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Re: Definition of the Artists Book (YES, again)



Gillian Boal wrote:

> I like the definition below but would suggest that one area can dominate
> and the other support as it would result in a different emphasis. For
> example a fine press book with a very simple binding would mean that the
> bulk of the intended message was the printing itself and the binding was a
> support but it would still be called an artist's book. As a teacher of the
> bookbinding aspect of artist's books we concentrated on the form and my
> opinion is that to get what Darryl has described we should have
> collaboration between writer, printer, bookbinder and hopefully we could
> get the harmony! Somewhat like Claire Van Vleit does.
> Gillian Boal
> On Wed, 4 Mar 1998, Darryl Baird wrote:
>
> > My definition.
> >
> > An artists book is a harmonious composite of design, form,  content, and
> > context with no one area dominating or responsible for the bulk of
> > intended message(s). The overlapping of form (materials) and content
> > (message) is quite often the major vehicle for creative expression.

I read and thought a lot about this thread since I first responded. Nothing
has really changed my mind or my definition of an artist's book. I'd comment
the above scenario would work better if the "intent" of the artists was to
signal to the reader/beholder the binding was meant to be insignificant,
ephemeral, etc. The book as art needs the interaction of materials and design
concerns to communicate in non-verbal ways. If one area dominates as above,
it should be with the ultimate goal to communicate _something_ by this
obvious shift from tradition.

Let me modify the concept of "dominate" as "shoulder the message alone or
nearly alone."

Also, filter my definition with the fact my book "art" always (so far) takes
the form of book parody.  My books critique and subvert other book forms. It
has to do a good job with form AND content or it tends to fail.

-Darryl

P.S. I dream of the day when I can work in collaboration with a good
press(person) and bindery. I'm currently a one-man-band.


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