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[BKARTS] Patriot act takes an artist (good!)



Indeed, I am right now learning book restoration, and no matter what
I think of it, I find it extremely difficult and fussbudgety (..) but
you absolutely proved my point here:

You just took offense because I said your work is "merely"
restoration-- believe me, I know it's not.

 I know it's very very difficult, and very much an "art." But  your
work certainly isn't ever going to be put in a museum (unless the
book is of value in the first place.)

And you know there are a lot of people (I didn't mean *me*) who are
going to say, "What? it's just a moldy old book? who cares?"  maybe
not on this list, but in the general population.  they don't think
what you do is art.

My husband also argues that computer programming can be an art--
while any hack at Microsoft can throw some crappy code together,
there are more elegant, intuitive, and streamlined ways to make
computers run well... and when programmers write that kind of code,
he argues that that is also "art."

BUT HERE'S The POINT:

*YOU don't get to DECIDE what's ART*
I don't get to decide either.
Or my Husband.

And the FEDs shouldn't get to decide either.

I mean, not in our so-called free society.

And have some kind of giant trashbin... take every single piece of
poetry, literature, painting, drawing, binding, music, etc. etc....
from all of human civilzation... and then sit you and some like
minded decent members of society down and decide what is "Art."?
"oops, that has breasts in it, Ashcroft doesn't like them, that goes
in the bin."  "Oh no, not Christian enough. Into the trash."  "That
one might have germs on it."

I mean, really, we could go around and around forever.

And we could even mix it up more. The bookbinder I work with, Daniel
Knowlton, he says restoration isn't ART, it's CRAFT.
How is that? Is that offensive? That's a whole other can of worms we
can open. Art versus craft. But I'm not going there. So don't even.

But his direct quote to me was,

"When I sit down and bind a dictionary and gold tool it and
everything, it's craft. When Richard [Minsky] does the same thing and
then seals it in a fiberglass box so that no one can read it, that's
art."

Which is the definition I've been going by ever since.

-Jenny
Madwoman in the Attic Designs
Lincoln, Rhode Island

Jenny,

Apparently, you don't do book restoration or you wouldn't hold it in such
light regard.  Believe me, anyone who does proper restoration would
tell you that
it is indeed an art. To hear one say of your work that is "merely"
restoration, is an insult.

Since we are on that footing, you mention Picasso and Jackson Pollack. Anyone
can produce such "art."  If one looks at Picasso's pre cubism work they can
see that he had no sense of proportion. I would do cubism too if I insisted on
being considered an artist, yet lacked natural ability. As for Jackson
Pollack, preschoolers can, and I might add, do work of that caliber
when armed with a
few jars of finger paint. Today's definition of an artist, is anyone who says
he (or she, for you delicate folks) is. You didn't mention Maplethorpe.  I
suppose you consider a photo of a crucifix in a jar of urine as art also.  I
also don't think there is anything spectacular about artist books.
Any talented,
or untalented (judging from some books I've seen) can do as well if they so
chose.



Regards,

Ed
http://www.bookrestoration.net/


***********************************************


                       Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
         Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
            Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                   ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
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--
*******************************************
"That's just the nature of democracy. Sometimes pure politics enters
into the rhetoric." -George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, Aug. 8, 2003

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin
*****************************************

***********************************************

                      Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
        Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
           Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                  ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
            ***********************************************



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