« Lord of the Bookbinders | Main | Not Dead Yet »

June 17, 2007

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

andreweason

Hi Lee,

I enjoyed getting over to Brooklyn to see that show myself. I agree with what you say about the Proteus show being great because of the fact that one can actually handle the books (it's a fabulous space), and I'm looking forward to their next show on the theme of 'Play'.

From the lectures, I really engaged with Ben Vershbow's ideas about the book as a continuous process rather than a monolithic statement. if:books' take on this is a little different to mine though. I think of artists' books as a place where artists' practice engages in a process of wheeling on whatever roles are necessary to the production: printer, poet, juggler, anarchist, archivist, activist, or whatever. For that argument about what constitutes an artist's book, my response is that for me it's not about what they look like, but about that combination. Not one of these books is by a printmaker, or a poet, or a sculptor, but always by some hybrid of several roles. There is always some mixture of roles informing intention. I don't offer this as a definition, but as just about the only thing they've all got in common. AB's are for me ultimately a platform for allowing this. Books themselves (or book's various essentials) have the qualities that allow this 'staging' or 'conversation' to happen. For me, the process of the book begins with this artist-centric discourse around what the book is, what the strategy of production is, what it's going to look like. Then it begins that process that Ben V spoke about, and undergoes further transformation.

Anyway, nice to read your posting. I must write something myself.

Lee Kottner

Hi Andrew! Thanks for stopping by.

You're right about the hybrid aspect of book arts, and that's part of what appeals to me. As a writer myself, I've always been loathe to self-publish, wanting the legitimization of professional publication, but I'm slowly changing my mind about this. Text and books are inextricably entwined in my mind, but I've always liked the artistic aspect of them as well. Artist's books offer the best of both worlds. And like you, I also like that "conversation" that goes on during production of the book, too. It's an exciting new medium to work in, both as a writer and an artist. I like having the opportunity to exercise both parts of my creativity.

Hypertext really fascinated me when I first got on the net in the early 90s and one of the things I like about is that it seems like a way for ordinary people to take back storytelling, to make that a communal and interactive activity again. I like the idea of books as continuous processes too, which is only practical in cyberspace, unless you're willing and able to print multiple editions.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

My Artist's Books

  • Border and Frontier

    Add to Your Collection

  • Stories From the Ruins

    Add to Your Collection

  • Highfield's Recipes From a Good Life

    Not For Sale

Poets, Poetry, Poetry Orgs

  • A Gathering of the Tribes
    Since 1991, A Gathering of the Tribes has been run as an alternative arts and literary scene at the home of its executive director, Steve Cannon.
  • Academy of American Poets
    Sponsors National Poetry Month in April and has a huge audio archive of readings, much of it available online. They even have an iPhone app!
  • Cave Canem
    Founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape, Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.
  • City Lore
    City Lore is the co-sponsor (with Poets House) of the biennial poetry festival in downtown Manhattan showcasing the nation’s – and the world’s – literary and folk poetry traditions with special attention to poetry’s oral roots.
  • EMOTIVE FRUITION – Where poetry comes to life.
    An interesting group that matches poets with actors for performances of their work.
  • Howl Festival
    The annual Poetry, Theater, Performance Art, Film Comedy and Dance festival in the East Village, usually in September. Named after Allen Ginsberg’s poem.
  • Nuyorican Poets Cafe
    Slams, literary events, readings, music, theater. Founded ca. 1973, originally as a home salon by lit professor Miguel Algarin. Old School slammin'. Don't miss it.
  • Poets House: A Place for Poetry
    Newly renovated and fantastically beautiful: a vast library of poetry books; literary center for readings and performances.
  • St. Mark's Poetry Project
    Started in 1966, the Poetry Project was one of the inspirations for the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. In addition to weekly readings and workshops, they hold a 24-hour poetry reading on New Year’s Day each year.
  • Taiku Poetry
    Tanoa's Haiku an American original
  • The Inspired Word
    Mike Geffner's biweekly showcase of fantastic poets and open mics.
  • The Urban Juke Joint on FaceBook
  • Theodora Goss: Poems
  • WandaLeaBrayton - poet at allpoetry
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Crosstown Traffic

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2003

Fellow Travelers

Web Comics