Monday, September 7, 2015

Telling the Story: College Book Art Association Conference 2016

Early Bird registration is open for the January 2016 Conference of the College Book Art Association. While many of the members are affiliated with an academic institution, you don't have to be part of a college to join and go! This year's theme is "Telling the Story" and it is all happening in Nashville, Tennessee, January 7-9, 2016. Presentations on book art related topics occur in several sessions; there are tours; friendly meals; and Hatch Show Print is there!



I will be there, too! My proposal for a fifteen-minute presentation was accepted, "Materials and Hidden Meanings." If you've been reading the blog all these years, I touched on the subject here in 2011. Here's the scoop, my description from the proposal:

Bookmakers often have stories about selecting materials, a thought process behind the choices that may or may not show in the final works. Additionally, each material has a story inherent in it. As they select materials for a book, the makers are intentionally choosing layered meanings that will contribute to that book, sometimes overtly, sometimes in a hidden way. 

Nabokov wrote about how we perceive physical objects as “Transparent things, through which the past shines.” By paying attention to our materials, we can control what kind of past shines through the works. These materials add a context: their "transparency" ties the object to a time and place and person. In our era of reduce/reuse/recycle and renewed environmental consciousness, we may ask: When is new appropriate? When do found materials add to or distract from the intention of the piece? How does longevity figure into the life of the work?

By examining selected works and through primary sources such as personal interviews with book artists like Betsy Davids, Alisa Golden, Michael Henninger, Lisa Kokin, Shanna Leino, John Steck, Jr., and others who work in a variety of ways with new, everyday, found, or sought-after materials, we can learn stories behind the choices that are often not visible in the works, and how the materials themselves tell stories, implying certain places, times, moods, and connections from the makers to the readers and to the wider world.

Hope to see you there!
Registration here.

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