(A slight digression)

At some point/place (I can’t remember exactly where or when) in the discussion of POD books among the artists’ books community, someone (I can’t remember who) brought up using POD as a teaching tool. This teacher said that they used POD in order to teach their students about how to organize content in a book. The idea being that if the student does not have to worry about how they are going to physically make the book, then they can focus on the content. It is the reverse of when students first learn a binding structure by putting together a blank book.

Good idea. I will totally use it at some point (when I have that theoretical teaching position).

Of course, the problem with using POD as a way to manipulate “pure” content (even in an educational context) is that it operates under the assumption that the technology is somehow completely transparent and neutral, that it does not, or can not, or should not, bring up questions of form (the same could be said of the mass-produced, offset artists’ book).

But there is rarely a structured assignment that can adequately tackle all possible issues in artmaking.

It’s finally affordable for an artist to make a photographic book in a small edition. That changes things. I know several photo-based artists who have already taken advantage of this. I think it finally opens the door for NewLights to do some more photographically-oriented work, also it may allow an opportunity to engineer some books in order to produce an edition of altered books…

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