Uncertain Relations is a series that explores the connections between poem and reader, art and viewer, poem and sculptural form.
Poems that involve me the most are ones that reveal themselves to the reader in a measured way. That is also what attracts me to artists’ books as an art form. Like a well-told story it can make the viewer curious about what’s next as well as engage them through touch. When a particular poem on a page in a printed book makes you stop, draw in a breath, and not want to turn the next page it deserves to stand alone. The artist book allows for that and adds a physical and tactile dimension to the poem’s voice.
An important personal aspect of this series is a very comfortable connection for me between my interest in art and technology (specifically digital imaging) and my aesthetic preference to work with certain physical materials and processes.
I would like to thank Joel Chace, Liz Huntington, and Carson Higby-Flowers for allowing the use of their poetry and prose in this artists’ books series.
Artists’ books have employed a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box. Artists have been active in printing and book production for centuries, but the artist’s book is primarily a late 20th-century form with roots in earlier avant-garde movements, such as Dada, Constructivism, Futurism, and Fluxus.
“Artists’ books are books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself.” Stephen Bury
Artists’ books are made for a variety of reasons. They are often created to make art that is interactive, portable, movable and easily shared. Many artists books challenge the conventional book format and become sculptural objects. They may be created in order to make art accessible to people outside of the formal contexts of galleries or museums.