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[BKARTS] Artist Book Information Sheet


Following the "Drucker Gate" discussions on this list as well as discussions at the Wellelsely ABC conference about what librarian's need I've decided to create a one-page "Artist Book Information Sheet" for each of my artist books. I am intending to send this sheet to each library that I sell a book to and also give it to dealers who sell my books so that they can better explain the book and its concept in my absence.

I'd like to post a rough draft of an early version of this information sheet on this list in order to generate a discussion about the merits of something like this as well as what information would be appropriate to include.

I'm thinking that if we as book artists include this kind of material with our books, perhaps we can push ourselves further down that road toward documentation and review that was so hotly debated. And, how can we artists expect librarians to pull all of this information out of thin air? They just can't get all of the detail that Drucker proposes from a the book itself at worst, or even a personal visit at best.

Feel free to critique this rough draft. I've included real data about a real book so that we can talk about a tone and intent. Some of this things I'd like to find out in this potentially painful exercise are:

Is there enough information for a librarian to catalog this book?
Are there technical details that are missing or some that shouldn't be included?
Is the "back story" behind the book useful? I know this should this be unnecessary if the book was executed well enough to begin with, but in case I miss my mark and nobody tells me, perhaps it should be included?
Will this information be truly helpful or just another sad attempt at self aggrandizement?

Here is the rough draft:


Title: Colfax Day & Night
Author/Artist/Photographer: All images and text created by Laura Russell
Binder: All binding by Laura Russell
Concept: Original concept by Laura Russell

Book Format: Two-sided spiral binding with pages opening left and right. Daytime photo of each vintage neon sign appears of left side of the split-page spread, and a nighttime shot of the same sign appears on the right side.

Edition Size: 100 copies total of two production editions (quantity of each depends on demand). This book bound on demand until edition is complete.

Deluxe Edition: Wrap-around Plexiglas hard-backed cover and clamshell box
Soft Edition: Just the interior spiral-bound structure, Mylar covers

Production Specifications: Archival digital "giclee" printing on Mohawk Superfine paper. Black book cloth covering on deluxe edition. All materials used are archival quality.
Size: 10” wide x 8.5” tall
Number of Pages: 19 pages on each side
Number of Images: 34 original color photographs
Signed and Numbered: Yes
Creation Date: Conceived, photographed, designed and produced in 2003
Retail Price: Deluxe edition: $375 Soft cover edition: $150
ISBN: None

Marketing Descriptive: Colfax Avenue is an amazing street. It’s past is a colorful history of roadside landmarks and infamous travelers. It’s present is a different kind of colorful, still vibrant and very much alive. Colfax Day & Night is a photographic journey down Denver’s infamous Avenue. Nighttime and daytime photographs of fast-disappearing vintage neon signs are presented side-by-side to see how the soul of the street transforms day to night.

Back Story: I started taking photographs of vintage neon signs during my years as a graphic designer. I was looking for examples of interesting fonts or typography to use in my graphic design projects. Now my efforts to photograph these signs are not only a study of our graphic history, but also my own small effort to document and preserve our ephemeral cultural landscape. Vintage neon signs are endangered by the development and growth of our urban areas and very few preservation efforts. Most of the signs I photograph were built between 1930 and 1960.
Colfax Avenue was the main road through Denver before I-70 was built in the early 1960s. It was famous as a tourist stopover with kitchy hotels and roadside attractions. And it became infamous through the writings of authors such as Jack Kerouac. Denverite's still claim their beloved Colfax to be "the longest continuous street in America" as it travels more than 20 miles though the heart of downtown Denver from the foothills to the plains. Today, parts of Colfax are enjoying a redevelopment boom, which threatens its aging strip joints, cheap motels, dive bars and liquor stores. Sadly, this intriguing visual and cultural landscape will slowly fade into the sunset.
I shot the photographs for this book during my last few months living in Denver. As we prepared to move to the Pacific Northwest, I became very sentimental for this town that I called home for almost 20 years. I felt a need to shoot these signs as if they were friends I would never see again. I will always miss Colfax Avenue and its vibrant soul.


So, what do you think? This document would travel with the actual book. If some of my descriptions are unclear you can see the book on my web site at: www.laurarussell.net/Colfax.html

Thanks for your help with this. I truly would appreciate any ideas for making this more useful.

Have a good day,


************ Laura Russell Portland, OR www.laurarussell.net

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