In an arena that now includes both digital and traditionally produced artists' books, what will constitute the concepts of artists' publishing in the future?
This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from March 2008 - February 2010. The AHRC funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please see the website www.ahrc.ac.uk
This project investigated and discussed issues concerning the context and future of the artist's book, in an attempt to extend and sustain critical debate of what constitutes an artist's book in the 21st Century.
One of the key points of this project was to try and include all the book related activity that artists engage with. To include work that was being produced on, and exclusively for, digital technologies within the book arts field, and not leave it floundering uncomfortably on the edge, or subjected to a different terminology altogether, if the artist considered what they were producing to be a book, then we felt it should be included. We also looked at the continued practice of traditional production processes for artists' books such as letterpress, etching, lithography, screenprint and woodcut, and have interviewed a range of artists and publishers who work with these, as well as those producing livres d'artistes, fine press books, design bindings, multiples, installation and audio books.
All of the outcomes from this project are available below as free downloads. They run chronologically from the first interviews onwards. Please see the links for particular presentations as text or audio downloads from our seminars and conference, and focus points such as all the interviews from Poland.
The link below to New Wave - Artists' Books in the 21st Century , contains an online gallery of 100 artists' books as examples of the many variations within the book arts, from traditional craft to experimental works. These offer a range of concepts and formats of artists' publishing, from knitted books to i-pod publications, free download e-books, hypertext works, phone-based works, POD books, letterpress, hand printed etc. What all of these books have in common is content - from political, observational, reflective, humorous, calls to action, treatises, books that talk to each other to books that question our relationship with both the word and the world.
Our manifesto proposes that all of these areas will fit under book arts. Download a copy of the 7pp statement A Manifesto for the Book.
Download the colour 187 pp publication A Manifesto for the Book, which contains our statement for a manifesto, and an edited selection of interviews, essays, presentations, case studies, and some ABTREEs from the project.
If you prefer to have a hard copy of the publication, we have made it available
in black and white print, at cost as a Print-on-Demand book at lulu.com:
How are artists using and investigating new media for publishing? Where are we going with this? Where will the books end up?
Audio and PDF downloads of information from our first seminar
Created at Artist Books 3.0 in 2008 for this project by Tom Sowden. The forum intended to run until July 2009, but more members
continue to join, so it will carry on indefinitely. The group currently has 87 members, and has discussed issues such as Artists' Books or Artists' Publications; Defining the Book; Theorising the Artist's Book and Phone Books.
21st Century Book Group
As part of the project, The Centre for Fine Print Research invited E F Stevens, in the USA to produce a phone-based book, as a series of short, text pieces to create an artist's book in six instalments which was texted to whoever signed up for the free bookwork. E.F. Stevens has allowed us to also upload the texts for viewing as part of the project archive: Awaiting Transmission
We interviewed artists, educators, researchers, students, publishers and librarians, during our November visit to the USA:
An interview with John Risseeuw who has been involved in book arts since 1967, and teaches courses in Fine Printing & Bookmaking, Papermaking, Artists' Books, and Photo Processes for Printmaking, at Arizona State University, USA. He is also the proprietor of his own Cabbagehead Press and Director of ASU's Pyracantha Press.
A discussion with staff and students from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago: Ann Tyler, Veronika Corzo-Duchardt, Justyna Palka, Mark Addison Smith, Heejin Kim, Renate Gokl and Bethany Armstrong.
Download our case study of a model book art centre with Jeff Rathermel at Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) Minneapolis
Interview with Doro Böhme, Ramon Cartwright, Andrew Blackley and Elissa Papendick at the Joan Flasch Artists' Books Collection at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Every student in the School will have a mandatory introduction to the artist's book collection.
Downloada PDF of our interview with Sally Alatalo - Sara Ranchouse Publishing
An interview with Clifton Meador at The Center for Book & Paper Arts(CBPA), Columbia College, Chicago.
Listen to our reports on the USA in Session 2 of seminar 2 as MP3 audio files
We reported back on the project's findings to date, and the series of interviews with artists working with books over the last six months. We discussed how artists in different areas work with books, how artists' books are perceived and showed examples of the variety of concepts and formats we had studied. Guest speakers Barrie Tullett (Caseroom Press, Lincoln) and Guy Begbie (Hereford College of Arts) offered their views on publishing artists'books and teaching book arts.
You can download PDF information sheets and listen to MP3 audio files from seminar 2.
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
The first selection of books which formed part of the New Wave exhibition of artists' publishing, shown at Impact Printmaking Conference in September 2009.
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
The second selection of books which formed part of the New Wave exhibition of artists' publishing, shown at Impact Printmaking Conference in September 2009.
Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July 2009
Many thanks to all of our speakers: Emily Artinian, Kenneth Butler, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Paul Clarke, Richard Cox, Bibiana Crespo, Zenon Fajfer, Angela Gardner, Andi McGarry, seekers of lice, Clare Thornton, Kathleen Walkup and Julian Warren for their wonderful presentations.
Text downloads and audio files from the conference
Thanks also to Francis Elliott (Foundry) for Dark Globe Enclosed Systems, to Baysan Yüksel for showing her artists' books, Angela Gardner for the light-trap press displays, Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer for showing Liberature publications, and to all of you who sent their ABtree diagrams for our first display wall.
Thanks to all the delegates for coming, some from as far away as Australia, USA, Denmark and Belgium. We hope you all enjoyed the conference as much as we did!
New Wave - Artists' Books in the 21st Century, September 2009
This exhibition of 100 artists' books forms part of our project, and was specially curated for IMPACT Multi-disciplinary Printmaking Conference from 16-19 September 2009. The exhibition is archived with an online gallery.
Many thanks to all of the artists, academics, students, presses, publishers, curators, dealers and collectors who completed the online survey forms and ABTREE diagrams for the project April 2008 - July 2009.
The ABTREE diagrams were shown as part of the New Wave
exhibition in September 2009 at Impact
Multi-disciplinary Printmaking Conference.
Investigating the artist's book
Essays and interviews with artists, curators, academics and collectors in South America, UK & Ireland, Spain, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Sweden and Germany:
methods of distribution for artists' books and 1982, DOOM KNOTS,
an artist's project which utilised Bluetooth to transmit a daily series
of short texts to office workers in London.
L. Vandegrift Davala
an artist based in County
Sligo, Ireland, who works across a number of disciplines. Her recent
work has utilised interactive digital technologies in the production of
An interview with Dmitry Sayenko
at the BuchDruckKunst
at Museum der Arbeit, Hamburg. Dmitry Sayenko
ventured into the field of artists' books in 1993, working with colour woodcut and linocut, and binding his own books by hand. He established his own publishing house Nikodim
press in St. Petersburg in 2000.
An interview with Dr Paulo Silveira
and Dr Maria Lucia Cattani
, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Silveira is the coordinator of the publishing section of Editora da UFRGS
, the author of A página violada
(the violated page) 2001, and regularly writes articles on contemporary art and the artist's book. He is a member (heading the artists' books section) of the research group Veículos da Arte
- Vehicles of Art. Cattani is an artist and professor at the UFRGS
(Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) Instituto de Artes in Porto Alegre Brazil
, who works with
artists' books, prints and site-specific pieces.
An interview with Victoria Bianchetti
, artist, Argentina on her artists' books and book arts practice in Argentina, including the Instantes Gráficos
group founded by Carla Rey
Interview with Eriko Hirashima
founder of La Libreria
artists' bookshop and space in Singapore
An interview with the Swedish artist and bookbinder Monica Langwe
. Langwe specialises in historical binding techniques, and is the author of Limp bindings from Tallinn
, which explores limp bindings in long-stitch,
chain-stitch and ticketing, from her research at the Tallinn City Archives
An interview with Maria White
Chief Cataloguer at Tate Britain (www.tate.org.uk),
in their collection store to discuss Tate's definition of artists'
books, what is collected under that remit, and what White thinks about collecting
An interview with Kyoko Tachibana
, Sohon Studio
Japan, on artists' books in the digital era and her own practice around
An interview with Ulrike Stoltz
artist and Professor for typography at the Hochschule für Bildende
Künste Braunschweig, Germany.
on the Barcelona-based artists' books group 13L, formed in 1998. The artists in the group produce individual and collaborative book works and artists' books in many forms.
This directory was compiled as part of the project. Entries include: Artist's
Book Galleries & Centres, Public and Private Collections & Collectors,
Publishers & Presses, Bookshops and Dealers, Educational & Professional
Organisations, Artists, Artist's Book Fair Organisers.
Bookarts Directory 2010
The PDF contains a reference booklist; links to some online essays; links to examples of virtual, download, e-books and online book projects; links to examples of hypertext works; some useful websites for information, societies, artists, creating books and zines, and POD - Print on Demand publishing.Bibliography / Further Reading
The case studies range from simple one-page Q&A mini case studies to more in-depth interviews conducted in situ, or over a few months by email during 2008 - 2009. We aimed for a range of case studies with artists, publishers, presses, dealers, collectors, lecturers and students. Where the subjects produced an altered ABTREE diagram, these have been included in their case studies.