[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [BKARTS] art

thanks, Julius, for making the point clearer. Since the subject is art, I
want to lay down my own riff on art, which concerns some of the larger
coalition of book cultures. For works of book art to be important, they
must not only make accessible some cultural knowledge about the book or
books, but, at this point down the road, they really have to access
something that hasn't been worked to exhaustion. Who after all is moved or
surprised anymore by works that find novel ways to simulate seriality or
the book's hermetic language or its hidden structures? (Even when one
shows these heuristic models to undergrads who have never seen them
before, they yawn with uncontainable boredom. The ideas have been in the
air for decades. You might as well show them a rotary phone.) It would
(sidebar comment) be more interesting to look at book art that evokes and
interprets previous book art, even coldly and ungenerously--in a sense,
rather than tossing roses or canonizing Great Artists Books, perhaps book
artists should seriously consider exorcism or at least the iconoclastic
process of disposing of our oppressive dead.

But the work should not only, you know, evoke something about the book we
haven't seen evoked a gazillion trillion times already, but it should find
original means of being evocative, which is an incredibly punishing task,
given the extraordinary imagination lavished on this one labor over the
past thirty years or so. (Richard Peck, the novelist, has a sign over his
desk that says, "does it hurt yet"?) The issue should be on one's mind:
what gesture hasn't already become a cliche? I know I'm repeating myself,
but the "it's a book" trope might be refreshed by alternating it with
"it's not a book," or "it was a book before the book died," or "it's a
book and not a book," or perhaps, "I have no fucking clue, do you?"

But, this isn't enough, either, folks; if one can manage to forcefully and
subtly coalesce for the viewer some aspect of the book, or suggest some
notional book, some apriori idea of the book, some primal and forgotten
way of being towards the book, yet fail to reflect some awareness of the
work's presence within a discourse about art, or fail to have the piece
slice into the muscle of some important ideological, existential
discourse, well, it's a nice try then.

Michael Joseph
(lapsed letterpress printer and basement philospher)

On Wed, 25 Jan 2006, Jules Siegel wrote:

> auhteg wrote:
> > Its pagination is bookish.  You view one page at a time, so although you can
> > move both backwards and forwards there is a narrative, a sequencing of
> > events, a direction in which to move, or multiple directions as the case may
> > be.
> >
> > Abby
> One might say the same of many serial publications that are not books.
> What would be the equivalent of a binding? Are scrolls books or are
> their contents the books?
> The content of a website can become a book. I did one of the first,
> Lineland, Mortality and Mercy on the Internet's Pynchon-l@xxxxxxxxx
> <http://www.cafecancun.com/bookarts/lineland.shtml>. But were the
> archives of pynchon-l a book even before I did that?
> I think that any expression of the book artist's art -- including
> self-promotion and non-book-like works -- is relevant here.
> --
> JULES SIEGEL Apdo. 1764, 77501-Cancun, Q. Roo, Mexico
> http://www.cafecancun.com/bookarts
> Newsroom-l, news and issues for journalists
> http://www.newsroom-l.net/
>              ***********************************************
> Now Online - The Bonefolder, Vol. 2, No. 1 at <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
>              For all your subscription questions, go to the
>                       Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
>           See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
>              ***********************************************

Now Online - The Bonefolder, Vol. 2, No. 1 at <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]