Sunday, February 19, 2012

Technology in Book Arts

Saturday afternoon I attended this presentation about the role of technology in artist books. The 1st half consisted of individual presentations. Don Farnsworth of Magnolia Editions spoke passionately about his fascination with all kinds of machines & showed us slides of his work involving a variety of technologies, such as laser cutters, acrylic ink printers & Jacquard looms that weave photographic images (left). The guy makes his own astrolabes too! A current project involves a font made out of marks & scribbles by Chuck Close. The font can be used to render new Chuck Close portraits that the artist has never drawn. Bookbinder John DeMerritt said his motto is "No Motor," & he proudly showed us photos of his studio where he uses only tools from the 19th century & before. Penny Nii & Mohammed Allababidi showed their prototype for a "digital over analog book" in which additional content for a physical book is revealed by an augmented reality app on the iPad.

After the individual presentations, there was a Q&A & panel discussion, but unfortunately I had to miss most of it. The 1st question came from a man who decried the closing of bookstores & declared technology to be evil. The panel quickly responded that while publishers currently feel threatened, digital technologies have increased the numbers of readers & writers. Mr. Farnsworth pointed at that we are the transitional generation that has experienced both analog & digital culture, & we are the only such generation. He also asserted that the young today mistake corporate messages as knowledge.

§ Technology in Book Arts
Panel Discussion

Macy Chadwick, host
Don Farnsworth, Magnolia Editions
John DeMerritt , John DeMerritt Bookbinding
Steve Woodall, Director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts, at Columbia College Chicago
Penny Nii & Mohammed Allababidi

Sat, 2/18/2012, 2:00 - 4:00
Koret Auditorium, Main Library

§ Photo credit: Brad, 2009; Jacquard tapestry; © Chuck Close & Magnolia Editions, Inc. 

No comments: