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Re: [BKARTS] Impressions from Action/Interaction?



Dear Michelle,

Cheers to you for attending! Half of what went on was the quality of the
discussions those who attended provided.

The thing about art as a process/event thing was a big part of Fluxus,
wasn't it? Have we abandoned that to the museums? Or does our field still
have the flexibility to harness different ways of working, different roles,
including different ways of achieving the performative aspect of books to
whatever we think of as the book component?

I pretty much make your standard codex-with-pictures, myself, but I'm
interested in those who find ways to put together authorship and readership
in new and unexpected ways.

I think there are different phenomenologies of 'reading' depending on
whether this implies, on the one hand, something connected to the
more-or-less-traditional intimate encounter with a portable book structure,
or something much more esoteric, mediated in other ways and more remote from
what we'd recognise as a 'book experience'. But what might be the links
between those two possible experiences? What might they have in common? I
think that'd give us some inkling as to why the second artist chose to think
of their work as in some way booklike. (Whether they're whirling  a bola of
burning pages around their heads chanting  Emerson or guiding tourists down
a city street pasted with their posters).

Jonathan Lill, at the  conference, was asking us if we thought books could
achieve the things that other artworks could do and gave Richard Serra as a
possible example of something we might compare book-experiences to.
Sometimes I feel Serra as a sort of processional space, a kind of secular
labyrinth that feels remarkably like a Carrión "sequence of spaces". But
it's not a book, however much I read the space. Why? Because, for Serra,
it's sculpture. My experience has something in common with reading, but
Serra's experience of making isn't the experience of a book artist. It's the
experience of a sculptor.

That's why I'm interested in talking to book artists about what their
experience of making books is all about. What does it let them achieve? What
roles to they adopt to do so? And so on. I'll never 'define' what that
experience is. I hope no-one tries to. Far more interesting to me is the
always-expanding range of different strategies and conceptions of working
that individual artists will adopt beneath the flag of convenience of book
art (or something similar). For some, books will be right at the core of
what they do, for others, it's a marginal pursuit, indulged in to harness a
particular effect. But I'd like to learn what they imagine those effects
are. That would give us a broader conception of book making. That might, in
turn, help us to a broader conception of the phenomenon of reading.

All the best,
Andrew Eason
www.andreweason.com

On 13/06/07, Michelle Wilson <michelle_print@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Dear Andrew (and Book-Arts-L), I wanted to respond to your question about making book art work and its relationship with contemporary art. Katie Baldwin (of Tango Book Arts) and I were discussing this very issue, and its relationship to the four componets of book art that they presented in their panel: language, structure, time, and interactivity. They presented a number of artists (off the top of my head I remember Xu Bing, Louise Bourgeouis, William Kentridge, and the Megawords collective, but I think I'm forgetting two or three others) who use these ideas to inform their body of work.

I was saying that I feel that as a young artist, I am watching an almost
paradigm shift in comtemporary art. I feel that what is shifting is a focus
on the experience of an artwork, rather that a focus on object. I can see
it's relationship to art history, it seems a very natural progression, and
I'm not saying it's happened overnight.

Book art fits in here because it is an art form that needs to be
experienced, but also is handy enough to travel easy, and can be folded up
neatly and places on a shelf. Perhaps the discussions about books needs to
follow this shift. When we talk about a book, we often talk about the object
- it's printing, binding, materials, etc. Maybe now we need to talk about
the experience the book provides.

On another note - the Chicago conference was excellent, and the exhibition
was amazing. I want to send out some cheers to the Chicagoans who put it
together. I'm very glad I attended.

Michelle Wilson
Philadelphia

Andrew Eason <aeason@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: Dear Book_Arts-L,

I'm keen to find out what people made of the Action/Interaction conference
in Chicago recently. What worked? What didn't? What was new?

I liked the notions that kept popping up about extending (or renewing?)
the
discourse of book arts practice to engage more with what's going on around
us. I'm sure we're all doing that all the time. I engage like heck,
myself.
But how can we talk about it so that people in other fields can see the
value of what we're doing in more widely-understood critical terms? How
can
we make book art work that it is vital to know about in order to
understand
contemporary art? Is that an impossible dream? (Sorry for the Man of La
Mancha-ness of that last sentence).

(disclosure- I led a discussion session at this conference entitled
'Beyond
Artifacts: Book Arts as Practice'.)

All the best,
Andrew Eason
www.andreweason.com

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             ***********************************************
               The Bonefolder, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2007
          Now Online @ <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>

     Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
                Online exhibit and catalog order form at
       <http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
             ***********************************************


***********************************************
The Bonefolder, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2007
Now Online @ <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
Online exhibit and catalog order form at
<http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
***********************************************



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