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Re: [BKARTS] Too Complex to Explain



I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussions about the Qld State Library site/all sides of the argument and the further discussion on how to explain what it is book artists do...From my limited perspective these problems seem to be endemic in modern western society where one discipline is divided off from another. After studying Moorish culture in relation to book covers for years, it seems that it was easier to be an artist and a scholar, an architect and a book designer, a craftsperson and an academic prior to the 1800s than it is now. As a writer who has studied editing professionally, and an artist who likes to uses my paintings on book covers of the books I write, these artificial boundaries make it almost impossible to describe what I do.. It is frustrating to be limited to a category of person such as "editor' or "writer' when you are a whole person who loves and participates in the world of books. One of the problems is with the words themselves that describe artists and binders and writers and designers...we need bigger words, words that contain more and refer to more skills and aspects of the craft...but perhaps, it is not worth worrying about how it is explained to others, but to understand how we explain it to ourselves ..Take Henry Petroski for example ... He is an engineer but has written one of the most popular books in the study of book history titled "The Book on the Bookshelf" where he outlines the history of shelves and in so doing takes the reader into the world of books. I think as long as we don't limit the field, others can be taught not to limit it either...My dinner party line is "I'm into books" then I can talk about the making of them, the history of books, the art of book design, the craft, the writing, reading and shelfing, binding, covers, calligraphy...where do we draw the line with "book arts"? If we say it is a book..does that make it a book? If I staple two pieces of paper together - is that a binding? This is a discussion worthy of a hundred doctorates..but surely this academic debate is not the defining component...surely it is the intent of the artist that defines what they are doing, rather than the audience or the library where the art is housed...?
Just thinking out loud...
best regards
Jessica




----- Original Message ----- From: "Signa Houghteling" <judy@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 5:53 AM
Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World



If asked, how about, "It's just too complex to explain, and involves a
lifetime journey of learning, experiencing and expressing all that goes into
my life in my craft"?


-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
Linda M. Cunningham
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 9:47 PM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Telling of the Book Arts World


Michelle Wilson <michelle_print@xxxxxxxxx>


  Which goes back to my original question, how do you all explain
what it is you do to others?

<sigh> Michelle brings up a great point: for those of us (like me!) who can't be catagorized into a specific niche, what *do* we call ourselves?

I spin, and knit, but was trained as a writer, editor, DTP geek, and
indexer: I use all of these skills in the art I produce.  While I
bill myself as a "fibre (I'm in Canada, eh?) artist," I'm also all of
those other things (my day gig demands I use 'em).

And besides having run my own business, curated museum shows, and
gone to graduate school, where I'm considered to be a chimera of
architect and planner, I haven't quit expanding my horizons yet.

My preference is "visual artist" but I'm certainly open to other
suggestions....

Happy New Year, y'all! (damn: why did First Night in Calgary die?)

Linda

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See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
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