Box of Books

by Darin Klein

Box of Books at LA Art Book Fair
Box of Books at LA Art Book Fair

Box of Books is an annual project from Darin Klein & Friends. Each volume comprises a box filled with handmade publications created specifically for the occasion by 20 or so different artists and writers.

Box of Books, Vol. VI, 2013, edition of 150
Harold Abramowitz, Elijah Burgher, Jaqueline Cedar, Bernard Cooper, Garry Davis, Adam DeGraff, Jenna & Cali Thornhill deWitt, Hedi El Kholti, Johnnie JungleGuts, Jeremy Lucido, Scott McPherson, Mission Mini Comix, John Parot, Marina Pinsky, Andrew Printer, Peter Sebeckis, Lily Simonson, Vivian Sming, Jesse Spears, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, and Trevor Wayne

Box of Books, Vol. V, 2012, edition of 100
Brandon Andrew, Sadie Barnette, Ryan Brewer & AA Bronson, Deric Carner, Ray Cha, Joshua Chaney, Brian Gainey, JIMMY the zine, Daniel Ingroff, Jonesy, Karen Kevorkian, Tommy Kovac, Molly Larkey, Perla Yasmeen Meléndez, Narcissister, Paul Pescador, Steven Reigns, Jimena Sarno, Matt Wardell, and Suzanne Wright

Box of Books, Vol. IV, 2011, edition of 100
Heather Benjamin, Ryan Brewer & AA Bronson, Julia Dzwonkoski & Kye Potter, Brennan Gerard & Ryan Kelly, Abel Baker Gutierrez, Handbook Magazine (Darren Ankenbauer), Johanna Jackson, Chris Johanson, Christopher Kardambikis, Dawn Kasper, David Larsen, Sarah Locke, Jeaneen Lund, Francesca Mirabella, Zac Monday, Erwin Ong, Davy Rothbart, Jen Smith, Chris Vargas & Greg Youmans, and e war

Box of Books, Vol. III, 2010, edition of 100
Sonja Ahlers, Rich Bott, Sarah Cain, Keith Carollo & Chris Bick, Michael Dates, Jef Diesel, Epsilon + Epsilon, Deanna Erdmann, Michael Hayden, Onya Hogan-Finlay, Anthony Lepore, Matt Lipps, Noah Lyon, Amos Mac, Kirk Maxson, M. Pernod, PJB, Sumi Ink Club, Carla Verea & Francisca Rivero-Lake, Kate Wolf, and Austin Young

Box of Books, Vol. II, 2009, edition of 100
Brent Armendinger & Ben Fife, Kate Barclay, Math Bass & Eve Fowler, Eden Batki, Amina Cain, Crystal Z. Campbell, Shannon Michael Cane, Patrick Dunagan, Simon Fujiwara, David Gilbert, Lia Halloran, Johnny Ray Huston, Lamesha Melton, Amir Nikravan, Louis M. Schmidt, Christopher Schulz, Cedar Sigo, Max Steele, Margaret Tedesco, Carla Verea & Francisca Rivero-Lake, and Sy Wagon & Orson Wagon

Box of Books, 2008, edition of 100
Micah Ballard, Robert Becraft, Noel Black, bodega vendetta & prvtdncr, Timothy Cummings, Chantale Doyle, Zackary Drucker, Julia Dzwonkoski & Kye Potter, Marina Eckler, Edie Fake, Darin Klein, Nate Luce, Lucas Michael, Christopher Russell, Jim Schatz, Kelly Sears, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Ami Tallman, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, and Jim Winter

There is a unifying factor tying together the diverse range of concepts and aesthetics in Box of Books. A simple folding and cutting technique turns a single piece of 11x17” paper into a six-page book.            [see below]

Box of Books Diagram

The continual enthusiasm and constant replenishment of Box of Books participants speaks to the passion that is shared by others for the nurturing and shepherding of the project. Reactions to Box of Books by those who encounter the project at Printed Matter’s New York and Los Angeles Art Book Fairs, occasional release parties and select retailers is overwhelmingly positive. Participants are genuinely thankful for the opportunity, and audiences mirror that excitement in discovering so many little books all in one box.

Writers are outnumbered by visual artists in Box of Books. Over the years, several writers have declined when invited to participate, while visual artists invariably accept the challenge. It may have something to do with the tactile nature of the making, not to be confused with the writing, of a book. Los Angeles contributors have really mixed it up, with writers turning in visual work while musicians, visual artists and performance artists have created text-based or text-heavy pieces. One of the most rewarding aspects of the project is seeing the contributions from people who have never before self-published or hand-made a book; the prospect of being included in Box of Books offers them the incentive to do so.

Box of Books at LA Art Book Fair