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Saturday, April 27 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Artists’ Books: Turning the Page to the Future

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Sponsored by Special Collections, University of Santa Cruz Library 

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Enabling Discovery of Artists' BooksNina Schneider, Librarian, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA 

Contemporary Artist's Books Artist's Publishing- Tony White, Director of Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art 

Artists’  Books Deserve Critical Inquiry: JAB the Journal of Artists’  Books 1994-2013 and Beyond - Brad Freeman, Editor/Founder, Journal of Artists' Books (JAB) and Studio Coordinator, Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College 

Galerie de Difformité: (un)Making the Artists' Book Gretchen Henderson, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at MIT 

Moderator: Yvonne Boyer, Librarian for History of Art, Art, French & Italian, Vanderbilt University

The status of books of all kinds is undergoing serious challenges, mostly from the transition from hard copy to digital versions.  As a case study of this trend, artist’s books occupy a special position, as a central premise has been their condition as hand-crafted and unique pieces of art, endowed with highly specific qualities such as materials and form of manufacture, resulting in objects that stress their material presence in real space and time. The digital revolution in the book industry and in librarianship would seem to place the survival of these precious artworks into a state of precariousness.

How will the rapidly advancing technologies transforming writing, publishing, and librarianship create a space where such a traditional and historically hand-labor based form of book making can not only survive, but thrive?  Will contemporary and future artists’ books fully embrace the digital domain and, in doing so, help to formulate the question, “What is a book?” in ways that we cannot anticipate at present?  Those book artists who do not choose to make this shift, who will continue to work with real materials and manual manufacture, will force us to consider ever more deeply how such an object will and should continue to be presented, collected, and read by a public still in the midst of this transformative moment. There may be, however, developments in this specific genre of books that does not take either the digital or the traditional route, but rather re-imagine format and content issues in new and unprecedented ways that will attract a new generation of readers and present opportunities and challenges to libraries.  

This session will present ways of thinking through this challenge from various disciplines, including those of a book artist-scholar, a librarian-scholar, and an emerging book artist.  We librarians need to immerse ourselves in these critical issues at this important stage of their development, as they will affect collection policy, storage, disseminating, as in outreach and exhibition opportunities, and teaching artists’ books.

Saturday April 27, 2013 10:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Conference Center 212/214

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