6 Oct 2010
To Book or not to Book?
I am in two minds about if Starvation Diet Should become a book. I keep putting it off and can't decide if that is because that's not what it should be or I don't want to do the work. I suspect that the only way to know might be to start. Or maybe I need to think about what purpose the book would serve. Would it be a book for the person in the street or a bit of high brow artistry? Could it be both? I want it to be a reading experience if its going to be a book at all. A sit down with a cuppa, clean hands and anticipation of enjoyment kind of a read. Sorry, headed off for a bit of internet research there and have come back with this:
Why do artists make books?
"Artists may use other media such as painting or printmaking but for some of their work only the book adequately fulfils their idea.
There is affection for the book as an object and a recognition of its long history as a container of information and ideas. The book form also lends authority to its contents. People understand books because they are accustomed to reading them. Books are very intimate artworks. When you read a book, you are in control. Unlike a painting on a wall, you hold it in your hands, you turn the pages, you touch it and smell it. Only you decide how long it will take, and you don't have to share the experience. Artists like the close connection with their audience that they can have through artists' books.
Books are sequential, with ideas and stories building up as each page is turned. This allows complex ideas to be developed within one artwork.
Different binding forms can be used to reinforce an idea, for example a binding that continually folds in on itself could house a never-ending story. Materials used can also relate to and tell part of the story."
I do want a container of information and ideas, I want authority to the contents. I want a form which is easy to understand and has an understood convention. Touching it and smelling it is good. The way that I want to set it up does involve an element of sharing in that people will be asked to pass the book on. I'm not sure how sequential I want it to be. I've considered materials like rice paper and starch paper to convey the idea of an edible book which people can choose to either eat or read. Think that maybe this gets rid of the idea of it as a book somehow though. Its a nice idea cause it fits so well with the concepts but is it a step too far? Will have to get some paper to try.
Funny how the focus has completely changed now that an object has reared its head. Is this a good thing?