“A book is a flexible mirror of the mind and the body. Its overall size and proportions, the color and texture of the paper, the sound it makes as the pages turn, and the smell of the paper, adhesive and ink, all blend with the size and form and placement of the type to reveal a little bit about the world in which it was made. If the book appears to be only a paper machine, produced at their own convenience by other machines, only machines will want to read it.”
–Robert Bringhurst

“I want to be a machine.” –Andy Warhol

How can the emergent texts and practices of postmodernism in the visual arts (minimalism, pop, conceptual art, etc.), in which the artists’ book had its beginning as an “art genre,” be used to re-evaluate the artists’ book and push it toward a productive, generative, and/or critical fusion with contemporary art & writing?

Is it possible, given the current state of criticism in the field of bookarts, to come up with a working theoretical model, for use by a working artist, that can account for producing different “types” of books (“artists’ books” vs. “fine press books,” etc.)? Is a theoretical model even needed? Should artists maintain or cultivate an ambivalent attitude towards those categories and just see what comes out? What comes first, the theory or the work?

How does the Book Arts vs. Artists’ Books discussion fit into, or follow the lines of, the art/craft discussion? Is it just a specialized version of that argument?

Is there only “good craft (well-made)” and “bad craft (poorly made)?” Or are there “other” modes of working within the terms of craftsmanship that open new subjective categories?

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