Conference: Traditional and emerging formats of artists' books: Where do we go from here?

Kathleen Walkup : USA
Mills College

The book is a public place

One way to consider the trajectory of emerging formats in artists' books is to examine where they've been.

In the 1970s the several strands of conceptual art, letterpress craft, contemporary poetry, comics, little magazines and photography began to find some common ground in the output of many small presses in the US and the UK.

These artifacts, which came to be called artists' books or book art, were also affected by the major technological shifts in production that paralleled their rise.

And, as the ground was shifting under the traditional form of the book in terms of conception and development, the gallery began to challenge the library as a space for viewing these works, thus complicating the already contested space occupied by this 'new' medium in all of its various forms. Technology pushed the form and format of the work, but so did issues about appropriate repositories for it.

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