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Re: Definition of the Artists Book (YES, again)
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Definition of the Artists Book (YES, again)
- From: Richard Miller <rmiller@PETERBORO.NET>
- Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 19:12:19 -0400
- In-Reply-To: <199803051505.KAA02365@mail.peterboro.net>
- Message-Id: <199803060043.QAA19020@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
>>... while a Typographer can make an artists
>>book, it's primary interest is still visual.
and Charles replied:
>It's perhaps primary, but typography without a distinctive relationship of
>that typography to the content/meaning of the text at hand, is merely a
>typographer's hubris, or just bad work, perhaps.
I don't disagree with you Charles, in fact, I do agree. As a professional
(commercial) book designer/typographer for 25 years, and a private
(letterpress) printer for almost as long, I have the utmost respect for the
text when I'm "doing my thing".
However, referring back to my proposed definition of "artists book" (or
artist's book), I said:
> "Artists book" is a ... book or book-like object in which the primary
> or emphasis, is visual rather than textual.
I still think this covers, rather succinctly, all forms of books -- or
book-like objects (but not book-shaped objects) -- made by artists,
typographers, printmakers, etc, as long as the inherent ideals of
"bookness" are present. Stray too far from the ideals and the work ceases
to be a book and becomes something else.
I think it should also be pointed out that a work can be *both* a book (ie:
a traditional book) and an artist's book, for example when a previously
unpublished text has professional and artistic care lavished upon the
editing, the typesetting, the illustrations (if any), the printing, the
For me, the operative word in my definition is "primary", even if the
relationship between visual/textual is only 51/49.
Oh hell: you say pot -ay- toe, I say pot -ah- toe, let's call the whole
thing off ;-)
Love to all,
Richard Miller <email@example.com>
The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild website: