My last post explored book artists who work conceptually using print-on-demand technology, but the use of conceptual methodologies extends to those who work in hand-made books as well.
This summer and fall, I have spent time in special collections at the University of Washington (partly in preparation for the Affect and Audience in the Digital Age symposium, and partly to find books for my spring workshop).
So what might a conceptual, print-on-demand artist's book look like?
Several contemporary writers are using the form of pre-existing books as a container for innovative publishing experiments that they can make available at a reasonable price thanks to POD and affordable printing options. Like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, these new books resemble their sources externally, but diverge dramatically in content, which involves erasure and writing-through. They are also facilitated by the availability of digital editions of these books which provide a searchable, scrapable, alterable source.
The following are not all print-on-demand publications, but they take on trade paperback form in ways that intrigue me:
This fall I am co-organizing a symposium through the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington called “Affect and Audience in the Digital Age.” A collaboration between researchers in poetics from the Bothell and Seattle campuses of UW, our event explores the impact of digital mediation on contemporary poetry. Here is how my co-organizers Sarah Dowling, Brian Reed, and Gregory Laynor and I describe it on the conference website:
Audience in the Digital Age is a one-day symposium exploring emergent modes of creative public scholarship. Specifically, we are interested in scholarly, pedagogical, curatorial, and creative practices that attend to the digitally mediated character of contemporary poetry.