BOOK ART BIENNIAL 2011: PACING THE PAGE
The strength of a sequential narrative cannot be denied. Artists' books, like no other art form, have the ability to cultivate meaningful and intimate relationships with viewers and readers through the development, refinement and advancement of content over time. Through workshops, lectures, conversations and exhibitions, MCBA's Book Art Biennial 2011 explores the power of pacing, the structuring of sequence, the manipulation of rhythm and the significance of physical engagement in contemporary artists' books.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: GARY FROST
Intersection, Interplay, and Interdependence of the Paper and Screen Book
This presentation looks directly at the intersection, interplay and interdependence of the paper and screen book as a cohesive transmission ecology. Print attributes of fixity, mechanical navigation, and persistent re-access across time all pair nicely with screen attributes of live content, automated search, cloud repository and electronic delivery. The self-authenticating nature of the print book is a complement of the self-indexing nature of the screen book.
Over 20 years ago, Gary Frost began researching the prospect for printed books in relation to new "screen reading" technology. His interest continues, expanding into fields as diverse as the neurology of reading, digital preservation and the study of touch as a mode of communication. In addition to teaching, creating work as a book artist and leading the conservation program at the University of Iowa, Frost authors the "Future of the Book" blog, the source for the latest thinking on reading behavior, traditional book use in the context of digital delivery systems, library preservation and book art.
LEADERS IN THE FIELD
Through lectures and peer discussions, participants explore a range of issues relevant to both the creation and appreciation of contemporary artists' books. Presenters include:
Dr. Betty Bright: Material Matters: the Page as Performance
Scale and proportion, bound or loose sheets, surface and structure conspire in unforgettable artists' books. Bright looks at how these elements orchestrate pacing in the entrancing books of Carolee Campbell and Clemens-Tobias Lange. Bright is an independent book arts historian and curator, and author of No Longer Innocent: Book Art in America 1960-1980.
Philip Zimmermann: Pacing as Meditation
In this presentation, Zimmermann reflects on the pacing and rhythm expressed in numerous artists' books, including his own recent work Sanctus Sonorensis, a book of border "beatitudes" that comments on the complicated attitudes of Americans on illegal immigration from Mexico. Zimmermann is Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Arizona School of Art.
Barbara Tetenbaum: Random and Directed Reading Experiences
A definition of random and directed modes of reading was introduced in Keith Smith's The Structure of the Visual Book. This presentation illustrates these concepts by highlighting the organization of information, materials and structure in both trade books and artist books. Tetenbaum is Associate Professor and Department Head of Book Arts at Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Motionpoems is a unique project that unites text and filmmaking, creating a vibrant new method for the distribution of poetry. Like artists' books, these productions cross traditional literary boundaries, challenge conventional notions of reading and rely on inventive explorations of sequence, pace and rhythm. Project co-founders Todd Boss and Angella Kassube host a screening of new works and discuss the future of this exciting intersection of literature, film and animation.
"TEACHING THE BOOK ARTS" ROUNDTABLE
Do you teach book art workshops and classes? Are you a book artist looking for new creative strategies? Both educators and practitioners will benefit from this informal roundtable discussion where participants share practical techniques for teaching and exploring sequence, pacing and rhythm in artists' books. Facilitated by MCBA Executive Director Jeff Rathermel.
THE MCBA PRIZE GALA
The centerpiece of the Book Art Biennial is the presentation of The MCBA Prize. This award is the first to recognize book art from across the field and around the world. To view the online gallery of entries and learn more about the Winner and Finalists, visit mnbookarts.org/mcbaprize.
Four dynamic exhibitions illustrate the wonderfully diverse world of book arts. Pacing the Page highlights the themes of the Biennial through works selected by the event's various participants. Co-curated by book art historian and scholar Betty Bright and MCBA's Jeff Rathermel, Fine and Dirty: Contemporary Letterpress Art introduces viewers to artists working both traditionally and against the grain, presenting innovative work from across the nation. Down Under Up Here, curated by Carleton College Professor of Printmaking Fred Hagstrom, offers a selection of contemporary Australian artists' books, providing an overview of work from that country's vibrant book art community. Last but not least, viewers experience the work of the five MCBA Prize finalists: a selection of the best new artists' books in the world.
Three two-day, hands-on workshops allow participants to discover innovative practices and hone traditional skills by working closely with MCBA faculty.
Registration for Book Art Biennial 2011 is closed.
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