If you’re at the Center for the Book in Iowa this fall, make sure to check out the Handy Books exhibition, including this upcoming symposium and opening reception. I’m really excited to be a part of this exhibition, because it uses historic examples as the basis for artists’ responses (BUT those responses have to consider movable components of the book beyond the usual function of a codex). I created a piece that moves well beyond the codex form, using three egg shapes with movable components to tell a story (you can see a video of it in action here).
I used two examples from the Bentley Museum’s collection: A dissolving picture book, and a fragment of a microfiche Lunar Bible housed in a Faberge egg. The good folks at UICB posted a few photos as teasers before the opening, and I am *so excited* to see all the great works that my piece was put in conversation with. As always, they have done an amazing job, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the exhibit once it opens!
Side view (Photo courtesy UI Center for the Book)
Look at all these rad books in a case (photo courtesy UI Center for the Book)
One last note: I’m especially happy about this exhibit because it’s one of four (!) I’ve been in so far this year (if you know me IRL you know that I historically was pretty shy about sharing my art, so that’s a big deal). I don’t see that train stopping, so expect to see more of my art in public spaces moving forward!
I’m beyond excited to announce that I’ll be serving as the new Editor for the Fine Press Book Association’s journal, Parenthesis. The journal combines theory and practice in a way I really enjoy, and I have some big shoes to fill from the previous editors, who have cultivated a journal known for its strong reviews and compelling writing. Is there something new you want to see in the journal? Something we’re doing already that you love? Let me know in the comments!
Today I am finishing up the tangible portion of my Center for the Book final project. I have created a set of photos on Flickr that show the completed pamphlet book and the ductus for the calligraphy I used. I would like to invite anyone who does calligraphy or is interested in calligraphy to use the ductus I created and modify it as you see fit. I created the ductus by examining a number of Elizabethan-era documents and picking out both commonalities in how different letters were constructed and how they were fit together.
I would also like to invite all my readers to attend the UICB Final Project Reception, featuring the work of myself, Lee Marchalonis, Jill Kambs, and Zach Stensen. Musical entertainment will be provided by Peter Balestrieri, and refreshments will be served. The reception is from 4:30-6:30 PM on this Saturday (May 7, 2011) in the Times Club (upstairs at Prairie Lights bookstore.) I look forward to seeing you there, and want to thank everyone for your support and feedback while I’ve been working on this project!
>Readers, this has been a wonderful week or so for serendipity in my life. I have stumbled upon a lot of great resources (some recent, some that I’ve rediscovered while transferring my Delicio.us tags to Google) that made me realize my blog posts have been a bit neglectful of the book arts side of my work (and of my book arts friends around the world!) In an attempt to remedy this, let me share with you some of what I’ve been getting excited about in book arts land recently:
>I recently had a discussion with a friend (the wonderful Amanda Langdon) about artists’ books when she was trying to describe them for a paper. Talking with her gave me the opportunity to think about how I define an artist’s book (especially since the published literature and the content of library collections gives such broad, and sometimes conflicting, definitions.)
The big thing that I think separates an artist’s book from a commercially-produced book is the interplay between form and content. Broadly defined they’re books created primarily to be ‘art’ rather than to be a book in the traditional sense. They are still functional (ie you should be able to interact with them as books) but they were not created by a publishing house with the sole purpose of showcasing an author’s content-they were created by an artist to showcase both their binding work and the interaction between content and form.
>If you remember my post on readers and new media from a couple weeks ago, I mentioned this article on an author (Jurgen Neffe) who took advantage of the e-reader format to create circular texts, or ones without a beginning or end. A quick internet search on the author revealed this article entitled “The disembodied book,” which is a pretty thorough discussion of the author’s views on the future of the book and authorship, and the future of reading. He is optimistic about the possibility of more authors being recognized and readers interacting with texts in new ways, although he frames this within the downfall of the print book. I’m one of those folks that feels like we don’t have to choose: I have a Kindle e-reader but still read paper texts as well. However, he doesn’t associate the reduction of print books to their complete elimination, which is an argument I feel has been made far too many times (insert frantic ‘print is dying! We will never read printed books again!’ comments here). Continue reading
>While some readers are aware of my other blog (and accompanying project), I have not given it the discussion on this blog that it deserves! The blog can be found at this link, and is a part of a larger project called “Modernizing Markham.” Gervase Markham was a 17th century English writer, who published books about cookery, horse care, orchards, and sport. I ran across his book, The English Housewife, in the University of Iowa’s Szathmary Collection–an awesome collection of cookbooks, manuscripts, and even kitchen appliance manuals. I wrote a paper about it for a class, but I wanted to do more. I decided to focus on Markham for my Center for the Book final project.