Seminar The focus of this course is the book's potential existence as an art object and—simultaneously—as a container of andvessel for literary texts. We will begin our examination with the illustrated books of William Blake and William Morris, quickly moving into the twentieth century livre d'artistetradition with Blaise Cendrars & Sonia Delaunay's Prose of the Trans-Siberianand the more rough-shod works of the Russian Futurists. We will also examine the visual language experiments of Bob Brown, Henri Michaux, Aram Saroyan, and the post-avant-garde movements of Letrisme and CoBrA. Special attention will be given to: contemporary formal experimentation as well as production issues in the book arts; the publishing of artists books by presses like Granary Books; the work of artists/writers such as Johanna Drucker, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tom Phillips, and Jen Bervin; the democratization of the artist's book tradition in the post-Ruscha "multiple" and its influence on "zine" culture; and significant collaborations of writers and artists in the form of the book. A number of guest speakers will be visiting the class, among them artist book publishers, book artists, book-arts collectives, and printers.
In addition to the seminar meetings, students will be paired up (artists with writers) to work on a hands-on collaborative book project that will constitute their final project for the course. Students will have the opportunity to work on their projects in the print shop with a variety of printing methods and materials and will meet with a print-shop facilitator for consultations on printing processes.