Experimental Book Show!

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If you happen to be in Michigan between now and June 15th, make your way to Ypsilanti (the eastern part of the state) to see this awesome new show at the Ford Gallery (Eastern Michigan University). According to the site:

The exhibition investigates the role of the book in the contemporary art world. For this show, the curators have expanded on the traditional definition of a book: they have defined the term ”book” loosely as a vehicle for information that is organized into ”sections.” The exhibition includes unique traditional books, altered books, sculptural books, digital books, and installation-, photography-, and performance-based books.

The idea of this show seems important for a few reasons. First, while I’m somewhat ambivalent about the book entering into the gallery (books are meant to be held, touched, experienced, after all), I think it’s important to elevate them to the level of the gallery in terms of of cultural perception. Museums seem to imply culture and history for us (ie. importance), so of course books should live there. (Print is not dead.) And then, the concept of the artist’s book seems to be to challenge traditional notions of what a book might be. Or what it might contain. Or what it might do. Materials, form, scale, palette, content all work to provoke these questions.

Murmur Study from Christopher Baker on Vimeo.

One of my favorite pieces is this documentation called Murmur Study by Christopher Baker, which records Twitter feeds of “common emotional utterances” like ewww. Receipt, running record as book. Twitter meets book. What can this mean? Perhaps this piece is a way for humans, the human brain/body, to absorb the pace of something like Twitter. Anyway, if you can’t make it to the show, definitely check out the website, which links to all of the artists involved. The idea itself just makes me want to hop a plane.