties throughout the university.

Session D2


Cynthia N. Malone, Time and Sequence in Tristram Shandy: Book Arts and Literary Criticism

To read Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy is to cudgel the brain with questions of time and sequence--while teetering at the boundaries of codex form. Students at Swarthmore and scholars at the University of Milan and at Gifu University have explored the hypertext possibilities of Sterne’s novel; their online versions highlight the vexed matters of time and sequence in the narrative. I’ve used the ASCII text to create a one-of-a-kind physical book, using fold-outs, pull-outs, and other formal elements to embody the sequential and temporal problems that bedevil Sterne’s reader. Moving through the book, the reader literally takes it apart and attempts to assemble a chronological version of the scrambled narrative. The process requires the reader to link the episodes that form the central narratives and to set aside the many digressions and other apparently extraneous matter. As soon as a reader begins to clear away the digressions and assemble a coherent narrative, however, the enterprise calls into question assumptions about the relationship between time, sequence, narrative coherence, and book forms. The project aims to show, in physical form, the operations that typically take place in the mind of the reader faced with making sense of Sterne’s brilliant and exasperating novel. More broadly, the project aims to demonstrate the potential for using book arts to demonstrate concepts in literary criticism, especially in the area of narratology.


Barbara Tetenbaum, Title: A Close Read: My Ántonia

In the summer of 2010, I used the opportunity of a solo show at a local college to put myself in the position of a first-time reader and map out my understanding of a novel (Willa Cather’s “My Ántonia”), as it unfolded through the audio book I listened to. This illustrated presentation will show the scope of the installation, which embraced the entire space from ceiling to floor in order to map the relationship of the characters and flow of the story,  suspending snippets of text excerpted from the novel, a wall of research materials, and including my own voice
as I became obsessed and overwhelmed with the beauty of Cather’s words. My years of experience as a book artist helped me lead the viewer into the space to experience moments of text or subtext, to physically navigate the story as it was mapped out across the gallery floor using various colors of tape, etc. (One visitor commented on the close resemblance of the gallery to pages from my artist books.)

I am beginning work on a new artist book that returns this experience to book form, using the concept of a musical score to organize the story and personal layers. I will include in the CBAA presentation images of this book to tie together the circle of experience that came from this project: to illuminate the web of bonds between author, text, reader and artist.

Session D3


Monika Meler, Paper As Content

Paper is connected to geography, region, and the environment, yet these things are rarely addressed when making artist books or prints. This panel of 3 speakers will examine how paper, as a surface to make marks on, and a  material to make books out of contributes to the content of the work. These speakers will explore what paper means, how paper is viewed in different geographical locations, the difference between paper made in the artist’s own studio and paper that has been purchased, and the environmental implications of paper. These topics will be addressed in hopes of understanding the crucial role that paper plays in the work of book/paper artists, to
examine paper’s conceptual possibilities, and how paper choice is relevant to content and concept.

The questions this panel will address are:
1.What is the meaning of paper as a surface to make something on as well as a surface to make something out of?
2. What are the conceptual possibilities of paper?
3. How has sustainable paper making affected the way that artists use paper?
4. How does paper’s geographic origin affect the meaning/content of the work?

Kerri Cushman, Paper As Substrate

As a book and paper artist, I always make my own paper. This way, the paper is made for every book based on the ideas that particular book is conveying. Purchasing paper doesn’t provide that kind of artistic freedom, as my paper can be made out of anything I want. If I am making a narrative book about another person, I can include fibers from
their clothing in the paper. With this, the surface I am making the book out of is directly connected to the ideas the book is exploring.

The process of making paper, therefore, is just as connected to the idea as what I eventually print onto the paper. This process allows me to have full control over the ideas I am expressing.

Meghan St. Claire, Paper as Confidant

Paper plays a significant role in my process. In the last several months, I have started making my own kozo paper. This process allows me to fully examine my understanding of paper as both a surface as a carrier of meaning.

I have always been drawn to Japanese papers, because these papers convey a great deal about their origins. While not entirely certain how to negotiate the geographical origin of the paper I use, I am certain that my choice of kozo fiber is not accidental. I am drawn to how fragile this paper appears, yet how resilient it really is. This duality allows
me to add layers of meaning to my work. What may appear fragile and easily breakable is actually rather strong and resilient. My work examines personal narratives of addiction and recovery, and this fragile yet resilient paper allows me to subtly reveal this idea through the use of paper.

Andrea Ferber, Materiality in Nancy Spero's Works on Paper

This presentation stems from a dissertation on the art of Nancy Spero, focusing on how her choice to work on paper contributed to her focus on feminism and violence. Spero ceased painting with oil on canvas in the mid-1960s in a self-conscious move away from predominant, “hypermasculine” trends (vestiges of Abstract Expressionism) and for the remainder of her career created prints and collages with paper, occasionally working directly on the wall. By examining not only this approach but the types of paper Spero selected for different effects, a theory of paper may emerge with the aim of reconsidering the relationship between subject and material in other artist’s oeuvres.

Session D4


Mary McManus and Kyle Holland, Papermaking: Contemporary Attempts to Reinvent an Ancient Practice

As book arts students, the progression from the role of papermaking novice towards that of practitioner is a long and storied process. One of the great challenges of working with paper is to remain fresh and viable. We aim to approach paper in new ways by employing innovative ideas and techniques. At the same time, we must acknowledge the rich history of the papermaking process and the many contributions that have been made to the craft by our predecessors. During their presentation at last year’s CBAA conference in Bloomington, Helen Hiebert and Lynn Sures urged the next generation of book artists “to employ the medium of paper as a tool in ways that have only begun to be explored.” As young artists and students, we are taking that challenge seriously. We approach the medium of papermaking in an interdisciplinary fashion. Not only do we utilize techniques such as pulp painting and watermarking during the wet process, but we also aim to combine these methods of creating imagery with traditional printmaking processes, letterpress printing, and bookbinding. However, our vision of papermaking is not limited to creating two dimensional works of art; we have also begun to explore it as a sculptural medium as well. In an effort to begin a dialogue among students, educators, and book arts enthusiasts
about new work being done with paper, we would like to share the experiences and discoveries that our passion for this medium has lead us to.

Laura Russell, Modern and Historical Photographic Artist Books

From Glass Plates to Ink Jet Prints

Photographic artist books are defined as hand-bound, one-of-a-kind or limited edition books that use photography as their main image medium. This slide lecture looks at both historical and contemporary photographers and book artists who use photographs both in traditional and non-traditional book formats.

Some photographic artist books are purely visual books that allow the images to tell their own story, and some marry image with text to form a compelling narrative. Some of these intriguing books go even further by exploring innovative artistic structures and materials to reinforce the concept behind the photographs.

The world of book arts and the world of photography have seen a burgeoning collaboration over the last decade and that marriage makes perfect sense, especially in our digital age. Many photographers miss the satisfaction of working with their hands, an experience that has been lost since darkrooms have disappeared. For book artists, the
quality, affordability and accessibility of modern digital printing has also brought an opportunity to tell a visual story by using photographic images to round out a comprehensive conceptual strategy.

Photographic artist books have a distinguished history, from Anna Atkins’ cyanotype photogram albums of British algae in the 1800’s to the ever-popular Twenty Six Gasoline Stations by Ed Ruscha, which he created as an inexpensive offset edition in the 1960’s. Add in the multitude of contemporary photographic artist books and we have a picture of a fascinating trend in books.

Sally Tosti, Traditional Bindings, Digital Technology

Digital technology is a valid tool to be included in the contemporary book artist’s toolbox. It facilitates the use of photographs, text without a letterpress, and hybrid forms such as scanning of prints, drawings, and collages. These can then be further manipulated if desired. For a small institution without letterpress facilities and a growing book arts program, digital technology is vital. My classes are taught traditional binding methods, and as their skills develop encouraged to explore new combinations of techniques. Students use silkscreen and other types of
printmaking, drawings, paintings, and digital processes to make their books.

We use Adobe Photoshop CS5 as the primary program when working digitally. The students are taught how to layout a book using guides as bleed and cut lines. We use a traditional dummy to plan pagination. For those whose computer skills are limited, this allows them to use the technology without the lag time of learning Illustrator and In Design. Those with more advanced skills often help their classmates solve technical problems

In addition to book arts, I teach printmaking and digital projects. Many of my students have taken some or all of these options. Students come from a number of concentrations in addition to Printmaking such as Graphic Design, Photography, Painting, and Sculpture. For most projects, they pick the subject matter typically producing eight to nine books in the course of a semester approximately half with content.

Session E1


Denise Bookwalter, Parachutes, Oranges and Code: Navigating the Collaborative Process

Institutions and academics revel at the mention of collaboration and interdisciplinary research projects that break down the silos of the academic system. At Florida State University, the Small Craft Advisory Press (SCAP) was established on the foundation of providing space and equipment to facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary creative research of artist book projects. At SCAP artists, writers and scholars are brought together to create works that would not be possible to produce through a solitary practice. SCAP provides a range of equipment from contemporary 3D printing and laser cutting to traditional etching, screen printing and letterpress. Through the collaborative projects realized at SCAP, creative researchers create innovated work that contributes to
the dialogue about the contemporary artist book.

The following series of artists supported by SCAP create artists’ book projects that investigate the following: the virtual to the physical; the transfer of information and memory; and the intimate process of reading. Each panelist will discuss collaboration as a social technology and how it is integral to each of the projects.

Denise Bookwalter: From Virtual to Physical: Trials and tribulations of the physical expression of code based imagery

Marius Watz’s main body of work is based on his code based images created in the programing language of Processing, a computer code program designed by and for visual artists. Small Craft Advisory Press invited Watz to create an artists’ book and explore a variety of avenues to express his images through the more physical process of
printmaking. By bringing together artists with a variety of skills, SCAP aimed to enable a project driven by collaboration, where each collaborator contributes their various strengths. Watz spent seven days in Tallahassee working with Florida State University faculty and SCAP staff and interns to explore various print based processes and plan an artists’ book. This talk will discuss the process and the outcome of the collaborative process of transfer of virtual information to a physical object, in the form of an artist book.

Bea Nettles: Clockwork Orange: A collaborative book arts project about memory and the Florida Orange

Information gets passed down from teacher to student in a similar way that memory is past from person to person. Clockwork Orange is a collaboration between Robert Fichter, Bea Nettles and Denise Bookwalter that reflects on information and memory. Each of the artists use the Florida orange as a vehicle for the transfer of information
through image and text. The artists’ relationship to Florida is expressed through historical images relating to memory of place. The collaboration initially formed because of the relationship between the three participants. Fichter was Nettles’ teacher and Nettles was Bookwalter’s teacher. The talk will focus on the evolution of the collaboration and how bringing together this group of artists at Small Craft Advisory Press inspired and enabled the creation of a unique sculptural book about the Florida orange.

Kate Baldwin: Lake & Cloud: Reading and transformation

Lake & Cloud is a collaborative artists book project between Katie Baldwin and Denise Bookwalter. In contrast to other projects underway at SCAP, the artists worked together for a month at Vermont Studio Center, during a residency, to plan their collaborative work. While they were planning Lake & Cloud they also worked on parallel series of individual works that investigated the original idea of Lake & Cloud. This artist book uses a pair of parachutes and an operation manual to transform space. In manipulating the object, the viewer is engaged in the process of “reading” the book. The talk will address the poetic and organic collaborative process from inception to object. Baldwin will travel to SCAP to complete the collaboration of Lake & Cloud during the Fall of 2011 with assistance from staff and students at Florida State University.

Session E2


Kalmia Strong, CODEX DECODED: Exploring Micro and Invisible Elements in Artistic Book Works The three presentations in this panel explore the book arts by interrogating the elements of erasure, punctuation, and microtext within diverse works in the field. Each thematic element illluminates one of the primary characteristics of artists' books--the interplay of content and form. While form and physicality can be rendered nearly invisible by our familiarity with the book-object, the book arts often invert our attention, drawing it toward form and, ideally, balancing consideration of format and text/image in a unified whole. Through examinations of elevation of non-linguistic typographic elements, the presence of deletion, and shrinkage of text and object, these presentations nimbly engage with the concerted manipulation of form and content in the book arts and query the meaning and success of such projects formally and conceptually. Beyond the specific focus of each presentation, in dialogue with each other and as a whole they demonstrate the practice of critical interpretation of individual works and themes within the book arts. This kind of detailed interpretive practice will be important for students, artists, and scholars as the field continues to emerge and be recognized for the diversity and complexity of its work.

Amelia Bird, Conceptual Erasure

Erasure, the creation of something new by disappearing what surrounds it, is not a new deconstructive urge, but it has recently garnered increased enthusiasm by writers, visual artists, and book artists. Selective retention, also called experimental editing, is a subset of the erasure form. In works of selective retention, there’s an effort to investigate a certain part of an existing work by erasing everything but that part. The new work directly comments on its origin rather than trying to depart from it. These kinds of books are deconstructive with a purpose; they make an essayistic attempt to present an argument in the form of a visual book object. In some examples one can find analogs to library cataloguing and what narrative mapmaker Denis Woods has called the “poetics of cartography.” But how do works of selective retention, whose guiding principles are sometimes nearly synonymous with their content, keep from becoming gimmicky or stagnant? And how does sequence function in books in which rules are established early on and then executed? I will try to address these questions and concepts by exploring works by
Heidi Neilson, Jen Bervin, Parasitic Ventures Press, and others, and in doing so I hope to help define this emerging form.

Karen Carcia, Punctuation in Artists’ Books
To explore the large constructs of time and sequence in artists’ books, it is helpful to examine the smallest element: punctuation. Often we take punctuation for granted; we’ve so internalized these small marks we almost forget that they are not simply guides to read by, but that they represent actual moments in time. By creating texts solely of punctuation marks, book artists call our attention to the meaning that is always-already present in these small symbols. My presentation will examine the way book artists use punctuation, the normally unvocalized or quietest feature in a text, to get at what they feel is the essential in texts. Texts constructed entirely of punctuation instantly become multilingual works that create new expressions for meaning--both visual and textual. Through texts like Heidi Neilson’s An Atlas of Punctation, Brian Borchardt’s Bold Strokes, Victoria Bean’s Helvetica Poems, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s Prix Nobel, Jaroslaw Kozlowski’s Reality and Riccardo Boglione’s Ritmo D: feeling the blanks I will explore how artists’ books experiment in both collapsing and expanding time, how the idea of sequence is altered and shaped, and how the idea of absence is made explicitly present in these works.

Lee Marchalonis, Microwriting
What is the attraction of the miniature? How does an examination of a miniature alter a viewer’s sense of space? Of time? What is the relationship between miniature scripts, miniature mechanisms (books), and miniature imagesundefinedboth in terms of artistic intent and viewer response? Why employ micro-script, and how does a reader/viewer make sense of it?

Historically, the purpose in making miniature books was to display superb levels of craftsmanshipundefinedto seek superlative levels of human achievement. However, the impetus to make a miniature book is not necessarily the same as the drive needed to create a miniature image or a text using micro-script. Handwritten micro-scripts have been used as solutions to writers block (Swiss-German writer Robert Walser), for security purposes (secret codes), as examples of great skill and dedication (Russian artist Hagop Sandaldjian painting on rice grains and writing on strands of hair), and as an indicator of mental illness.

Miniature books can include miniature texts (typically both small in size and in length), but micro-script is also found outside the book format, functioning in a variety of ways when not included as part of a book. Using Susan Stewart’s essay on the miniature as a jumping-off point, by examining text-based work, and by interviewing book artists who produce miniatures, I will present a discussion on the nature and purpose of micro-script and its relationship to the book.

Session E3


Kristen Merola, Visualizing the Book

It is often difficult and wholly impractical to share a singular book with a larger audience assembled at one time. The book as an object needs to be held, consumed and considered one on one in order for the reader to interact. To turn the pages, to derive meaning, to create a connection, these things take time and are different for every reader. Harder still is the loss of interaction when books are on display in cases. Can a book be understood by just looking at one representative spread?

Through the use of time-based motion media singular readers are changed into multiple viewers and there is an expansion in the way a book is seen, understood and conceptualized. Since 2005, Preacher’s Biscuit Books has created short videos, slideshows, and performances as a way to present a book to an assembled group in a new
digitally centered age. Through the use of time-based motion media the viewer experiences the book in a totally new way while also creating another space for the concept of each book to exist.

Using technology to translate text and image from the page to the screen creates a dialogue between two methods of working, two modes of presentation and generations of viewers. By augmenting the presentation of the book there is potential through this new media for new ideas as well as new audiences.

Melanie Mowinski, PRESS: Letterpress as a Public Art Project

How does time and sequence factor into the planning of a public art project; a project designed to introduce letterpress printing and book arts to a greater audience? This paper will follow the evolution of PRESS, a temporary storefront exhibition space and center that will be part of North Adams’ DownStreet Art series. North Adams is in the Berkshires and is home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). DownStreet Art was started to help MASS MoCA visitors connect with area businesses and to showcase local and national artists. In 2010 there were 30+ temporary spaces, most of them art spaces. http://www.downstreetart.org/ As one of the 2011 spaces, PRESS will share letterpress printing and book arts with the 10,000+ people who head to North Adams each summer.

PRESS will be open from June 23-October 16. What can be accomplished in less than four months? This paper will discuss the importance of sequencing in the creation of this project using the three scheduled openings as ordered sets and moments of reflection. It will include an evaluation of materials and mediums; plans and systems of creation; content development and strategy; and the importance of social media. It will address the following questions: What is the appropriate sequence for creating such a project? If one of the steps is performed out of order, will that impact the overall goals of the project? How does it compare to the creation of an artist book?

Amy Ballmer, The New Newspaper: Production as Performance, Reception as…

This paper will focus on reader reception of two newspapers that were conceived, designed, and distributed in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York as part of the exhibition “The Last Newspaper” (October 9, 2010-January 9, 2011). The Last Post, The Last Gazette, The Last Register… was edited by the Spanish curatorial team Latitudes and includes writings about the art on view, essays about the contemporary newspaper industry, and content generated by the museum public. The New City Reader: A Newspaper of Public Space edited by Joseph Grima and Kazys Varnelis/Netlab featured a different theme each week in which writers and artists
explored issues related to media and society. Both newspapers were created and distributed in the galleries for the duration of the exhibition. The New City Reader was also posted on exterior walls in lower Manhattan to foster a broader audience and public reading opportunity and the complete run of The Last Post… has been reissued as a boxed exhibition catalog available for purchase. I will investigate the potential for shift in reception of the  newspapers in their divergent though simultaneous existences as art objects, exhibition relics, public artwork,
published book, and free weekly through the following questions: How does the reader’s relationship with the object change based on the context of the encounter? How does this affect the manner in which the newspaper is read? How is the value of an object affected when it is connected with an act of art making in an established museum? What other publishing projects are similarly performative and interactive?

Session E4


Craig Jobson, Book Arts and The Taxonomy of Typography

Intermediate typography for our school’s juniors means studying the historical, aesthetic, and cultural development of typographic forms from 1455 to 2000. They study theories of type design, typographic layout and the extended usage of traditional typography. The exercise I created to accomplish these objectives is a semester-long design and production of an eight-part, content-laden, 76-80 page, 11”x17,” perfect bound, cased in, flat back typography book.
1. The first problem requires the naming of a faux private press and the design through fanciful letterforms of a logo for that press.
2. Students then research 2 typographers gathering information, creating bibliographies, collecting art samples and writing 300-400 word, peer-reviewed essays. Each student chooses 26 essays to use in designing their individual 11”x17” book.
3. The design of each essay requires familiarity with a grid, traditional typography, legibility standards, spatial and hierarchal type organization and reproduction protocols.
4. The title and TOC necessitates use of negative space and minimal typography.
5. Poster pages require development of historically based graphic metaphor.
6. A 9-page type appendix reflects the pedagogy of the VOX classification system.
7. InDesign pages are printed out as impositioned pdfs, then gathered, bound in a butterfly press and cased in boards.
8. A dust jacket using display type completes the exercise with a marketing tool.

This collaborative exercise teaches students the traditional use of typography in its myriad forms by going back to its origins - the printed bound book.

Kitty Maryatt, Channeling Iliazd

The Russian writer/publisher Ilia Zdanevitch, or Iliazd, produced remarkable artist’s books in France between 1940 and 1974. In an earlier period in Russia, he experimented with avant-garde poetry called zaum from 1916 to 1923 and published several books which are noteworthy for their inventive typographic layouts.  The texts were mostly plays which were meant to be heard aloud.

In this talk, we will look particularly at the typography in three of his later books: Poésie de mos inconnus (1949), 65 Maximiliana, ou L’Exercice illégal de l’astronomie (1964), and Hommage à Roger Lacourière (1968). Iliazd used Gill Sans, all capitals, exclusively in all his later books; he employed techniques such as wide letterspacing, shaped type and overprinting.  His methods were subtle compared to his earliest works. Iliazd normally planned out his typographic plan in detail and worked with trusted typesetters and printers who carried out his plans. These details are fascinating: we can gauge the level of difficulty by actually trying out his methods. We will see how the leading has to be cut into parts in order to move words on a diagonal, or how many print runs it might take for an  overprinted effect he designed. Turning letters on their sides to for emphasis, like Italic, is effective, but what agonies of typesetting must you go through for this effect? In this attempt to walk in his shoes, we appreciate and value Iliazd’s contributions all the more.

Tricia Treacy, Vista sans wood type project

We propose to present our collaborative project which utilizes modern technology to create letterpress wood type in an exploration of contemporary methods of typographic design, letter-press printing and book arts.

The physical aspect of handmade wood type affects our creative process and design decisions. This project will allow for multiple minds to embrace the physical qualities of wood type and inspire with a series of collaborative letterpress prints and book pages.

In this project, we are exploring the following: how contemporary typefaces can operate within historic printing processes, collaborative experimental printmaking processes, the conceptual nature of the successes and failures of computer and wood technologies. The final goal of the project is one or more exhibitions of collaborative prints and a documentary-style artist book that investigates how others approach a relationship with the physical type and experimental letter-press printing.

We are currently creating two sets of 432 point wood font of the Emigre typeface Vista Sans, designed by Xavier Dupre and printing the initial experimental prints. By the CBAA conference, we will have a significant amount of work completed and will present some of our experiments and findings.

One exhibition is secured for March 2012 in New Orleans. Our project will be included in an upcoming book (publication date Feb 2012) by Paul Cantanese about CNC and printmaking. We are awaiting responses from grant applications about funding.

 
 
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