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Re: [BKARTS] bookart

> Why not simply have the central criterion be that the
> artwork makes a significant reference to a book, or to some
> material or notional aspect of the Book, or books, so that
> through reflection a viewer brings the art into being?

Many artworks are inspired by nature, but we do not call them
"treeworks, leafworks, or riverworks" let alone trees, leaves, or

> An artists' book that aspires to _be_ a book is of little
> value, since books already do a great job of being books.

Are you saying that you think hand-crafted bindings
constructed by master bookbinders are "of little value?"
What about letterpress works?  Photography books?

Aren't you, in fact, saying that if it is a book, it can not
be an artists book "of value?"  Is this not very close to
"if it is a book, then it can not be an artists' book?"

> semi-absurd

It has been said that the use of obscene words is an indication
of an inadequate vocabulary.  Similarly, I believe that the use
of personal attacks (as in derogatory comments about another's
intelligence or other personal characteristics) are an
indication that the writer lacks confidence in their own
argument, their ability to express it, or their ability to
continue to hold it in the face of argument to the contrary
(the "everyone who doesn't agree with me is stupid or bad"
syndrome).  It should be clear to anyone who has been part of
this list for over a week that there are people from a variety
of backgrounds who participate here, including those who, such
as yourself, create artists book  but also bookbinders, printers,
library, conservation and preservation professionals,
and many others.  The viewpoints on such a broad question as
"what is a book" are going to vary widely and to dismiss the
views of others as having no value (let alone their works!) is
to prove yourself unable to see a question from multiple
perpectives.  You certainly do not have to agree with a point
of view to see some value in it, nor to treat the person
expounding it with a modicum of respect.


-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
Michael Joseph
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 2:51 PM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [BKARTS] bookart


Some good, , questions! I sympathize with your underlying
frustration with the open-endedness of book. However, is it necessary that
an artists' book be a book?   Anything else would be superfluous. I think if
you can
accept that, the problem of determining what is or isn't a book shrinks in
significance. Of course, you'll still have artists' book makers who might
see a Rodin or Mondrian (or cave painting) as a kind of found artists'
book, and might insist that some painting *is* a book. But that only goes
to show the conceptual fertility of artists' books, once one has made the
phenomenological step.


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