Sarah Bodman

Country

GBR

Affliliation

Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, United Kingdom

Biography

Sarah Bodman is Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), UK, where she runs research projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts. She is also Programme Leader for the MA Multi-disciplinary Printmaking course. Sarah is the author of Creating Artists’ Books, and editor of the Artist's Book Yearbook a biennial reference publication on contemporary book arts, and The Blue Notebook journal for artists’ books. Sarah also writes a regular column on artists’ books for the ARLIS News-Sheet, and the journal Printmaking Today. Her recent artists’ books include Cherry Blossom Island Tree with Tom Sowden (2009), Dinner and A Rose with the artist/poet Nancy Campbell (2010), An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen (2010), No Dutch Details with Tom Sowden (video: 2011) and TOAST: A Night on Weevil Lake (collaborative book and video 2011).

Paper

A Manifesto for the Book - artist's book - artist's publication - book art?

Abstract

This paper is based on the results of a two-year research project by Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, March 2008 - February 2010. The project investigated the context and future of the artist's book in an attempt to extend critical debate of what actually constitutes an 'artist's book' in the 21st Century. One key point was to include all the book related activity that artists currently engage with, work that is produced on, and exclusively for, digital technologies within the book arts field, and not leave it floundering on the edge; if the artist considered what they were producing to be a book, then we felt it should be included. We also discussed the continued practice of traditional production processes for artists' books such as letterpress, etching, lithography, screenprint and woodcut, and interviewed a range of artists and publishers who work with these, as well as those producing livres d'artistes, fine press books, design bindings, multiples, installation and audio books.
The project was set up for international artists to openly debate and contribute online with forums through Artist Books 3.0, downloadable survey forms to fill in and diagrams to alter and return for artists, curators, librarians, collectors, teachers, students, dealers and publishers.  We used these alongside findings from our series of in-depth interviews and case studies with 53 artists and other professionals involved in the book arts in many countries including: Australia, USA, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, Canada, Turkey, Lebanon, South Africa, South Korea, Cyprus, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Argentina, Norway, Germany, Estonia, UK, Ireland, Russia, France, Spain and Brazil. We also hosted symposia and a conference, with an exhibition of 119 international artists' books to show examples of contemporary works. All of the outcomes from the project are available as free downloads (http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/canon.htm).

Date

Wednesday 28 September

Session

11:00am - 12.30pm

Speaking

11:30am

Email

Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk, Tom.Sowden@uwe.ac.uk

   

Paper

Life, the universe and everything: the artist's book as a means of theoretical, political and social consideration of the natural world

Abstract

Nature and the landscape surround us and we depend upon them. Many artists explore our relationship with the natural world and society at large, and those discussed in this paper work predominantly in the format of the artist's book. Their work also utilises the Internet, performance, video and music to explore the wider questions of how we live in, observe, treat and understand our wider natural surroundings. The Canadian artist Bill Burns begs us to respect humanity, nature and wildlife through books such as 'Safety Gear for Small Animals'. His political works around Guantanamo Bay detention camp, and the accidental bombing of National Farm Seed Bank at Abu Ghraib, demonstrate the far-reaching implications on our current and future landscape. Angie Waller (USA) wonders why people assume they are in the most boring place in the world, and artists Julie Johnstone (UK) and Eric Watier (France) each use minimalist texts to ask us to stop and reflect for a moment on the small but significant changes that take place in nature. The Norwegian artist Kurt Johannessen has performed and published many artworks since 1984, that seem incredibly simple yet ask searching questions about the universe and exactly how we might fit into it. From requesting that artists, poets and writers telephone at a certain time and recite a story about the moon, to his use of humour in the book and performance lecture 'Am I a frog?' where he discusses scientific and philosophical theories of sense and consciousness to find out whether he is indeed a frog.

Date

Tuesday 27 September

Session

3:30pm - 5.00pm

Speaking

4:20pm

Website

Other Activities

Chairing sessions: Tuesday 27 September, 1:30pm - 3.00pm
Tuesday 27 September, 3:30pm - 5.00pm

Exhibition

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