Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

The quiet democracy of the contemporary artist's book
(or why do artists make books?)

Bodman, Sarah
Name of conference: Books that Fly
Place: University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts and Architecture
Date: 5.7.08
Paper Presented by: Bodman, Sarah
URL Links:

The conference included an accompanying exhibition of artists’ books selected from the collection at the University of Brighton. Sarah’s talk focused on: The quiet democracy of the contemporary artist’s book (or why do artists make books) A selection of book works by artists, drawing on examples that deliver a message in an available and affordable format.

Artists’ books from the 1960s and 70s were formulated to bypass the constraints of the gallery/dealer system; often simply produced as a vehicle for the dissemination of ideas which brought art to a wider public through artists self-publishing their work. Now that Internet publishing has become so easy and affordable, artists are again utilising new technologies to produce and market their books to a global audience, bringing a new democracy to 21st Century books. Sarah also showed some examples of, altered books, performance books, and artists’ using traditional production methods.

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