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[BKARTS] Criteria for Good Book Art

Gerald wrote:
> does anyone really believe that organization around a set of criteria
> will validate the artist's book? and if so, to whom? And does that
> "whom" really matter in the long run?

It's a good quote about "artist's taking a stand against the errors and
stupidities of his civilization" but validation is neither a necessary nor
a sufficient condition for an artist's book. I'm  not sure who "whom"
refers to, but Keynes noted "In the long run, we are all dead." Perhaps
that's a sufficient reason to use archival materials.

Since Gerald has invoked Nietzsche and we are moving into Philosophy, let's
talk about what's "good."  Is it subjective or objective? Can we apply
criteria to "good" ? If so, what are the criteria? If not, are there other
qualities beside "good" that we care about in evaluating book art? Do we
care if it's good? If it's not "good" then what is it?

And to take up Gerald's question, who is "whom"?

There are books directed at the "general public," whatever or whomever they
may be, and there are books "for the trade only." This is true in most
fields. There are medical textbooks and books of home remedies. There are
books on profit maximization using partial differential equations and books
on "how to succeed in business."  There are artists' books that are
intended to make visual literature accessible to the public, and book art
works the entire content of which is an evolved structural paradigm.

We apply different criteria to childrens' books than we do to erotic
novels. The language and content of one is considered inappropriate for the

The questions of book art taxonomy, nomenclature, or vocabulary will be
resolved as we agree on what to call things and I look forward to seeing
the AAT add more book art terms to its thesaurus.

I also suggest that participants in this discussion read the current and
archived papers on Art and Cognition at


Edelpappband / ?Millimeter? Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1, 2005

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