This essay was originally written by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve for the exhibition catalogue One of a Kind: An Exhibition of Unique Artist’s Books, curated by Heide Hatry for Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Spring 2011.
One of a Kind continues at the HP Garcia Gallery, Chelsea, NYC, from 19th April-14th May, 2011.
Many thanks to the author for permission to republish
Speed now, Book, and make yourself known wherever the winds blow free.
Never before has your like been printed.
A thousand hands will grasp you with warm desire
And read you with great attention.
– Broadsheet Anton Koberger, printer of Hartmann Schedal’s World Chronicle, the Nuremberg Chronicle 1493 (1)
Where, your act is always applied to paper; for meditating without a trace is evanescent…
– Mallarmé, Divagations, 1887 (2)
“What Will Happen to Books?”
– New York Times Magazine, May 14, 2006
If I look at them with the eye of a stranger, they resemble an abbey that, even though ruined, would breathe out its doctrine to the passer-by.
– Mallarmé, Preface to Divagations (3)
Prologue: A word about the text
In the beginning, yes, let us agree: The book is and was and will be, even though, according to book historian Frederick G. Kilgour, we are now in the “Fourth Evolution” of the book – electronic publication. (4) Here, our experience of “the book” as we have known it as a physical object is undergoing a major transformation, one that whispers in the ear of any artist’s book even if the artist’s project is ostensibly about something else. (5) For instance, Tatana Kellner’s 71125: 50 Years of Silence (1992) is not about the metaphysics of the book the way Buzz Spector’s books are. It is about her mother’s fifty years of silence in regards to her imprisonment in a German concentration camp during World War II. But in order to “write” this book, she could not limit herself only to conventional pages of text and image but had to go beyond the book. Her intent was not to write the story into public consciousness but to embody the experience of dehumanization and fragmentation of the camp by incorporating a three-dimensional reproduction of her mother’s tattooed “71125” forearm inside the pages as a die cut – as the core or “spine” of the book through which the reader reads her story.
In formal terms, the book is comprised of printed pages which have been die cut to accommodate a sculptural element – a life-size cast of an elderly woman’s arm… The arm sculpture lies on the inside back cover of the book so that it remains the center of the reading experience. Because the pages are die cut through- out the arm never goes away, and as the pages diminish, its dimensionality is increasingly apparent. (6)
Kellner transforms the book while using its basic format and as Joanna Drucker states, The transformed book is an intervention. (7)
Today the physical book is turning from solid into air, from matter into light, a mass of electromagnetic signals – photons – transformed into code. If this is its future, what is the book as we have known it? What is its metaphysical legacy – that dream thing Mallarmé so famously said everything exists to end up in? For him it was both the ultimate destination for writing and yet a vague ultimately never-to-be completed project. It is significant, and not often mentioned, that he himself left instructions not to create “the book” from his papers after death. Though the situation may have been ambiguous in the case of Kafka, here it is perfectly clear. Mallarmé died unexpectedly. …M spent his brief respite writing his ‘instructions concerning my papers.’ He wanted everything destroyed. ‘Burn, then: there is no literary legacy here my poor children. (8) In other words, all that he had existed as, was not to end up in a book because for Mallarmé, the book was everything the physical object was not. He dreamed of it as a radical form, inspired by the complexities of verse rather than the conventions of the codex with columns and sequential sentences or the newspaper, which he ranted against quite vigorously. The book was the dreamscape for textual complexity, made of a precise architecture (chance was not encouraged). Yet he still called it the book. It is no accident, and not too much of a reach, that many have looked to him as a source for cyberspace. He defined the book as a series of relations – Hymn, harmony and joy, a pure cluster grouped together in some shining circumstance, tying together the relations among everything (9) – rooted in the page, yet, as he envisioned, more like a force out to shatter the page completely with thinking: “to spend a whole life toward a multiple outburst – which would be thinking: or else, using the means available now – journals and their whirlwind – to send a force in some direction, any direction…” (10) Because the book, the sentence, the representation, for Mallarmé, as Blanchot puts it,
is not simply projected linearly. It opens out. In this opening, other sentence and word rhythms emerge, space themselves out and regroup at varying depths – words and sentences which are interrelated by definite structural affinities though not according to common logic (the logic of subordination) which destroys the space and standardizes the movement. Mallarmé is one writer who can be said to be deep… because what he says presupposes a multi-dimensional space and can only be understood at various levels. (11)
It is why Mallarmé is the link between the future and the past, the present that is modernity in its multi-dimensional evolution, perfectly fit as the theorist of the artist’s book, the trace evanescent, ever unfurling because for him, the book is a thinking thing.
Part I: The book: a short history
I am concentrating here on understanding what a book is when it functions as a book, when it provides a reading or viewing experience sequenced into a finite space of text and or images. (12)
The book is the lap it rests in, the hands in which it is held, the fingertips that scan and flip pages forward and back. I rejoice if the passing wind half opens and unintentionally animates aspects of the book’s exterior. (13) The book is the pair of eyes that scan and absorb this page, looks up (the moment of true reading according to Roland Barthes) and pauses.
The book is the space of writing. To lean, according to the page, on the blank… (14) Yet the picture book was there from the beginning: The Palette of Narmer, from the first Dynasty, a little more than two feet high, is inscribed on the verso with a design that shows two long-necked catlike animals, which have been taken to represent Upper and Lower Egypt, being held apart from attacking one another. (15)
It is both sacred and profane. At once clean, pious and unforgiving, but most itself when dirty, in use, something to spill on, tear, and mark up.
On a certain shelf in the bookstore are collected a number of volumes which look somewhat the worse for wear. Those of them which originally possessed gilding have had it fingered off, each of themselves at places wherein I have been happy; each of them has remarks relevant and irrelevant scribbled on their margins. These favorite volumes cannot be called peculiar glories of literature; but out of the world of books have I singled them, as I have singled my intimates out of the world of men. (16)
The book is our intimate, the friend in the future that doubtless will be there. In Edward Bellamy’s Victorian utopia, Looking Backwards written in 1887, but set in the future, there is no doubt that the book will still exist in the year 2000. In fact, they were given to Julian West as friends…
Here are your friends,” said Edith, indicating one of the cases, and as my eye glanced over the names on the backs of the volumes, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, Defoe, Dickens, Thackeray, Hugo, Hawthorne, Irving, and a score of other great writers of my time and all time, I understood her meaning. She had indeed made good her promise in a sense compared with which its literal fulfilment would have been a disappointment. She had introduced me to a circle of friends whom the century that had elapsed since last I communed with them had aged as little as it had myself. Their spirit was as high, their wit as keen, their laughter and their tears as contagious, as when their speech had whiled away the hours of a former century. Lonely I was not and could not be more, with this goodly companionship, however wide the gulf of years that gaped between me and my old life. (17)
The book keeps us company. It is who we are. It has been written in sand, on skin, across the crushed membranes of trees and now in light. It has been soft and pliable, hard and unforgiving, a dream space to take us out of our world. The book, total expansion of the letter, should derive from it directly a spacious mobility, and by correspondences institute a play of elements that confirms the fiction. (18)
It began as a rock (clay and stone tablets), turned into skin (parchment), into rags (rag paper) and eventually became a scroll made of mashed pieces of plants (paper). But the book as we know it and think it is the fold and the cut, pages stacked and bound between two covers. The codex.
The greatest benefactors of mankind are unsung and unknown – the inventor of the wheel, the deviser of the alphabet. Among their number we should place the inventor of the codex. In this form of book the sheets and papyrus or of cut and treated skin are not pasted or stitched together to form a long roll but are superimposed on each other, folded across the middle, and then secured by stitching so that they open into pages. The outside pages can be protected by binding covers and the whole ensemble then forms a durable sturdy book, easy to store, easy to open and refer to, easy to carry about, and withal capacious since it uses both sides of the writing material. (19)
An instrument of needle and thread, the book was first sewn just like our clothing, until glue was convenient, ubiquitous, and readily available. Adhesives are advantageous for joining thin or dissimilar materials, minimizing weight, and when a vibration dampening joint is needed. A disadvantage to adhesives is that they do not form an instantaneous joint, unlike most other joining processes, because the adhesive needs time to cure. Egyptians used glue made from animals to “adhere furniture, ivory, and papyrus. (20)
The book is an extended moment of time. It takes curing.
Yet the essence of the book is born of our exponential addiction to speed: It was the need for speed which transformed hieroglyphic to hieratic to demotic. As it is speed which pushed from hand to print to mass to electronic. (21)
The book is therefore binding in time. Each manifestation sprouts a new epistemology. Our writing materials contribute their part to our thinking. Nietzsche wrote this on a typewriter, rather than by hand. And now we are told… different forms of writing required different applications of the brain’s original structures and in the process helped to change the way we think. (22)
So the invention of the codex was not just a simple restructuring of writing and images in shape and form but a revolution in thought: A codex allows for different sorts of reading. Where a scroll is intended for consecutive reading, a codex can be browsed. As the reader can move from one part to another in a manner of their own devising, forwards or backwards, this encourages reflective thought. (23)
…this encourages reflective thought, what is this thought? Especially when, The convention of the book is both its constrained meanings (as literacy, the law, text and so forth) and the space of a new work (the blank page, the void, the empty place). (24) And, here in an instant: In October, 2004, without the permission of publishers and authors, Google announced that, through its Google Books program, it would scan every book ever published, and make portions of the scans available through its search engine. (25)
Is it therefore a piece of hardware we work as a machine or is it pure metaphor, the software program that mimics the book, embedded in the past, a prehensile tail? (26)
The book is a program (Apple iBooks), an algorithm that allows one to tap the corner of the “page.” It is called a “touch scroll,” i.e., electronic mimesis of the old volume even to the point, if you so choose, of turning yellowed “pieces of paper” that curl at the edges. The Kindle offers no such mediation, no frills, just straight text absent of the visual fiction (bookshelf, page, dust jacket). It is not sentimental, it does not lie. But Anna Karenina or anything by Henry James, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Don DeLillo or even Stephen King on a Kindle or Nook, is no longer a book but a tablet where one is reading by scroll as did the ancient Egyptians. And so one asks, does this disable reflective thought? …I do wonder whether typical young readers view the analysis of text and the search for deeper levels of meaning as more and more anachronistic because they are so accustomed to the immediacy and seeming comprehensiveness of the on-screen information – all of which is available without critical effort, and without any apparent need to go beyond the information provided. (27)
Yes, the book is a social organism, the fall-guy and locus of rapture. Will the constructive component at the heart of reading begin to change and potentially atrophy as we shift to computer-presented text, in which massive amounts of information appear instantaneously… when seemingly complete visual information is given almost simultaneously, as it is in many digital presentations, is there sufficient time or sufficient motivation to process the information more inferentially, analytically, and critically? (28)
Online, it has become our reflection, our face and profile, the place where we make and remake friends out of strangers, old loves, new affairs, affective bonds defined in a moment: “Confirm,” “Deny,” “Remove.”
How will we let the book of light and air know how much it means to us? The way we can tell whether we really like a book is, do we find ourselves writing our name in it. (29) And what accidental fragments from it will remain? Obviously there is not much papyrus that has survived but there are some fragments. Among them gynecological and veterinary texts. (30)
Spill on the ebook, and it is the end of the book. Blanchot as science fiction. (31)
In truth, the book is a drug, a hankering for interiority, a form of palliative care. (32) It is the web the spider has spun, a labyrinth, hall of mirrors, black hole with a head, a mouth and ears, whose tongue is supple, sweet, and always ready for more. The book is a bed where we dream and lay our head, always a newborn that we raise as we read. Mallarmé was correct, it should be left alone to grow as it wishes rather than to fit the human yawn. (33) Because books are all appetite. “ … always different… furling unfurling…” (34) They happen to be where we join.
Part II: The “rare or auratic” artist’s book (35)
An artist’s book should be a work by an artist self-conscious about book form, rather than merely a highly artistic book. (36)
The singular artist’s book is the ultimate act of intervention in the age of electronic publication. Joanna Drucker calls these “the auratic or rare book,” the playground of the haptic even if many are too delicate to touch. They invoke the unique and unprecedented, a dwelling and space of exploration manifested in worldly materials, concepts, aesthetics and one-of-a-kind moments of creation. They are objects in a room or in the case of Bodo Dietz, even the dividers of a room.
But the artist’s book is not merely the artfully done book. It is an act of self-reflection. (37) Although mute, it can never be dumb, for it too, is a kind of thinking. The moment to self-consciously articulate the metaphysics of the book within the field of either poetics or philosophy. Though they [Blake, Morris, Burgess] were highly engaged with the idea of the book as a visionary or aesthetic form, they did not produce any discussion of the book as an idea in critical or philosophical terms. (38)
Kaestner and Kahn & Selesnick’s actually derive from an early interest in Blake’s illuminated books (as well as “post- modern meta-narratives of writers such as Borges and Calvino and artists such as Joan Fontcuberta”) but they use their artist’s books as an occasion for installations. In other words, it is the artist’s book that initiates the discussion of an eventual work, becoming the very centerpiece of the installation: “our desire to create artist’s books of our work strongly influences the form the work takes.” (39)
Subcutaneous Reckoning, 2011 by Jim Peters and his wife Kathline Carr, directly addresses issues of electronic publication and the necessity or definition of the artist’s book as a physical book yet they use the digital medium to produce the content. Their digital work has become an “intensely personal and romantic form of collaboration.” (40) The digital creates a space for a different kind of collaboration that is generative, fluid and entwined. It allows them to interweave their images and texts in an almost infinite 4-D environment versus say, the 2-dimensional space of the flat canvas or page (for instance the Frank O’Hara and Larry Rivers collaborations). But the digital lacks the physical presence and tactility, the additional affect of the analogue book.
Rush Lee is an artist who describes herself work as “drawn to the physicality of the book, as familiar object, medium, and archetypal form,” (41) Her Pod is an example of a piece that is really only about the book. It historizes and comments in a whimsical way on the book as a spherical rather than a rectangular form, a series of scrolls glued together into an object. By using the scroll, her artist’s book comments on the structure of the codex – reading as a habitat made up in the round, circular, not manufactured on lined paper, which is all sequence and vulnerable to interruption. The scroll just carries on endlessly rather than as a piece of staccato reading, flipped page by page. Interruption is coded into the codex yet ironically, none other than Florence Nightingale warned us of the “evils” of interruption. Interruption is an evil to the reader which must be estimated very differently from ordinary business interruptions. The great question with interruptions is not whether it compels you to divert your attention to other facts, but whether it compels you to tune your whole mind to another diapason. (42)
One can’t help but reflect on our current modes of “post-codex,” post-alphabet reading, where the link and the search engine, not to mention the multitasking of everyday life, have made interruption our daily bread, i.e., embedded in the very format of reading online, as well as the quotidian rhythm of our 21st century existence. Lee’s “book” suggests the idea of reading as perpetual motion, the serpent eating its tale.
In the 21st century we can look at the unique artist’s book as a kind of revenge on Walter Benjamin’s canny insight that “aura” is lost in the age of mechanical reproduction: “the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens.” (43) This being-in-the-world is only exacerbated, and reinterpreted, in the age of electronic reproduction where data becomes a floating sea of simulacra. Today, the artist’s book and the book itself, but especially the unique one-of-a-kind book, is absolute “aura.” They take on the role of the return of the repressed, a punch to the face to Baudrillard’s “society” of simulation.
For many of the books in this exhibition, the affect of physicality is intentional and key to the work. For instance, Rachel Rabinovich’s River Library 378 with Footnotes 2011 “written with mud from the world” or Dove Bradshaw’s Indeterminacy / Equivalents, with pages treated with liver of sulfur paired with untreated opposing pages, are constructs of the physical world. Indeterminacy / Equivalents in particular is a kind of living organism because “Over time the chemically treated square affects its opposing square.” (44) The book is the record and activity of this physical process, each page is a creation of the “science of matter” (chemistry) and the work of everyday phenomenological time, the world as it “is.” Bodo Korsig’s books are also about time – “layers of text… not as pages but as aesthetic intervals of time and space” that are so much about “being there” that many are accompanied by performance.
In A Painter’s Daybook, the artist Deem also produces a physical diary of time and experience. He uses languages that he cannot read, so they are only “the letter,” i.e., the alphabet scraping against the post-alphabetic world of digital communication: Writing in this age of photographic and electronic reproduction is fundamentally postalphabetic in that it no longer relies on scripts to store and transmit information: cultural memory is becoming digital, more image than letter.” (45) He imprints the archive of “languages he can’t read” with the day’s leftover paint scraped from her palette, “Wiping the leftover oil paint across an open page.” (46) Although he also does this with languages he can read – as in Immensee where he uses Scott’s Ivanhoe and Greek Drama – the process is the same, turning the page each day so, “when it dries it creates a striated record of the colors I am using in my paintings at the time.” Over what we could call geological as opposed to phenomenological time, as much as a year, the book becomes a diary of a painter’s expressive life as literal stroke and color.
Christine Kruse’s complex diaries of her experience on the road as a fashion model are “Not exactly artist’s sketchbooks – although many of her current large-scale works are derived from their pages. Neither are they simply a personal diaries or journals – though they do provide an intimate record of Kruse’s emotional life”. (47) The diary as a purely verbal description, say the typed or hand-written diary, or even of images as in the case of a video diary, are not enough to reproduce the thickness of her experience. Made out of “small Polaroids with textured tape, watercolor ink, crayon, gouache, metallic paper, newsprint, and colored plastic gels” they are pure “aura” – presence of a life lived in the habitat of textures of feeling.
These diseases of the psyche have now culminated in the most terrifying casuality of the 20th century: the death of affect.
– J.G. Ballard, 1974, Introduction to Crash.
To conclude, it is not that effect is lacking in the digital realm, but the particular effect produced by our connection to the physical world is precisely what artist’s books, by definition, evoke. Even though Rachel Rabinovich’s work is “…interest[ed] in what we don’t see, or in what seems invisible,” and with “how something emerges into view from concealment,” (48) the invisible or hidden is manifested in her work as physical matter and material – mud as the metonym for the actual rivers.
In the same way, all of the artist’s books in this exhibition are a concretization of experience, the production of palpable material effect, the return or insistence of aura in the age of mechanical and electronic reproduction. Although Drucker states, the artist’s book is the quintessential art form of the 20th century (her history was originally written in 1994 and reissued with an Author’s Preface in 2004, the same year as Google Books and the Kindle), she assures us it is not going away anytime soon. (49) In fact, as the physical book itself becomes an auratic object because each choice to read something bound into a book versus reading the electronic signal embedded in a piece of hardware is a choice to maintain connection with the nuances of the haptic, the artist’s book may become even more relevant to the 21st century. Although the book is transforming from solid into air, matter into light, perhaps the moral of the legacy of the actual physical book is that the book has always been disappearing, because that’s what it does as we read or experience it no matter what form it takes, for ultimately it disappears into us, which is why Mallarmé could never manifest his own book, nor left instructions to do so. The book is always different, it changes and switches through a collation of diversity of its sections; thus the linear progression – the one-way system, is avoided in its reading. Moreover, the reading, furling and unfurling, dispersing and uniting, demonstrates its lack of substantiality: it is never there but is always decomposing as it is composed. (50) But in this new age, this fourth evolution, when the book as electromagnetic signal is literally without end, only seeming to end when turned on or off, but never ending because as Avital Ronell has so brilliantly convinced us in her unprecedented and still unsurpassed The Telephone Book (which is, no doubt, an artist’s book), technology is always on, it is the artist’s book, always seeking the auratics of new forms and new language, that beckons the future. Perhaps the unique artist’s book is the punctum of the photograph of the Future. The punctum that was for Roland Barthes both the physical sting and the mark of Time. We don’t have to be in mourning to feel time passing (as his book about photography is suffused with the death of his mother) but presence itself is increasingly taking on the quality of the thing ‘(‘that-has-been’),’ as Barthes described the uncanny sensation of the punctum. (51)
So yes, it is here, the book, and its philosopher stone, the artist’s book, in a world submerged in its own intangibility, not merely a hold-over of modernism but the secret gift in object form – of time to touch and think. (52) If the book can be said to embody the rapture of epistemology, and the artist’s book the space of critical reflection, then each artist’s book exists as a memory and a prophecy: unique in its own existence at the place where it happens to be (Benjamin), the site of the haptic engaged in self-reflection.
Jacob Epstein on the Espresso Book Machine (via WNYC)
- Broadsheet advertisement for Hartmann Schedel’s World Chronicle, the Nuremberg Chronicle – an encyclopaedic rendering of world history from the Creation to the present (the end of the fifteenth century) with Nuremberg at the center. Quoted in Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 41-42.
- Stéphane Mallarmé, Divagations, Translated by Barbara Johnson (Cambridge, MA, Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2007), 216.
- “What Will Happen to Books? Reader, take heart! (Publisher, be very, very afraid.) Internet search engines will set them free, A manifesto by Kevin Kelly,” The New York Times Magazine, May 14, 2006.
- Frederick G. Kilgour, The Evolution of the Book (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998): “Over the last five thousand years there have been four transformations of the ‘book’ in which each manifestation has differed from its predecessors in shape and structure… the clay tablet inscribed with a stylus (2500 BC-100 AD), the papyrus roll written on parchment with brush or pen (2000 BC-700 AD), the codex, originally inscribed with a pen (100 AD), and the electronic book, currently in the process of innovation.” 3-4.
- Tatana Kellner, 71125: 50 Years of Silence. Eva Kellner’s Story.
- Johanna Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books (New York: Granary Books, 1995), 96.
- Drucker, 118.
- Maurice Blanchot, “The Book to Come,” in A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projects About The Book & Writing, ed. Jerome Rothenburg and Steven Clay, The remarkable footnote 4, 158.
- Mallarmé, “The Book as Spiritual Instrument,” in Divigations, transl. Barbara Johnson (Cambridge, MA, Belknap Press, 2007) 226.
- Mallarmé, “Restricted Action,” in Divigations, 215.
- Maurice Blanchot, “The Book to Come,” in A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projects About The Book & Writing, ed. Jerome Rothenburg and Steven Clay, 151.
- Drucker, 14.
- Mallarmé, “The Book as Spiritual Instrument,” in Divagations, 226.
- Mallarmé, “The Mystery in Letters,” in Divagations, 236.
- Kilgour, 24.
- Alexander Smith, Dreamthorp, quoted in Ex Libris: A Small Anthology, printed and bound (and sold), compiled by Christopher Morley (NY, 1936), for the First National Book Fair, sponsored by the New York Times and The National Association of Book Publishers, 1936.
- Edward Bellamey, Looking Backwards, 1887, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/bellamy/toc.html, 58.
- Mallarmé, Divagations, 228.
- Eric G. Turner, The Typology of the Early Codex (University of Philadelphia: Press, 1977), 1. quoted in Kligour, 52.
- Kilgour, 39.
- Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007), 24.
- Drucker, 109.
- “Publish or Perish: Can the Ipad Topple the Kindle, and Save the Book Business?” by Ken Auletta, The New Yorker, April 26, 2010.
- “Just as the average human carries around the remnants of a prehistoric tail and a useless appendix, the tools we use also bear marks of the evolutionary process from which they arose… Designers in all fields are regularly confronted with versions of this choice: whether to incorporate cues to keep people grounded in what has come before, or scrap convention completely.” NYT, Joshua Brustein.
- Wolf, 224.
- Wolf, 16.
- Trade Winds, No Author in Morley, 20.
- Kilgour, 30.
- In the first of two theoretical appendices to his novel Triton (1976) Samuel R. Delany famously discusses the rhetorical strategies of science fiction, which is the literalization of metaphors: “Such sentences as ‘His world exploded,’ or ‘She turned on her left side,’ as they subsume the proper technological discourse (of economics and cosmology in one, of switching circuitry and prosthetic surgery in the other), leave the banality of the emotionally muzzy metaphor, abandon the triviality of insomniac Rosalind, and, through the labyrinth of technical possibility, become possible images of the impossible. They join the repertoire of sentences which may propel textus into text.” Triton, Samuel R. Delany (New York: Bantam books, 1983) Appendix A, 3.
- Avital Ronell, Crack Wars: Literature, Mania, Addiction (University of Nebraska Press, 1992).
- Mallarmé, “Displays,” Divagations, 223.
- Mallarmé, quoted in Blanchot, in Rothenberg and Clay, footnote 7, 159.
- Joanna Drucker’s history of the artist’s book, “the rare or auratic book” is one chapter among fourteen.
- Drucker, Ibid.
- It is ultimately a product of modernism, a condition of reflexivity and breaking with the past (the conventional codex). This is what Joanna Drucker means when she states, “the artist’s book is the quintessential 20th century art form.” It emerges precisely in the early to mid 20th century, with precedents in the late 19th century modernism epitomized by Mallarmé.
- Drucker, 33.
- Kaestner and, Kahn & Selesnick, Artists’ statement.
- Jim Peter’s and Kathline Carr’s, Artists’ statement.
- Rush Lee, Artist statement.
- Florence Nightingale, quoted by P.G. Hamerton, The Intellectual Life, (Letter to a Man of Business Who Desired to Make Himself Better Acquainted with Literature,) Morley, 26.
- Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations (New York: Schocken Books, 1955) 218.
- Dove Bradshaw, Artist statement.
- Charles Bernstein, ”The Art of Immemorability,” in Rothenberg and Clay, 512.
- DEEM, Artist statement.
- Christina Kruse, Artist statement.
- Rachel Rabinovich, Artist statement.
- Drucker, 2.
- Mallarmé, in Blanchot, Rothenberg and Clay, Footnote 7, 159.
- From Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, “A photograph’s punctum is that accident [of photographic detail] which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me),… for me punctum is also sting, speck, cut, little hole – and also a caste of the dice.” (slightly rearranged, 27) and “I now know that there exists another puntum (another stgmatum’) than the ‘detail.’ This new punctum, which is no longer of form but of intensity, is Time, the lacerating emphasis of the noeme (‘that-has-been’), its pure representation. These two quotes are taken from “Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes on Photograph and their relevance for photos found in second-hand shops” an online essay found at: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Humanities/pschmid1/array/instant.relatives/b+b.html
- Wolf, 221.