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Symposium Artists’ Books Anonymous: On the margins May 19th 2012

Doverodde Book Arts Festival IV

Limfjordscentret Doverodde Købmandsgård Fjordstræde 1 • Doverodde • DK-7760 Hurup Thy • Denmark www.bookarts-doverodde.dk


Artists’ Books Anonymous: On the margins Saturday May 19th 2012 Programme: 18:00 - 19:00 Keynote speakers: Maureen Piggins & Ewa Zebrowski (CA) Content and Inspiration in the Book Arts. 19:05 - 19:30 Speakers no. 1 Sylvia Waltering & Lucy May Schofield (UK) Surplus to Requirements. 19:35 - 20:00 Speaker no. 2 Tatiana Ginsberg (USA) Material of the Margins: Handmade Paper in Artist’s Books. 20:05 - 20:30 Speakers no. 3 Doug Beube (USA/CA) Biblioclast: Breaking the Codex. 20:35 - 21:00 Speakers no. 4 Jesvin Puayhwa Yeo (SG) Typography theory & artist’s book structure. 21:00 -

Discussion


Content and Inspiration in the Book Arts Maureen Piggins www.maureenpiggins.com maureen@maureenpiggins.com The talk will be based on the article: Made with Meaning by Maureen Piggins published in The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild magazine Vol.2 No. 2, 2011, page 22-24 – concerning the importance of content in artist’s books. Below the first paragraph of the article. ‘Content has always been a driving force for me in bookmaking, whether derived from existing personal work in other media or in response to curated themes. When I began making artist books in 2009, it was to consolidate work I had done concerning my mother’s death from breast cancer – drawing, painting and writing that collectively found form in a 12-page, double-sided accordion book. Entitled Echo, the book could be displayed three ways, each representing a different aspect of grieving. It was this structure infused with meaning that led me to fall in love with the genre and continue to explore book arts more fully. I now draw upon a multi-media approach which usually incorporates some form of drawing, painting and writing with a more experimental view to format and structure. What remains integral, however, is that every element be related to content.’ (p.22)


Content and Inspiration in the Book Arts Ewa Monika Zebrowski www.ewazebrowski.com ezebrowski@hotmail.com in the margins Poetry has always been considered outside the mainstream, in the margins of literature. And yet, poetry often brings us to consider what is most important, what is at the heart of the matter,. Poets string together words to evoke emotion, often an intense, concentrated experience of words and rhythm. Sea of Lanterns, an unbound book, goes one step further. A collaboration with celebrated Canadian writer Anne Michaels, Sea of Lanterns, brings together poetry and imagery. Images complement words and vice versa. 26 folios to be considered, a meditation. A work to be read in sequence, or not. A work to be looked at and absorbed over time at the reader’s discretion. Slow art. One can choose to look at the photos or read the poetry. One folio at a time. Or spread the entire work out on a table. Sea of Lanterns is a work that finds itself in the margins. A work which deconstructs the experience of the bound book, where dialogue exists between words and images, and sometimes silence. A duet in which writer and photographer converse and create something greater than the sum of its parts. In the margins.


Surplus to Requirements Sylvia Waltering Lecturer – Photography, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK www.battenburgpress.tumblr.com s.waltering@mmu.ac.uk Lucy May Schofield www.lucymayschofield.co.uk babl@lucymayschofield.co.uk We propose to present a paper considering themes of collaboration, collections, ‘marginal’ technology and craft through an exploration and review of our ‘Surplus to Requirements’ project.

Surplus to Requirements is a collaborative publication by two groups of artists at Manchester School of Art (Made Collective) and the University of the West of England, U.W.E Bristol. The artists produced a creative response to two diverse collections in their respective cities, the Bookbarn in Bristol and the Herbarium at Manchester Museum. The resulting artist’s book and box work examine the relevance and usefulness of collections, as well as exploring more universal questions the collections themselves may raise about the past and possibilities they propose for the future. The project was initially prompted by the threat of further loss of traditional printing technology at Manchester School of Art, in the form of the Heidleberg GTO litho press, which in our increasingly fast-paced, digital world is seen as outdated, anachronistic, marginal, too specialist or in fact surplus to requirement. A fascination with the theme of the redundant led the collective to work with and respond to the botany collections housed within the Herbarium at Manchester Museum. Just like traditional printing methods, the original purpose of the Herbarium has also become obsolete with the advancement of technology and the creation of digital archives. The facility today is primarily a source of inspiration to artists rather than being used for scientific research as originally intended. We propose to discuss some of the questions that have been raised from collaborating on this project that we wish to explore and share. Does book arts offer a place for the application of technology no longer seen as relevant, does the form encourage themes that are peripheral, is there a danger through the employment of such technologies and themes for artists’ books to become overly nostalgic and undervalued within contemporary arts.


Material of the Margins: Handmade Paper in Artist’s Books Tatiana Ginsberg Visiting Artist, Mount Holyoke College, MA, USA www.tatianaginsberg.org tsginsberg@gmail.com Within the small but growing field of artists’ books, an even smaller number of people are working with handmade paper specifically created for their projects. What does artist-made paper offer that makes it different from any of the beautiful papers money can buy? Paper is often thought of as a blank slate, ready to receive information. Most of the papers we encounter on a daily basis are unassertive, acting only as a substrate for writing or images. But for book artists, paper is a means of conveying messages that makes use of multiple senses. We not only read artists’ books with our eyes, but with our hands. Perhaps as we turn the pages we even receive auditory and olfactory information, becoming aware of sound and smell. Artists’ books can offer us a full sensory experience. This is why paper made specifically for a book project can be so powerful. Making your own paper, or working in close collaboration with a papermaker, embeds content into the book from the beginning. The paper becomes substance rather than substrate, and ideas become part of the very fiber of the project. And the margins of the book are not blank, but filled with meaning. Using examples from my own work and others, my talk will look at handmade paper’s role in artists’ books. I hope to encounter other artists interested in working this way at the conference, and offer some ideas that others can add to.


The Biblioclast: Breaking the Codex Doug Beube www.dougbeube.com dbeube@mindspring.com Through altered bookwork through collage, mixed media, photography and sculpture, my work explores the book itself, by folding, fragmenting and gouging, a seemingly antiquated technology that is still purposeful in a digital age. The codex, which literally means a block of wood in Latin, is undeviating in its essential form; its fixity is antithetical to the capabilities of the computer to function on a synergetic and simultaneous plane. Although the codex, compared with computers, is undeniably limited in its capacity to store, perpetuate, generate and recreate information, I accept these boundaries. (I’m not referring to the paginated works of artists’ books; that is an entirely different category that has flourished with various software programs; artists’ books remain an open-ended medium.) Using the term ‘bookart’, I apply quasisoftware functions such as cutting, pasting and hidden text onto an analog system; it does not work it cannot. The codex is intractable as a technology; restricted from interacting with it by not altering its inevitable course, you read linearly from beginning to end. It is essentially inflexible. That is its built-in personality flaw; that is its elegance.


Typography theory & artist’s book structure. Jesvin Puayhwa Yeo Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media, Singapore. www.jesvinyeo.com jesvinyeo@ntu.edu.sg This proposed paper reports the experimental journey of book making process that explores how bookbinding that inspired from the enjoyable experience of viewing an artist’s book can be incorporated in relating typography theory. The objective of the study is to investigate whether experimental artist book design can enhance the reading experience of understanding typography theory. The study also aims to explore the possibility of creating hand constructed book structures by employing folding and cutting from a single piece of paper. The study employed two methods in the exploration of artist book structure design. Eastern traditional bookbinding methods were brought into play as the basic for the study. The other method utilized the craft of die-cutting and folding to understand the experimental book structures. The focusing of the study was on the interaction of space, rhythm and form as to enhance and comprehend the content better. Therefore, the processes of cutting and binding were all handicraft, except some printing was involved to explain the theory in the book structures. The outcome was five experimental artist book structures. The results of the study show that typography theory can be presented with artist book design, in which space, rhythm and form can be considered in book structures to promote hands-on interaction. This paper will reflects upon the journey, the challenges, the design process, as well as the result.


Members of the Symposium Jury Panel Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck, organiser of the Doverodde Book Arts Festival IV & Symposium 2012 has headed the review of papers with the jury panel. www.ambeckdesign.blogspot.com nordicbookarts@gmail.com Sarah Bodman is Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), where she runs research projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts. She is the author of Creating Artists’ Books, the editor of the Artist’s Book Yearbook a biennial reference publication on contemporary book arts, the Book Arts Newsletter, and The Blue Notebook journal for artists’ books. Sarah also writes a regular column on artists’ books for the ARLIS News-Sheet, and the journal Printmaking Today. www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk Angie Butler has over the past ten years lectured in a variety of institutions throughout the UK, Europe, USA and SE Asia. She holds Masters Degrees in both Visual Culture: Fine Art, and Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking: specialising in Artists’ Books. Angie has a particular research interest in the resurgence of Letterpress within Book Arts Practice, and her own books are held in UK and international Public and Private collections. www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/angietext.htm www.len4letterpress.blogspot.com www.thepetgaleriepress.wordpress.com Andrew Eason completed a PhD on artists’ books in 2010, exploring the nature of artists’ books effects on artists’ perceptions of their creative selves and the roles they adopt in the creation of their work. He is subsequently undertaking research on artists’ books effects on readers’ critical literacy in library contexts. A maker of artists’ books himself since 1995, he continues to create them and looks forward to completing his research and returning to creative practice for a time, beginning in summer 2012. www.andreweason.com mail@andreweason.com


Linda Newington studied for a BA Fine Art, Painting and graduated with a first class honours degree from Winchester School of Art. She then worked as a Library Assistant at the British Museum (Natural History) in the Botany Library, curating the collection of botanical drawings, paintings and prints. During this time she trained as a librarian and is now Faculty Leader at the University of Southampton Library. In 2007 she completed an MA in the History of Textiles and Dress, her dissertation focusing on the image and status of knitting in relation to the Knitting Collections held by the University Library. She has responsibility for the Artists’ Books Collection and the Knitting Reference Library located at Winchester School of Art. www.southampton.ac.uk L.A.Newington@soton.ac.uk Mike Nicholson is a artist/writer of his own range of narrative editions called bio auto graphic - an ongoing partwork which has been collected internationally, including by Tate Collection, V&A (UK) and Smith College (USA). He is also a lecturer in Graphic Design at the University for the Creative Arts. www.ensixteeneditions.blogspot.com ladnicholson@yahoo.co.uk Tom Sowden is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Fine Print Research and a member of the teaching team for the MA Multi-disciplinary Printmaking course at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Tom works across a number of disciplines, primarily with the artist’s book format and video but also sculpture, photography, drawing and printmaking. His recent artistic practice involves a knowing but light-hearted approach that references and mimics the aspirational work of American conceptual artists from the 1960s and 1970s. Tom, along with the Berlinbased poet and conceptual artist Michalis Pichler, has also been collecting and exhibiting books by artists who – like himself – produce work in the style of Ed Ruscha under the title Follow-ed (after hokusai). Tom.Sowden@uwe.ac.uk www.tomsowden.com


Sponsors 2012

Symposium: Artists' Books Anonymous: On the margins, 2012  

Symposium: Artists' Books Anonymous: On the margins – May 19th 2012. Appendix to the catalogue 2012: 'On the margins'.

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