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Re: [BKARTS] Dissolving Books

This discussion of the books by Tom Trusky's students ties in with the previous discussion started by Clifton Meador' s JAB article. I think it is important to keep in mind the importance of the relationship between the content of the book and the form of the book. And craft IS an important factor in the form of the book. A spiral binding can be the perfect choice depending on the book that is being made. I looked at the parameters of the assignment that Tom gave his students: "Rationale: materials used in bookworks should be carefully selected. Successful bookmakers always employ the appropriate and frequently they exploit special features, properties, or idiosyncrasies of the "ingredients" in their books to augment, emphasize, or enhance their themes or meanings. In such works we see a fusion of form and content.
The "Dissolving Books" assignment requires students to initially consider only one element in their bookwork: choice of paper. This requirement should not be seen as a restriction, however, but as an opportunity to create a biblio synergy. Students employing and integrating appropriate elements, as well as addressing appropriate themes or topics, will have produced not just any book, they will have created an "artists' book."

I would also like to revisit what Inge Bruggeman wrote in respond to the Meador article, think it applies here as well. "I get the sense that Meador would like to distance craft and traditional fine press work from the field of artist's books (or the field of book art as Minsky states). I would prefer to see the complexity and multi- faceted nature of the field of artists' books embraced and defined, instead of cutting off and distancing ourselves from the parts that are not as accepted by the larger art community."

Sneering at spiral bindings is another attempt to cut off a possible approach to the field of artists' books. Again what I think is most important is that the FORM of the book and the CONTENT of the book are of equal importance and each works with the other to make the whole.

Emily Martin

Emily Martin
The Naughty Dog Press
742 7th Avenue South
Iowa City, IA 52240 USA
319 338-7266 319 338-5741 (fax)
The University of Iowa Center for the Book

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