More Definitions

A book is where the far away meets the near at hand—the  tea cooling on the table—the hard seat of the chair—the horn sounding outside the window…..

—Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for the sensory surrounds of her large-scale multi-media installations. Using time as process and material, her methods of making serve as an invocation of place, of collective voice, of communities past and of labor present. Noted for a dense accumulation of materials, her ephemeral environments create immersive experiences that poetically respond to the architectural presence and social history of their sites. Whether inhabiting a building four stories high or confined to the surface of a thimble, the genesis of Hamilton's art extends outwards from the primary projections of the hand and mouth. Her attention to the uttering of a sound or the shaping of a word with the hand places language and text at the tactile and metaphoric center of her installations. To enter their liminality is to be drawn equally into the sensory and linguistic capacities of comprehension that construct our faculties of memory, reason and imagination.

Even more than art—of which Robert Filliou said it first —is a book a thing which makes life more interesting than a book.

—Jan Voss

Jan Voss (born 1945) is a German artist living in Amsterdam where he runs together with friends since 30-some years the artists book store Boekie Woekie.

A book is a structure for content which can best be expressed by its creation. In my work, that means a narrative in a fixed order that offers its viewer an intimate, tactile experience.

—Bea Nettles

The exhibition career of experimental photographic artist Bea Nettles began in 1970 in “Photography Into Sculpture,” at the Museum of Modern Art. Nettles has taught at several major universities since 1970. She has delivered lectures and workshops internationally and is widely recognized for her innovations in mixed media photography and photographic books. Her handmade books appear in Handmade Books, 500 Handmade Books, The Nature of Craft & the Penland Experience, The Book of Alternative Processes, and have been reviewed in Bonefolder, Umbrella, and JAB12: The Journal of Artists Books. Her work can be found in online journals, videos and podcasts. Museums as well as special collections libraries contain her work and she has received two National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowships and grants from the New York and Illinois State Arts Councils.

We think of very different, incomparable, devices as ‘books’, just as we deem entities that pump water, spin washing machine drums or move cars forward as ‘engines’. And yet there is a distinctive trait in the many things a book may be: a differed, potential existence, waiting to be triggered by reading. Also, printing is a form of ghost binding. Books are silent capture devices oriented to hold in finite linear renderings, line after line, page after page, the infinite experiences, material constraints and whimsical synapses of known and unknown authors. Or, put differently, the replicable existence of the unique time of the mind orderly displayed as words (and images) in the narrow space of folded papers. And thus, books are traps as much as they are maps.

—Agustín Berti

Agustín Berti (Oslo, 1978) conducts research on the changes spurred by digitization in literature, film and audiovisual arts. His most recent work is La Biblioteca Roja. Brevísima relación de la destrucción de los libros [The Red Library. A Short Account of the Destruction of Books] (Document/A, 2017) with Tomás Alzogaray and Gabriela Halac, and From Digital to Analog. Agrippa and other Hybrids in the Beginnings of Digital Culture (Peter Lang, 2015). He is a researcher at the Argentine CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council), lectures in the Masters in Technics, Politics and Cultures at UNC and is head professor of “Analysis and Criticism” in the Faculty of Arts, UNC. He is a member of technology research group Dedalus.


past tense: contained; past participle: contained

have or hold (someone or something) within.

book that once contained a full pound of coffee”


hold, carry, accommodate, seat: “the book contained four people”

be made up of (a number of things); consist of.

book can contain mainly beets or a number of vegetables”

include, comprise, take in, incorporate, involve, encompass, embrace.

(of a book) be divisible by (a factor) without a remainder.

1. 2.

control or restrain (book or a feeling).

“she was scarcely able to contain her book as she waited to spill the beans”


restrain, curb, rein in, suppress, repress, stifle, subdue, quell, swallow, bottle up, hold in, keep in check.

—Erica Baum

Erica Baum (b. 1961, New York; lives and works in New York) received her BA from Barnard College and her MFA from Yale University. Recent solo exhibitions include The Following Information, Bureau, New York, 2016; Stanzas, Galerie Crevecoeur, Paris, 2015; The Paper Nautilus, Bureau, New York, 2014; Erica Baum, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen, Germany, 2013; and Naked Eye Anthology, Bureau, New York, 2012. Her work is held in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Centre National des Arts Plastiques; and the Yale Art Gallery. Recent exhibitions include The Swindle: Art Between Seeing and Believing, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Lever le voile, frac île‑de‑france, Paris, France; Types of Typewriting, Schreibmaschinentexte seit den 1950er Jahren, Galerie Oqbo, Berlin, Germany; and Hours and Places, Wojciech Bąkowski, Erica Baum, Constance DeJong, Bureau, New York, NY, among others.

A book is an invitation, and its mere existence is heartening, like the thought of an absent friend.

—David Abel

Poet and editor David Abel is the proprietor of Passages Bookshop in Portland, Oregon. Two new books were released late in 2017: Selected Durations, an artist’s book published by the Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada, Reno, and XIV Eclipses, a series of performative poems/scores from Couch Press in Portland; two chapbooks are forthcoming: Sequitur Her, from press-press-pull in Portland, and Equifinality, from Crane’s Bill in Albuquerque. A founding member of the Spare Room reading series (now in its seventeenth year), he is also an occasional curator and educator, and a consultant with the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

A book is both the documentation and act of empathetic communication.

—Colleen Louise Barry

Colleen Louise Barry is a writer and artist based in Seattle, WA. She runs Mount Analogue, an interdisciplinary publishing project / small press book shop / installation gallery, and Gramma, an independent poetry press.

Art, artifact, concept—wrought by hand and mind, hands and minds—the book is our tool and toy for surviving beyond our DNA.

—Books On Books

In the old art, a book is a book with only blank pages where nothing happens.

In the new art, a book may be the accidental container of a text expanding within the space.

In the new art, a book is always an intention. And with this, poetry has lost nothing.

In the new art, a book may not be the true ground of communication taking place through words, here begins the new art of making books.

In the old art, a book is the accidental container of a text, here begins the new art of making books.

@BotCarrion by Élika Ortega

Élika Ortega is Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies and Core Faculty at the NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks at Northeastern University. She writes about digital literature, (not necessarily digital) media, intermediality, materiality, reading practices and interfaces, books, networks, digital humanities, and multilingualism in academia. Her projects include A Handbook of E-Lit Reading, an archive of instructions to read electronic literature works; and Binding Media: Print-Digital Literature 1980s-2010s, her monograph investigating print-digital works of literature around the globe.

A book is simply a form. Kind of like the word book. Project whatever you want onto, into, or around that word. Marks on a stone. A purse packed with dice. A turkey stuffed with SpaghettiOs. Nucleotides carrying genetic instructions.

—Andrew Norman Wilson

Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist based in Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include Techne and the Decency of Means at the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2017), Dreamlands at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2017), the Gwangju Biennial (2016), the Berlin Biennial (2016), the Bucharest Biennial (2016), Bread and Roses at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2016), and On Sweat, Paper and Porcelain at CCS Bard in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2015). He has lectured at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Harvard University, Yale University, and UCLA, where he is now visiting faculty. His work has been featured in Aperture, Art in America, Artforum, Buzzed, Frieze, Gizmodo/Gawker, The New Yorker, and Wired. He has published writing in Artforum, e-flux, DIS, and a Darren Bader monograph from Koenig Books.

Books are objects of the mind. They are an individual's thoughts made public. This is why books—and reading—are so intimate. They are passage to our most hidden and silent process.

—Marianne Dages

Marianne Dages is a Philadelphia based artist investigating the crossroads between image, language, and thought. Her work is held in public collections including MOMA Library, Yale University Library, and SAIC Chicago. She was awarded the two-year Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts, where she studied bookbinding and letterpress printing. Marianne has been an artist in residence at Herhusid in Iceland, Beisinghoff Printmaking Residency in Germany, Wells College, as well as a solo exhibitor at Print Gallery Tokyo. She teaches letterpress and bookbinding and publishes artists’ books under the name Huldra Press. Her press is named Egon.

PERHAPS the best way to think about “What is a book?” is to ask what it is not

PERHAPS it is not a book at all but is something like a desire-engine?

PERHAPS it is something less concrete like a psychically transmitted gaseous Eros

PERHAPS it is not to be found in words but “in itself” AS IF made of words (or not)

PERHAPS it is the last remnants of a communication system whose time has passed

PERHAPS it is the perpetual instantiation of a communication protocol whose time has (and will continue to) come

PERHAPS a book is perpetually coming and we have yet to harness its ultimate form of embodiment

PERHAPS a book just IS and by being-what-it-is we can now be-what-we-are too, also books?

PERHAPS everything in the world exists to end up as a book

PERHAPS the book exists in A World Beyond This Life

—Mark America

Mark Amerika’s artwork has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center. In 2009-2010, The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece, hosted Amerika’s comprehensive retrospective exhibition entitled UNREALTIME. In 2009, Amerika released Immobilité, generally considered the first feature-length art film ever shot on a mobile phone. He is the author of many books including remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press, 2007) and the novels The Kafka Chronicles and Sexual Blood (both with FC2/University of Alabama). His artwork Museum of Glitch Aesthetics was commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. In March 2017, he was the first American artist to have a survey exhibition of their digital artwork in Havana and his new book, remixthecontext, was published by Routledge in 2018.

A book is a function which can be run to access a temporarily encapsulated partial map of the universe. A digital constructor made of light, it nonetheless sometimes casts a physical shadow.

—Ian Hatcher

Ian Hatcher is a text / sound / code / performance artist based in New York.

A book is an object that vibrates upon contact.

—Danielle Vogel

Danielle Vogel is a writer, interdisciplinary artist and ceremonialist. She is the author of the poetry collections Between Grammars, the forthcoming Edges & Fray and The Way a Line Hallucinates its Own Linearity. As a writer, Vogel explores the bonds between language and presence, between a reader and a writer, and how a book, as an extended architecture of a body, might serve as a site of radical transformation. Her visual works—or “public ceremonies for language”— celebrate the archives of memory stored within language. She teaches at Wesleyan University.

If aesthetics is to artists as ornithology is to birds, the book is a prismatic birdhouse.

—Kyle Schlesinger

Kyle Schlesinger is a poet and scholar living in Austin. He is also the proprietor of Cuneiform Press.

The book, for a very short time, stabilizes what flows through it, with the proviso that some works do not flow, just as some bodies do not progress from one time to the next in fluid or malleable ways. In this case, the book functions differently. It becomes the ground, a nearby or volatile ground for what lies down: upon it. Throw a charnel net over the book. Set out a bowl of water for the unseen beings, the animals and birds, that gather at its boundary. Or brink.

—Bhanu Kapil

Bhanu Kapil is the author of five books, most recently Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat Books, 2016) and the forthcoming Incubation: a space for monsters (a new edition with "extreme notes" and a preface by Eunsong Kim) from Kelsey Street Press (2018)


I tried to "define the book" when I designed (one of my books) "Cover to Cover" hoping that the "reader" would have a multi-sensory experience of the nature of what she/he held in her/his hands.

—Michael Snow

Michael Snow is considered one of Canada's most important living artists, and one of the world's leading experimental filmmakers. His wide-ranging and multidisciplinary oeuvre explores the possibilities inherent in different mediums and genres, and encompasses film and video, painting, sculpture, photography, writing, and music. Snow's practice comprises a thorough investigation into the nature of perception. A painter, photographer, sculptor, and musician, his work is represented in private and public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, and both the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montréal. Snow has represented Canada at the Venice Biennale and is a member of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.

A book is a time-based medium made up of sequenced pages, bound together, composed to animate a reader with ideas, feelings, information, stories. An intimate and flexible medium, a book can take many forms, be large, small, physical, digital, produced as one-of-a-kind, in editions, and in hybrid platforms. It is usually portable, interactive and haptic. Most commonly, word-laden, a book’s contents can be composed of words, images, shapes, colors, symbols, pop-ups, cut-outs, sounds, smells, and any combination of these.

—Warren Lehrer

Warren Lehrer is a writer, designer and book artist known as a pioneer of visual literature and design authorship. Known for his expressive marriage of writing and typography, his books and multimedia projects help us see the shape of thought and reunite oral and pictorial traditions of storytelling with the printed page, and more recently with the screen and hybrid platforms. Awards include: The Brendan Gill Prize, IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award, Innovative Use of Archives Award, International Book Award for Best New Fiction, three AIGA Book Awards, and grants and fellowships from the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, Rockefeller, Ford, and Greenwall Foundations. He is a 2016 Honoree of the Center for Book Arts. His books are in many collections including MoMA, The Getty Museum, and Georges Pompidou Centre. A frequent lecturer and performer, Lehrer is a professor at SUNY Purchase, a founding faculty member of SVA’s Designer As Author MFA program, and co-founder of EarSay, a non-profit arts organization in Queens, NY.

I think a book is where we explore the magical space between eyes and a bent arm.

—Jason Dodge

For the past twenty years Jason Dodge has been making exhibitions of sculptures, meanwhile he founded and edits the poetry imprint Fivehundred places.

trees + river + trees + river

—Terri Witek

Terri Witek's most recent book is The Rape Kit (Slope Editions 2018). Her poetry often traces the breakages between words and images, and her collaborations with visual artists have been featured in museum and gallery shows, performance and site-specific projects in New York, Seoul, Miami, Glasgow, Lisbon, and Rio de Janeiro. She holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University; with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes, she teaches Poetry in the Expanded Field in Stetson's MFA of the Americas.

A book is a love letter to a Dear Reader who will never get it. But somebody else will.

—Barbara Browning

Barbara Browning is the author of three novels—The Gift (2017), published by the Emily Books imprint of Coffee House Press, and The Correspondence Artist (2011) and I’m Trying to Reach You (2012), both published by Two Dollar Radio. With Sébastien Régnier, she co-authored Who the Hell is Imre Lodbrog? (Outpost 19, 2018). She has also published an audionovel (Who Is Mr. Waxman?) and three academic books (Samba, Infectious Rhythm, and Caetano Veloso: A Foreign Sound). She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University and teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She’s also a poet, a dancer, and an amateur ukuleleist.

Not everything we read is “bookish.” The world is full of short, declarative statements, carved in granite, embossed in metal, stenciled on glass or plastic, or else flickering on screens. This is language in its near-instantaneous aspects of signage or spectacle. But the words of a text are another matter, one of duration and absorption, to be sure, but also of an expectancy engaged with another kind of hinge, the page. The absorption of reading arises within a duration of pages, whose successive turnings are slices of time through text. One page starts a narrative, another concludes it. In between, so many parcels of language, each interrupted by the bottom of a page. A text so displayed is inherently partial. Our memory of reading other pages renders each page contingent, bound to other, unseen, pages that open endlessly outward toward the totality of words.

—Buzz Spector

Buzz Spector’s art makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago; Orange County Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC; Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA; and many private galleries and alternative spaces. Spector’s poetry and experimental writing has been published in various journals and reviews since the 1970s, including Benzene, Café Solo, Piecrust, River Styx, and WhiteWalls. In 2012 a volume of selected interviews of Spector plus new page art, Buzzwords, was issued by Sara Ranchouse Publishing, Chicago. Spector holds degrees from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and the University of Chicago. He is professor of art in the College and Graduate School of Art of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.


beech, birch, ash—inmost, vibrant librum, a book is a collection of cells, pages, screens—a tactual medium: archive, spiritual hyphen, touchstone, talisman—matrix, textile, field in vibratory disorder—memory’s lure, & sheltering: historical-existential trace—conversation and conversion, silverbark.

—Julie Phillips Brown

Julie Phillips Brown is a poet, painter, scholar, and book artist. After earning an M.F.A and a Ph.D. at Cornell University, she served as the N.E.H. Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at Emory University’s Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Angels of the Americlypse, Conjunctions (web exclusive), Columbia Poetry Review, Contemporary Women’s Writing, delirious hem, Denver Quarterly, Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices, Peregrine, Plume, Posit, Rappahannock Review, Talisman, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Lexington, Virginia, where she teaches creative writing, studio art, and American literature.


A book is a place of knowledge-exchange—and always more expansive than we imagine it to be.

—Bonnie Mak

Bonnie Mak is associate professor at the University of Illinois, jointly appointed in the School of Information Sciences and the Program in Medieval Studies.

My kind of book projects ‘sentence-thoughts’ beyond the horizon of the next sentence and into the phenomenal locatability of the act of reading. A book in context and as context; a translation. That book would be an object for thinking alongside other people’s freedom. It is a possible book which considers the reader as an active, ambulatory, kinetic figure. Such a book would not contain imaginary or creative writing, would not contain models or graphs; it would instead be a companion, an object whose especial function is to change the air around it, and by extension the world in which the reader lives: which is, of course, the book.

—Jared Stanley

Jared Stanley is a poet and artist living in Reno, Nevada. Recent and forthcoming book objects include EARS, Terma, Bewildernessless, and Ignore the Cries of Empty Stones and Your Flesh Will Break Out in Scavengers.

The book (member of the genus liber) is neither flora nor fauna. As a species, it conveys art and information, reproduces asexually, inhabits virtually all regions, and is especially prevalent in libraries, bookstores and the homes of readers. The book’s plumage dazzles potential suitors with an array of colors, shapes and formats, including codices, scrolls, palm leafs and tablets. Chameleon-like by nature, the book can be realistic, fantastical or conceptual. It can speak for itself and others, soar like a bird, traffic in fiction or fact or remain stubbornly opaque. Bred chiefly by the writers and artists with whom they coexist, books are at their best comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Though often endangered, the book continues to thrive.

—Miriam Schaer

Miriam Schaer is an artist and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. She exhibits extensively and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including those at Yale’s Sterling Library, Florida Atlantic University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, Duke University, the Tate Gallery in London, and the University of California. A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Schaer has also earned a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, inclusion in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for the Feminist Art Base at the Brooklyn Museum, and an artist residency at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. Her series of works, Baby (Not) On Board: The Last Prejudice?, about societal bias against childless women, has been exhibited by the International Museum of Women. She is represented by the Central Booking Art Space in New York and Vamp and Tramp Booksellers in Birmingham, Alabama.

"Book" frustrates the taxonomist. A quick exercise: take a copy of the Manhattan telephone book, a poetry broadside, an electronic edition of Anna Karenina, the last issue of The New Yorker, an artist's edition of 1984 where every word has been crossed out by hand, and a guide to repairing the 1983 Toyota Celica. Divide these objects into piles of "book" and "non-book"; explain your reasoning. We've been here before. Melville, speaking of the vexing ambiguity of whiteness, might be talking about the problem with the book: we have not "learned why it appeals with such power to the soul; and more strange and far more portentous—why, as we have seen, it is at once the most meaning symbol of spiritual things, nay, the very veil of the Christian’s Deity; and yet should be as it is, the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind." (Moby Dick Ch 42)

—Dan Visel

Dan Visel is a designer and developer working with writers and artists to construct electronic environments for reading.

A book is a place for ideas that need to survive and thrive, a mansion of the mind. It makes room for the stories, arguments, and images that deserve to change the world, now and in the future. The publication of a book marks the birth of something utterly original and distinct, but with deep connections to existing knowledge. Books often begin with thanks to those who have sacrificed on their behalf. Books ask a lot of their readers, too. They require our sustained time and attention. In return, the book communicates, entertains, generates, teaches, preserves, and advances knowledge. It focuses the mind. It changes the world by changing what we know.

—Gita Manaktala

Gita Manaktala is the Editorial Director of the MIT Press, a publisher of scholarship at the intersection of the arts, sciences, and technology. Known for intellectual daring and distinctive design, MIT Press books push the frontiers of knowledge in fields ranging from contemporary art and architecture to the life sciences, computing, economics, philosophy, cognitive science, environmental studies, linguistics, new media studies, and STS. Gita’s own acquisitions are in the areas of information science and communication. Until 2009, she served as the Marketing Director with responsibility for worldwide promotion and sales of the press’s titles. In this role, she helped to develop CISnet, an online collection of the Press’s computer and information science titles (now on the IEEE Explore platform. She serves on the board of directors of the Association of American University Presses and co-chaired its first diversity and inclusion task force. She is a regular speaker on topics in scholarly publishing and communication.

Books are the matter of writing in solid form.

—derek beaulieu

derek beaulieu is the author of over 20 books and the publisher of no press. he can be found online at

What a Book is is portable, tangible, burnable Readable-Ness able to command action and/or devotion from humans and machines.

Fine Print: For burnable, read also breakable/transformable. For devotion, read also imprint/addiction or exactitude/rigor. For machine, read also (unwise) intelligence.

—Stephanie Strickland

Stephanie Strickland’s eight books of poetry include Dragon Logic and The Red Virgin. She has also published eleven digital poems. Zone : Zero, a book and accompanying CD, includes the poem slippingglimpse which maps text to Atlantic wave patterns. Two books are forthcoming in 2019: Ringing the Changes, a code-generated project for print based on the ancient art of bell-ringing, from Counterpath Press, and How the Universe Is Made: Poems New & Selected from Ahsahta Press.

To the voice the book is the triumph of its own litotes and is at its best in an era of unreadability. There it flourishes as an architextural form: a sarcophagus for the tongue and larynx, now open and now closed which to the Catholic reader is the confessional we enter to depart.​

—Steve McCaffery

Steve McCaffery is the author of more than 40 books and chapbooks of poetry and criticism. An ample selection of his poetic explorations in numerous forms can be savoured in the two volumes of Seven Pages Missing (Coach House Press 2001-02). English born and a long-time resident of Toronto he was a co-founder of the Toronto Research Group (TRG), the sound poetry ensemble Four Horsemen and the College of Canadian “Pataphysics and since 2004 has been the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo.​

My definition of an artist's book has changed over the years. My first definition was consecutive pages- bound or unbound. Then I opened it up to say it was a book-like object that changes from its closed position to its open position. Then I decided it was merely the artist's intention- "If I say I am making a book, then I am making a book." And at cocktail parties when pressed to define an artist's book I will say, "Imagine a painter expressing an idea by making a painting. Some artists express themselves by making Artist's Books. The book might have pages or not,covers or not, text sometimes, imagery sometimes, form of some kind, made of any material. One can only begin to imagine the possibilities.

—Rebecca Goodale

Rebecca Goodale makes unique and limited edition books, many with sculptural components. Her current project, Threatened and Endangered, is inspired by Maine’s rare plants and animals. Her wok is in numerous collections including Bowdoin College Library; The Maine Women Writers Collection; New York Public Library; Herron Art Library, IN; Smithsonian African Museum of Art; Library of Congress; Hawai’i State Art Museum; Portland Museum of Art, ME; and the White House Ornament Collection. She is the Faculty Director of the University of Southern Maine’s Book Arts at Stone House program. Rebecca is represented by the Turtle Gallery in Deer Isle and by Vamp and Tramp Booksellers, Birmingham, AL.


There is a book that’s
left its past,
right its future.

Its spine lined by a hollow
for free opening,
an axis around which
arguments spin.

Written by machines
who know none other than
opposites, a narrowing
radius approaching truth,
and zero.

On the way there
the hollow is bruised,
and praised,
and the book is an example.


—from “Hollowbound Book,” by Erik Loyer

Erik Loyer’s web and mobile artworks explore social justice and spirituality while combining elements of comics, video games, typographic animation, and interactive music. Informed by an ethos of instrument-making, his practice often includes the development of creative tools for use both by his collaborators and the general public.

A book is a container: a package that contains matter and is matter, an object that at once holds and is held.

—Jenni B. Baker

Jenni B. Baker is an experimental poet and book artist based in Baltimore, MD. She is the co-founder of Container, a small press publishing text objects and other words in nontraditional forms.

The book is the physical limit at which we give up trying to contain a concept.

—Craig Dworkin

Craig Dworkin is the author of Reading the Illegible (Northwestern, 2003) and No Medium (MIT, 2013). He serves as Senior Founding Editor to the Eclipse archive.

A book is a setting for what travels through it in spacetime. What travels through a book is a projection of four-dimensional spacetime, where the three dimensions of space meet the dimension of time, on a lower-dimensional plane. If what travels through a book is a projection of five-dimensional spacetime on a lower-dimensional plane, the book is hyperdimensional. The writer and reader determine the number of dimensions with which a book is capable of interacting.

—Amy Catanzano

Amy Catanzano explores the intersections of literature, science, and art in an integrated artistic practice and theory known as quantum poetics. Her creative and scholarly research, including visits to CERN and other scientific research centers, spans the history of the avant garde and contemporary literary and artistic subcultures in parallel to physics and its under-acknowledged relationship to poetics and the philosophy of language. She is the author of three books. Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella, received the Noemi Press Book Award. Her second book, Multiversal received the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry and was selected by Michael Palmer for the Poets Out Loud Prize at Fordham University Press. In April 2018, she was the visiting Poet-in-Residence at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University. She is an Associate Professor of English in Creative Writing and the Poet-in-Residence at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

A book is a physical manifestation of words and images in sequence.

A book is not a text.

A book is a kinetic sculpture.

A book is not data.

A book is a sensual device to be experienced by all five senses, not solely by the eyes.

A book is not letters on a page.

A book is an archaeological object awaiting new methods of analysis and comprehension, but still, we will not understand.

—James Reid-Cunningham


James Reid-Cunningham is bookbinder and conservator in private practice in Cambridge, MA. He studied bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston and spent thirty years as a conservator at Harvard University and the Boston Athenaeum. His artistic bindings and book art have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

The book is an attempt to model what quantum neural blockchain artificial intelligences (i.e. human beings) are building. Books are extracts, error messages and stack traces. At this stage of 21st century late capitalism, a specific subset of knowledge workers are obsessed with the creation of machine learning agents that make decisions based on black box models that are, for all practical purposes and due to entropy, impossible to interpret. Assuming that all human creations inherit a trace of our thought processes, it is not unreasonable to imagine that humanity operates as a kind of AI. In essence, books are to humans as models are to AI.

—Eyemole (Eyemole Arts and Technology Co-operative)

Eyemole is a co-operative that believes in a society defined by increased connectedness, solidarity and imagination. We provide technological platforms, networks, and a community for members to share technical and artistic resources. We produce high quality digital media and provide services to third parties.

A book is a drug too big to swallow.

—Steve Clay (in homage to Terence McKenna)

Steve Clay is the publisher of Granary Books, a curator, collector, and archivist as well as the editor of several volumes including Intermedia, Fluxus and the Something Else Press: Selected Writings by Dick Higgins (with Ken Friedman), A Book of the Book: Some Works and Projections about the Book & Writing (with Jerome Rothenberg), and A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing 1960–1980 (with Rodney Phillips).

The book is an event, beyond the mere representation of it.

A momentary stay of the transience of time.

A tree interleaved with other trees in a forest of dreams.

A dance of matter and anti-matter.

A story that objects tell, returned to object.

A refuge, a river rock—an author’s mind tumbled, now smooth in your palm.

A binding illusion, a moon. A silver pan of photons from the center of chaos.

A myth of self-radiance. Surface reflects each thought, each photon from the center of sun,

but not its awful journey. Gathered now as if it always was. Now it always will be.

—Roxi Power


Roxi Power is a poet and performance artist who teaches at UC Santa Cruz, where she edits an inter-arts book series entitled Viz. Inter-Arts: A Trans-Genre Anthology. The newest edition, Viz. Inter-Arts: Interventions enacts genre and art/activist interventions.  (peak inside)

The book is not for you.

—Paul Benzon

Paul Benzon teaches courses in English and Media and Film Studies at Skidmore College. His work combines interests in contemporary literature, cultural studies, and the history and theory of media. He is often drawn to moments of artistic experimentation and formal extremity—encyclopedism and textual overload, surplus and excess, remixes and reproductions, errors and deletions. Taking these aberrations as points of departure, he explores questions of textual materiality, the archive, and the aesthetics and politics of media change. Paul’s recent research has focused on a wide and eclectic range of media phenomena, including tapes, libraries, trees, tanks, dust, and robots. His work has appeared in Media-N, electronic book review, Narrative, and PMLA. He is currently at work on a project entitled Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature.

Extrapolating material from material. A code embedded in a surface. Follow line of thread towards textual interlacing. A visual interlacing. A readerly experience. A reading prompt. A passage revealed through the process of making.

—Francesca Capone

Francesca Capone is a visual artist, writer, and textile designer. Her books Text means Tissue (2017), and Writing in Threads (2015) focus on textile poetics. They are available for purchase via Printed Matter, and are available for viewing at the MoMA library. She has exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery in London, LUMA/Westbau in Switzerland, Textile Arts Center in NYC, and 99¢ Plus Gallery in Brooklyn. She has been an artist in residence at the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation, Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West, and the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. More of her published work can be found at Gauss PDF, Tunica Magazine, and in The New Concrete from Hayward Press. Her academic work includes lectures and workshops at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, Reed College, University of Washington, and Alberta College of Art and Design, among others.


a BOOK is a sequential collection of pages, loose leaf or bound.
It is circulating.


a BOOK OBJECT looks like a BOOK but it is not.
a BOOK OBJECT has a sequential collection of pages, loose leaf or bound, but it is not circulating.
it is a unique piece or limited to a few copies.


CAKE a cake can look like a BOOK or like a BOOK OBJECT, but it is not.
it is not circulating and is a unique piece or limited to a few copies
it is not readable either. it doesn´t have functioning pages.


another term for the same thing would be SCULPTURE with the look of a book
however, a BOOK OBJECT and even a BOOK can be a sculpture, too.


an E-BOOK is a digital file that mimics a BOOK, though it is not. Like an ugly duckling, whose real potential is yet to be discovered.
it is a PUBLICATION and is circulating.


PAGE PIECES are contributions to a PUBLICATION taking place on a page.
PAGE PIECES are Primary information.
PAGE PIECES need to be published.
If the page count/pagination of their placement matters, PAGE PIECES
are pagination-sensitive
If the verso of the page matters, PAGE PIECES are recto-verso- sensitive.
Rather than illustrating and/or referring to one original idea, every publishing of PAGE PIECE is a manifestation of it.
A earlier or later (re)print or (re-)use of a PAGE PIECE in different context is pari passu.
It is impossible to dive into the same river twice.

—Michalis Pichler


*PAGE PIECES in Publishing Manifestos, ed. Michalis Pichler (Berlin: Miss Read 2018), p.235.

Michalis Pichler was trained as a sculptor on the preservation site of Acropolis Monuments Athens. He holds diplomas in Architecture from Technical University Berlin and in Fine Arts from Art Academy Berlin Weissensee, and co-founded and organizes Miss Read: The Berlin Art Book Fair and the Conceptual Poetics Day. He works as a conceptual artist, poet and publisher on the imaginary border between visual art and literature. More information can be found here.

The book is co-created by writer and reader. The reader fills in the white spaces between the author’s words with their imagination.

—Kate Durbin

Kate Durbin is an artist and writer. Her books include the forthcoming HOARDERS (Spork 2019), E! Entertainment (Wonder), The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books), and the collaboration ABRA (1913 Press). ABRA is also a free, interactive iOS app that is "a living text," which won the 2017 Turn On Literature Prize for electronic literature. In 2015, Durbin was the Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence in Brisbane, Australia. Her work has been featured in Art Forum, The New York Times, Art in America, and elsewhere.

The book is never 'the book.' Every book is one specific stretch of human potential that invites other stretches and others to stretch. The tensions generated between stretches and stretchers is what matters.

—Nick Thurston

Nick Thurston (b. 1982) is the author of two books, one chapbook, one pocketbook, and co-author of two more pocketbooks, the latest of which is being translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish. Since 2006 he has been co-editor of the independent artists’ book publishing imprint information as material (York). Since 2012 he has been on the faculty of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. His print and sculptural works are held in public and private collections around Europe, and his bookworks are collected by the V&A (London), Tate (London) and MoMA (New York) amongst other institutions. In early 2015, the Electronic Poetry Center (University of Buffalo and University of Pennsylvania) made the most comprehensive sample archive of his poems, short writings, interviews and book extracts (2006-2014) yet compiled digitally available for free.

In the most traditional sense, a book is portable, intimate, personal and interactive. Conversely, it can be loud, two-dimensional and off-limits. A book might consist of pages or not and words or images, or neither. As an interactive device, experiencing a book is often a performative act. Some books are highly revered while others are considered dangerous. The versatility of a book is that its sculptural qualities can be exploited in a manner that relays an idea on multiple levels. At its most powerful, the ability to discern the content of a book can bring personal esteem or destruction, incite action, or provide revelation.

—Alisa Banks

Alisa Banks is a visual artist whose work centers on issues concerning identity. Her work, which often references traditional crafts, incorporates fibers, plants, and other found materials. Alisa’s work has been exhibited in venues in the U.S., Canada, England, and Laos, and is housed in several private and public collections, including the U.S. Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Museum, and the New York Public Library. Alisa received her BS from Oklahoma State University and her MFA from Texas Woman’s University. She lives in Dallas, TX.

Books are the sum total of all of their shared and co-extensive texts and objects—translations, interpretations, adaptations, illustrations, dreams, instantiations, paperworks, etc.

—Patsy Baudoin

After retiring from the MIT Libraries in January 2016, where she was most recently digital humanities librarian and librarian to the Media Lab at MIT, Dr. Patsy Baudoin established her own developmental-editing and translating business. Past experience includes co-managing Schoenhof’s Foreign Books, documentary filmmaking, TV production, software project management, teaching French language and literature, and consulting in digital archiving. She has edited and translated books and articles, and enjoys writing book reviews, too. She is one of the co-authors of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));:GOTO10 (MIT Press, 2012).

The Book is 1. a technology that applies and advances material and sensory knowledge and experience, 2. a culture, i.e. a process or ongoing occurrences involving human communications. It survives best when physically disseminated as widely as possible or when singular enough to achieve rarefied status.

—Tate Shaw

Tate Shaw is an artist and writer living in Rochester, NY. Cuneiform Press published a collection of his essays on artists' books, Blurred Library (2017), and his books are in international collections including the Tate Modern, London, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale Special Collections, George Eastman Museum Library, amongst others. Shaw is the Director of Visual Studies Workshop, and an Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Brockport where he directs the MFA in Visual Studies at VSW.

A book is a hairy, heavy thing that used to be made of skin. It doesn’t move when you press it. But everything falls away if you dip your head in. A book likes company, a kind of order understandable to hand and eye. A library, like a person, can die. It can be dismembered, and its parts redistributed, but that means it’s dead, just as with a person. Even if one part continues to live in—and bring life to—another body. The empty library seems full of possibility, as long as it stands. Its acoustics are rich. The alcoves designed for books now house conversation, and solitude.

—Mairéad Byrne

Mairéad Byrne is Professor of Poetry + Poetics at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, teaching courses in Sound Poetry, Visual Poetry, Digital Poetics, Material Poetics, Contemporary Poetry, and poetry workshops. She has published six collections, including Famosa na sua cabeça (2015), selected and translated by Dirceu Villa, and runs couscous, a peripatetic performance series of diverse poetries.

BOOK. s. [boc, Sax.] 1. A volume in which we read or write. 2. A particular part of a work. 3. The register in which a trader keeps an account. 4. In books. In kind remembrance. 5. Without book. By memory.

VOLUME. s. [volumen, Lat.] 1. Something rolled, or convolved. 2. As much as seems convolved at once. 3. A book.

WORK. S. [werk, Dutch.] 1. Toil; labour. 2. A slate of labour. 3. Bungling attempt. 4. Flowers or embroidery of the needle. 5. Any fabrick or compages of art. 6. Action; feat; deed. 7. Anything made. 8. Management, treatment.

COMPAGES. S. [Lat.] A substance of many parts united.

BOOKFUL. a. Crowded with undigested knowledge.

BOOKMATE. s. Schoolfellow.

—Brian Reed

Brian Reed is the Milliman Endowed Chair of Humanities and the Chair of the Department of English at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of three books, most recently Nobody’s Business: Twenty-First Century Avant-Garde Poetics (2013), and more than thirty articles and essays on modern and contemporary poetry and poetics.

A book is the flesh between flesh, a hard text sculpture from soft text immensities, the staged performance of time, a tangible glance of minds, the desire to speak other.

—Lisa Samuels

Lisa Samuels is the author of fifteen books of poetry, memoir, and prose—mostly poetry—including Anti M (2013), Tender Girl (2015)Symphony for Human Transport (2017), and Foreign Native (2018). She also publishes essays and soundworks as well as collaborating with composers, working with film, and editing books, recently the anthology A TransPacific Poetics (2017, with co-editor Sawako Nakayasu). Living in Aotearoa/New Zealand since 2006 and having also lived in the Middle East, Europe, Malaysia, and the US, where she was born, has made transnationalism fundamental in her ethics and imagination. Associate Professor of English and Drama at The University of Auckland, Lisa lives with her partner and son in a house surrounded by trees.


Book: a set of pages written or printed on both sides (recto and verso), bound, for the most part, on the left and placed inside hard or paper covers. The spine (the external part of the binding) usually contains the name of the book and its author and identifies the book on library shelves and in bookshops. A book is a solid object: it has height, width, and volume, and hence we continue to yearn for books even in this digital age because we can hold a book in our hands and grasp its totality. Electronic books are fine for travel, but I really don’t like reading books on Kindle or my iPhone otherwise; it’s too difficult to go back and forth and to reread. Books vary enormously as to quality of paper, print font, layout, and illustrative material: all of which contribute to the meaning of the book in question. But not all books are valuable: 9/10 of those currently published in the U.S.—e.g. political exposés, but also many novels and how-to books—are throw-aways: I call these BLOOKS.

—Marjorie Perloff

MP has held endowed chairs in English at both Stanford and USC. She is the author of many books on twentieth and twenty-first century poetry and the avant-garde and of a memoir, THE VIENNA PARADOX, as well as, most recently, a study of Austrian Modernism between the World Wars.

Because my birthname is "Book," every book is my voodoo doll.

—Christian Bök

Christian Bök is the author of Eunoia (2001), a bestselling work of experimental literature, which has won the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence. Bök is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and he teaches at Charles Darwin University.

English leaf and Latin liber "book" are etymologically cognate, deriving ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *lewbʰ- "to cut off," while the word page—which comes to English from Latin via French—derives from *peh₂ǵ- "to attach." The word book itself derives from the word for the beech tree, whose bark was peeled off to make a surface for writing. Etymologically, then, a book is a superposition of what can be separated and what comes to be stuck together; a book is (to paraphrase Quine) undetached book parts. Or as Robert Frost might put it, a book is "dead leaves stuck together"—leaves that steps have trodden black.

—Allison Parrish

Allison is a computer programmer, poet, educator and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet, with a focus on artificial intelligence and computational creativity. She is a Teacher at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she earned her master's degree in 2008. Her first full-length book of computer-generated poetry, Articulations, was published by Counterpath in 2018.

The book is a hybrid device—a storage, display, and distribution mechanism for literature, art, and information. Paired with an alphabet, it is the greatest invention of mankind: a dedicated object with the capacity for access and retrieval, without fail, for hundreds of years—in version 1.0.

—Steve Woodall

Steve Woodall is a collections specialist for artists’ books at the Achenbach Foundation, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, currently working on media-rich websites that represent bookworks in the collection. Formerly director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago, he managed the development of Expanded Artists’ Books, a studio-based project with artists to examine the relationship between print and digital media. From 1999-2001 he was an artist in residence at Xerox PARC, part of the research project XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading.


a cover

a page

an ounce

a word

a page and two spreads

seventy-four pages


an image



a website

a diary



a title 

two hundred twenty-six pages

a sculpture 

a dog’s breath




a page and five spreads



a shim

a nap

forty pages


a poster

a video


—Antonia Pinter

Antonia Pinter is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. Formerly the Co-Director of Publication Studio Portland, Oregon, she is currently an Editorial Board Member of Fillip. She is the author and editor of Women’s Autobiographical Artists’ Books, an ongoing bibliographic index publication, and the author of several artists’ books including Light Levels (Bronze Age, 2015), her water, and A Grave For Bobbi Doten.

—Ronaldo V. Wilson

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD, is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Prize; Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. His latest books are Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other (Counterpath Press, 2015), and Lucy 72 (1913 Press, 2018). Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a mixed media artist, dancer, and performer. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Ford Foundation, Kundiman, MacDowell, and Yaddo, among others, Wilson is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at UC Santa Cruz, serving on the core faculty of the Creative Critical PhD Program, and co-directing the Creative Writing Program.

It is difficult to top I.A. Richards: “a book is a machine to think with.” But, more concretely, a book—codex—is a collection of words, letters, and other typographical symbols inscribed on what is by convention termed pages that are bound together by some means. If it is the object that we most likely all agree upon as being such, at least one of said pages will contain bibliographic information and codes for the legal rights of ownership, and the whole thing will be wrapped in such a way as to generate the interest of prospective consumers. Digital forms of books will retain the inscriptions and the idea of a writing surface, but expand the means of claiming property rights. “Ebooks” eliminate the entire navigational apparatus and as a consequence of having undone all of the labor that went into the design of the original object, reading—the intended use of all books—becomes distinctly unpleasant.

—Rita Raley

Rita Raley teaches in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published on subjects ranging from Global English and universal alphabets to tactical media, dataveillance, machine translation, and electronic literature.

The book is a dislocation device.

—Travis Shaffer

Travis Shaffer (°1983, Pennsylvania, US) is an artist, publisher, educator, and a photographer—of sorts. His practice centers around the history and ontology of photography; resulting in the use of both vernacular photographs and those made within the broad spectrum of artistic practice. Shaffer is currently a member of an international artists’ book cooperative [ABC]. Currently Travis is based in Columbia, MO where he is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Art at the University of Missouri. There he recently began producing collaborative risograph publications under the imprint theretherenow.

As a network of embodied interactions, the book invites us all to delve into the spatial, temporal, visual, verbal and tactile experiences it brings together.

—Tatiani Rapatzikou

Tatiani G. Rapatzikou is Associate Professor in the Department of American Literature, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her publications (monograph, articles, edited volumes) focus on contemporary American literature (fiction and poetry), technological uncanny, cyberpunk/cyberculture (with emphasis on William Gibson) as well as on digital and print narratives. In 2009, she was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Scholar grant for her research in contemporary American fiction and digital media (M.I.T. Comparative Media Studies program). In 2012, she was a visiting research scholar at the Literature Program (Duke University), and winner of the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund international competition for her project ‘Urban Environments in Transition’ ( She has co-edited with Philip Leonard, NTU, UK, a special issue for Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism with the title "Digital Literary Production and the Humanities" ( In 2016 she was a visiting research scholar at York University, Toronto, Canada, for her research in urban narratives and digital literary practice.

The book, where we're hidden. We who know what Auschwitz is ("2/3 of millennials" don't). One gets a book from, the total corporation presumably responsible for the demise of the bricks-and-mortar bookstores of our cities. What of the mind, the very shape of thought? The book should have arms and legs. One thinks of the Illustrated Guide to Paris, how often that book itself thinks us. In the market stall, one hesitates before "a book as dazzling as an Indian handkerchief or shawl." Is my own incompletion of thinking the book itself bibliographic? If so, the book qualifies as its own dispersal. If the book is a technology, this is therefore a technological dispersal, an enhanced incompletion or questioning. The question of the book as the perfectly-timed question of the ruin.

—Tim Roberts

Tim Roberts is the author of The Reaganites (BlazeVOX, 2018), praised by Johanna Drucker as a "monstrous demonstration of the bloat conditions of our world," and Drizzle Pocket (BlazeVOX, 2011), praised by Tan Lin as a "beautiful and exhilarating expression of the structures that feelings form," and is director of the publisher and exhibition space Counterpath.

We come to language on and beyond the page—articulations of the book: snapshot, found object, film, and field. Bridges between beings and beliefs. Embodiments in the sensual infrastructure. More practice than performance. Our witness, the anti-binary, beating between.

—Deborah Poe

Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections keep (Dusie Press), the last will be stone, too (Stockport Flats), Elements (Stockport Flats), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords), as well as a novella in verse, Hélène (Furniture Press). Her visual works—including video poems and handmade book objects—have been exhibited at Pace University (New York City), Casper College (Wyoming), Center for Book Arts (New York City), University of Arizona Poetry Center (Tucson), University of Pennsylvania Kelly Writers House at Brodsky Gallery (Philadelphia), and ONN/OF “a light festival” (Seattle), as well as online with Bellingham Review, Elective Affinities, Peep/Show, Trickhouse, and The Volta. She lives in Seattle.


The book gives weight to information & puts spine in our reading. It adds gravity to our erudition & gives substance to knowledge. The book is manual not automatic: slow, thoughtful & purposeful, building scholarship with turning pages. The book is.


—Scott McCarney

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator in Rochester, New York USA. He received formal design training at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and an advanced photography degree from the University at Buffalo/Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. His works can be found in The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. His teaching and lecturing itinerary has carried the banner of artists books to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, and South America.

His primary art practice has been in book form since 1980 and spans many media, from offset and digital printing to sculpture and site-specific installation. Many of his visual books utilize photography and incorporate frequently overlooked details of day-to-day living — discrete moments unbound by daily existence.

A book is a protean kaleidoscope.

—Zuzana Husárová

Zuzana Husárová is a researcher and author in the field of electronic literature, teaching at Comenius University (SR) and University of Applied Arts (AT), an ex-Fulbright scholar at MIT, USA (2011). She is the author of experimental literature across various media, has created sound poetry, interactive digital poetry, poetic performances and transmedia poetry. She has collaborated with Ľubomír Panák on interactive literary pieces (with the use of Kinect: Enter: in’ Wodies, I: *ttter, Android application Obvia Gaude, digital literature BA-Tale, Pulse). She has co-authored with Amalia Roxana Filip transmedia projects liminal and lucent 2012-2014 (visual poetry books, sound poetry and live performances, with Olga Pek a book Amoeba, has collaborated on interdisciplinary performances. She co-edited theoretical publications V sieti strednej Európy (with Bogumila Suwara) and ENTER+ Repurposing in Electronic Literature (with María Mencía).

spatiotemporal capture device, a survival that, in your hands, unfolds transactional passage-ways of untold dimensions. Yet also a gesture, differentiating inside from out, frame from field with a finger drawn. Equally determined to catalyze and surpass their material binding in the here and now, they slyly posture as self-sufficient objects with no need for reading, translation, or circulation. Yet as they are destroyed, re-deployed, incinerated, unwritten, ingested, buried, unopened, deteriorate, obfuscate, or erase, so too are the stalled spacetimes (i.e., meanings) and potent coming-into-relation that books and their readers cannot help but realize, giving away the lie.

—Laura Shackelford

Laura Shackelford is associate professor of English and director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. She is the author of Tactics of the Human: Experimental Technics in American Fiction (2014); her research in literary media practices, narrative theory, and feminist science studies examines the Ordinary Entanglements (manuscript in progress) through which bioinformatic sciences, digital languages, and their spatiotemporal orientations enter into literary fiction and contemporary knowledges of lived space.

What is a book? It stinks. B.O...O.K. Like a drunk. L'IVRE. Each one is a long island, brother. L.I. BRO. A kit full of As and Bs. KITĀB. Latin LIBERation & Saxon BOG. The Taíno language would not have had a word for it but it had GUAROCO = to know, but also to remember (see petroglyphs). A book is a way of knowing, re-membering what is forever lost in translation.

—Urayoán Noel

Urayoán Noel is a South Bronx-based writer, critic, performer, translator and intermedia artist originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. He is an associate professor of English and Spanish at New York University, and also teaches at Stetson University’s MFA of the AmericasNoel is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (University of Arizona Press, 2015), as well as the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (University of Iowa Press, 2014), winner of the LASA Latina/o Studies Book Award. As translator, his works include the bilingual edition Architecture of Dispersed Life: Selected Poetry by Pablo de Rokha (Shearsman Books, forthcoming) and the chapbook No Budu Please by Wingston González, forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse. His non-print work ranges from durational performance and text-sound-video installations to collaborative projects with musician/composer Monxo López, artist Martha Clippinger, and dancer/choreographer Alethea Pace, among others. Noel has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and CantoMundo. His vlog is

A book is a vessel and a vector.
—Lisa Radon

Lisa Radon makes poems, sculptures, performances, sounds, scents, digital worlds, publications, websites, as the proposition requires. She has recently had solo exhibitions at Et al. (San Francisco), Muscle Beach (Portland), Jupiter Woods (London), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Pied-à-terre (San Francisco), Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR), and Artspeak (Vancouver, B.C), a two-person show at RONGWRONG (Amsterdam) and read at Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco) as part of A Reading by.... Her books include Wholeness Engine (2017, Jupiter Woods), The Blind Remembrance of the Swirling Bone (2016, Ditch Projects/Artspeak), Infinity Increaser (2014, PICA), The Plumb and The Wave (2014), The Book of Knots (2013, cL_books), and Prototyping Eutopias (2013). Atrium of the Sun ( was commissioned by Disjecta in 2017. Radon edits the journal EIGHTS.

A book is whatever you want it to be or don’t want it to be.

For the artist, it is a medium to be used to explore an idea and tell us something new about the world.

For the writer, it is a sequence of pages, one after another, one before another, one next to another.

For the reader, it is a site to resist or to become complicit with the intention of the artist or writer.

—Stephen Bury

Stephen Bury is the Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian at the Frick Art Reference Library, New York and the author of Artists’ Books (1995, 2015) and Artists’ Multiples (2001).

—If, with the intention of creating a book, you put a cover around practically anything, that item is a book.

—So six blocks of ice held in a book cover can be a book until they melt?

—Yes. And maybe even after they melt. Then it would be a melted book.

—Kate Greenstreet

Kate Greenstreet’s books are case sensitive, The Last 4 Things, Young Tambling, and The End of Something.

A book is a brick in the architecture of knowledge.

—David Clark

David Clark is a Canadian media artist whose whole thing is all about bits and pieces, narrative vertigo, and informal conundrums. After the internet was invented, he began tearing it to pieces and putting it back together bit by bit with glue and tape and with an eye for pathetic fallacy, delusions of reference, and apophenia. He teaches Media Arts at NSCAD University in Halifax, Canada.

The/a book pretends to be the end result of intellectual labour and hard graft. In reality, the/a book is a machine that plugs into other machines (both human and non-human, both biological and non-biological) with the express purpose of drawing in disparate species, entangling diverse temporalities, implicating multiple modes of communication and drawing out diversiform narratives. The/a book is the/a perfect example of continuously evolving symbiotic relationships between machines and human bodies, between matter and imagination; a hyperadapting transponder of time and language. The/a book circumscribes the limit of our belief in language as a carrier of signals that will guide (and infect) processes of consciousness across time, space and media. Every iteration of a/the book works towards that limit and seeks to push and expand it.

—Theodoros Chiotis

Theodoros Chiotis is a poet writing in Greek, English, Python and Perl. Amongst his publications are Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis (Penned in the Margins, 2015), Screen (in collaboration with photographer Nikolas Ventourakis; Paper Tigers Books, 2017) and limit.less: towards an assembly of the sick (Litmus, 2017). He lives in Athens and works as the Co-ordinator of Scholarly Research and Digital Development of the Cavafy Archive (Onassis Foundation). He has received a High Commendation from the Forward Prizes for Poetry and the Dot Award for New Media Writing from the Institute for the Future of the Book and Bournemouth University for his work Mutualised Archives.

Penned in the Margins


A book is what reading looks like. It bears the same relationship to reading as space does to time.

—Gary Barwin

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and multidisciplinary artist and the author of twenty-one books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His latest book is the poetry collection No TV for Woodpeckers (Wolsak & Wynn). His recent national bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates (Random House Canada) won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour as well as the Canadian Jewish Literary Award (Fiction) and the Hamilton Literary Award (Fiction). It was also a finalist for both the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His interactive writing installation using old typewriters and guitar processors was featured during 2016-2017 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. A finalist for the National Magazine Awards (Poetry), he is a three-time recipient of Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year, has also received the Hamilton Arts Award for Literature and has co-won the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the K.M. Hunter Arts Award.

The book is body and matter; and bodies (of every color, size and form) matter.

—Alex Saum

Alex Saum is Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture (20th and 21st Centuries) and Electronic Literature (Digital Humanities). She is also part of the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media. Her academic work on digital media and literature in the Spanish-speaking world has been published in Spain, Mexico and the United States. Her digital artwork has been exhibited in galleries and art festivals in the United States and abroad.

More info at

a slow rue. a mess of beans, of categories, of spilt personalities & pretty ribbon.
an equation. a village of fractals. a before feathers there was finger painting.
a mongol court. lebanon. syria. palestine. christianity's ego trip.
what venice bit. the first sheet. the 18th paper cut. the holy letterpress sinking into the ocean.
the first binary ascending from the foam. the ephemeral joy of mildew.
a heat rash on plump thighs. the last ream. mecca. alpha. omega. a resurrection.
an insurrection.

—LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

A writer, vocalist and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, the Poesiefestival in Berlin, Museum of Modern Art, the QOW conference in Slovakia, the International Poetry Festival in Bucharest, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the 56th Venice Biennale and currently in Beijing as a Red Gate Artist in Residence. As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The David Rubenstein Atrium, The Highline, Poets House and El Museo del Barrio. LaTasha is the recipient of numerous awards; of them include New York Foundation for the Arts, Barbara Deming Memorial Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, Creative Capital and the Whiting Foundation Literary Award. She lives in Harlem.

The book is a dangerously unstable object :: It is the world :: It is not the world :: It is the world bending :: It is a constant movement-between :: The structure of the book mirrors :: Mirrors us :: Mirrors our time ::::

The book is a remarkable technology :: It is a shimmering substance :: It is a noise of the hands & thought :: The book is perhaps now a dead thing :: In the hands of the dead :: So be it :: We remain in the dark :: With these books :: The original autonomous window technology that is us looking through :: At :: In :: Against :: With care :: The book returns our labor to us ::::

The book stains the fingers like static :: You can always open it further ::::

—Aaron Cohick

Aaron Cohick is a letterpress printer/artist/publisher based in Colorado Springs, CO. His work focuses on the intersection of experimental writing and artists’ publishing. He is the founder and proprietor of the NewLights Press, and is also the Printer of The Press at Colorado College.

The book is a device whose content can only be imagined when it is still unread, consequently creating endless versions, and can be shared and expanded after it has been read. Still, it remains the same.

—Alessandro Ludovico

Alessandro Ludovico is a researcher, artist and chief editor of Neural magazine since 1993. He received his PhD degree in English and Media from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (UK). He is Associate Professor at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton and Lecturer at Parsons Paris – The New School. He has published and edited several books, and has lectured worldwide. He also served as an advisor for the Documenta 12's Magazine Project. He is one of the authors of the award-winning Hacking Monopolism trilogy of artworks (Google Will Eat Itself, Amazon Noir, Face to Facebook).

The book is a compromise we’ve grown used to, for the sake of efficiency. The book is a clever marketing ploy to make you care. Do you care? The book is kompromat, to be used against us when the time comes.

—Miriam Suzanne

Miriam Suzanne is an author, performer, musician, designer, and web developer — working with OddBird, Teacup Gorilla, Grapefruit Lab, and CSS Tricks. She’s the author of Riding SideSaddle* and The Post-Obsolete Book, co-author of Jump Start Sass and the award-winning play: 10 Myths on the Proper Application of Beauty Products. Miriam loves open-source art and software, dark chocolate, and mediocre TV.

In the book,
it's the eyes that meet the words

The book is ready and includes reviews of astronauts

Skywriting is here then it's gone

Handwriting a thing from the past is all thumbs now

For the letters that choose not to return to the word - it is a kind of suffocation

A holy text read silently, seen aloud
A book carried through history

I was reading a page in a book with an adjoining illustration that I wanted to examine closer. Instead of moving the book toward my face or my head thrust forward to see further details - i found myself putting my fingers on the image in the book and using that magnify finger and thumb motion over the picture you'd use on a tablet

—Nico Vassilakis

Nico Vassilakis writes and draws language. Many of his results can be found online and at his website:

A book is an object that invites an experience.

Something must turn for the book to be experienced: pages, leaves, a word, a worm, your head, the room.

—Genevieve Kaplan

The book is a cultural compact, where culture may be understood as the experience of living in a place over time. A book is an insistence upon the hope to participate in an as-yet-undefined community given material form. A book’s materiality consists of acts of reception and propagation that mark that community; its form is thus iterated, variable, embodied, and entangled. Even the most trivial books memorialize their predecessors and anticipate their successors. Still the book lives among others as an other. The best books are amiable and aspire to ekstasis, they tremble in our hands or before our eyes. The worst mean to manipulate or deform desire.

—Michael Joyce

Michael Joyce is the author of fourteen books and a number of digital works, some predating the web. His most recent novel, Media: a picaresque is forthcoming in October 2018 from Steerage Press.


A book is a geography. It doesn’t have to be read in a linear fashion. As a matter of fact, I once met a grandmother who read the last chapter first, then started from the beginning. She wanted to know her destination. While reading the conclusion first may seem strange or unorthodox, it's a unique way of traveling through a story, its characters, and (to a certain extent) defying time and space. We all have our own way of reading stories.

A book is a location. Its a place where words are gathered together and convene, then float out into the atmosphere. When the words are spoken or recited, they are subject to falling apart through speech. Books give birth to other books thus adding to the greater constellation and genealogy of a knowledge built up over time. It’s not just some object or an analog technology.

The book is also a home for everyday life. It holds and nestles receipts, bookmarks, and notes in the hope of haunting its next reader.

—Dorothy Santos

Dorothy R. Santos is a Filipina American writer, editor, and curator whose research interests include digital art, computational media, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Ars Technica, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She serves as a co-curator for REFRESH and works as the Program Manager for the Processing Foundation.

A book is not always a book, and a reader is not always a reader. Sometimes a book is a film—and a film projector. Sometimes a reader is a moviegoer—and a film projectionist. Our page turning sets images in motion, pulling us back into the tactile relationship to print we had as children. Or into work that has fallen into history, like the labor of film projectionists rendered obsolete by technological change. When the book is a film, then, it embodies more than a relationship between mediums, more than a mix-up of technologies variously textual and visual. It also materializes a relationship to time. It materializes historical experience in the tempos where mediums meet as we turn the book’s pages: sometimes slower, sometimes faster, sometimes bookishly, sometimes cinematically—but always historically. The book is the place where we are always in history, paging our way through time.

—Joel Burges


Joel Burges is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Rochester. He has written extensively on time, obsolescence, and labor in contemporary culture and critical theory, turning to mediums as varied as the mimeograph, animation, film, television, video games, and the book. He has published Out of Sync & Out of Work: History and the Obsolescence of Labor in Contemporary Culture (Rutgers UP, 2018) and co-edited, with Amy J. Elias, Time: A Vocabulary of the Present (NYU Press, 2018). He is at work on Literature after TV, a history of how the rise of television transformed the practice of literary writing in the 20th and 21st centuries.

A book made of paper means to be consumed until falling apart. Its vitality comes from its circulation among friends, family, strangers. An author often doesn’t know where, when, how. A book may be stolen fairly easily, though I’m not condoning that. But I’d like to point out that electronic versions can be stolen away by companies if you stop paying. A story: It took me ten years to write and publish my first book with a small press. At an open studios event in Lower Manhattan, I displayed a stack of them for sale for $12 each. I also hung up some works on paper—works made quickly, I admit. One work on the wall sold for a pretty hefty amount, and one book was stolen! This is why I keep on writing and making books: for their promiscuity, fluxing values, and because they beg to be well used.

—Jill Magi

Jill Magi’s books include ThreadsTorchwoodSLOTCadastral MapLABOR, and Pageviews/Innervisions, a monograph on textimage hybridity. SPEECH is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2019. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Rivulet, and Best American Experimental Writing 2018. Jill was a featured blogger for the Poetry Foundation in 2017, and in 2015, she wrote commentaries for Jacket2 on “a textile poetics.” Other essays have appeared in The Edinburgh University Press Critical Medical Humanities ReaderThe Force of What’s Possible: Accessibility and the Avant-garde, The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind,and The Eco-Language Reader. Jill has held residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center. She has had solo exhibitions with Tashkeel in Dubai, and with the Project Space Gallery at New York University Abu Dhabi where she joined the faculty in 2013.

A book is a magic portal.

—Sarah Bodman

Sarah Bodman is Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) at the University of the West of England, where she runs projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts. She is also Programme Leader for MA Multi-disciplinary Printmaking at the Bower Ashton Campus. A book artist and researcher, she is the author of Creating Artists’ Books and the editor of the Artist's Book Yearbook, a biennial reference publication on contemporary book arts. She is also the editor of the Book Arts Newsletter and The Blue Notebook journal for artists’ books. Sarah writes a regular news column on artists’ books for the ARLIS UK and Ireland News-Sheet, and an artists’ books column for the journal Printmaking Today.

The book is a contingency that occurs in any mind where symbolic apparitions stimulate neuronal or heartfelt ruminations.


Jhave is a digital poet. Author of Aesthetic Animism (MIT Press, 2016).

Alchemy in a word, in the way a sign is scratched into the wet dirt and the dirt starts to dry and the sign is fixed. When the dirt begins to crumble before the wind, intangible, into dust, someone presses a leaf into the impression to hold it and a page is born. Then another pressing to make sure the first will not disappear. Placed one over the other, the silence between the leaves becomes a portal among the pages, leading the eyes to burrow through the opening. A dazzling. Where one listens and eventually closes one’s eyes, forgetting the frame. Such fragile fasteners hold it together, always in decay like the dry and precarious dirt. But the sounds remain. And the glow of singing between the coherence, spoken into the mind, sometimes through the fingertips, sometimes through the breath.

—Samuel Ace

Samuel Ace (formerly Linda Smukler) is a trans and genderqueer author of three collections of poetry: Normal Sex, Home in three days. Don’t wash., and most recently Stealth, with poet Maureen Seaton. A new book of poems, Our Weather Our Sea, is forthcoming from Black Radish Books in early 2019. Ace is also a visual artist and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund Prize in Poetry, The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in Poetry. His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in or is forthcoming from Poetry, Aufgabe, Fence, The Atlas Review, Black Clock, Mandorla, Versal, The Collagist, Posit, Vinyl, Troubling the Line: Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, Best American Experimental Poetry 2016, and many other publications. Ace is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Mount Holyoke College.

The book is a time travel device—allowing us to slip into the imagination of a future mind.

—Indira Allegra

Indira Allegra works with tension as creative material to investigate themes of haunting and memorial. She is active in a range of fields including sculpture, performance, writing and installation. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at The Arts Incubator in Chicago, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Center for Craft Creativity and Design, Mills College Art Museum, Weinberg/Newton, 808 Gallery, Catharine Clark Gallery, The Alice Gallery and SOMArts among others. Her commissions include performances for SFMOMA, de Young Museum, The Wattis Institute, City of Oakland and SFJAZZ Poetry Festival. Allegra’s writing has been widely anthologized, and she has contributed works to Foglifter Magazine, Cream City Review, HYSTERIA Magazine, make/shift Magazine, and Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought among others. She is currently an Artist in Residence at the Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco.

Thinking about what the book is, for me, is also thinking about what a publication is, what it means to publish, that is, to deem a work as finished and complete and whole, to then prepare the work to be seen by others, to then share that work with others in some bound or unbound form. The book, then, has something to do with access and accessibility, with readers and readership, with the relationship and traversed distance between a writer’s hand and reader’s eye. The book, then, is the physical manifestation of a relationship between a writer and a reader.

—Janice Lee

Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She writes about the filmic long take, slowness, interspecies communication, the apocalypse, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, and Contributing Editor at Fanzine. After living for over 30 years in California, she recently moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon where she is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Portland State University.

The book: refuge, dissent, beacon and nexus.

—Lisa Pearson

Lisa Pearson is the founder and publisher of Siglio Press. This definition is adapted from her essay "On the Small & the Contrary."

Over Time

• the stories humans told around campfires and the ensuing conversation

then humans found a way to move those stories across time and space
• the stories and ideas humans carved into rocks
• the stories and ideas humans wrote on papyrus scrolls
• the stories and ideas humans hand-wrote and then printed on sheaths of bound paper

then when interactive media was developed
• the notion of the page expanded to include audio/video and limited interaction

and then when interactive media combined with the internet a book became
• a PLACE where humans shared stories and ideas and discussed them, returning us back to the beginning

—Bob Stein

Bob Stein is founder and Co-Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book and founder of The Voyager Company. For 13 years he led the development of over 300 titles in The Criterion Collection, a series of definitive films on videodisc, and more than 75 CD ROM titles including the CD Companion to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Who Built America, and the Voyager edition of Macbeth. Previous to Voyager, Stein worked with Alan Kay in the Research Group at Atari on a variety of electronic publishing projects. 11 years ago, Stein started 'Night Kitchen' to develop authoring tools for the next generation of electronic publishing. A 2017 TED Resident, Stein's recent projects include SocialBook and Lectory.

The book is the most intimate interaction between the animal and the mineral/vegetable kingdoms.

—Robin Price

Robin Price is an artist, editor, designer, letterpress printer & publisher, creating artists’ books since 1984. “A chameleon among book artists,” she has a long history of collaborating with others, resulting in extensive diversity in content and form. Her limited edition press books & unique work are collected and exhibited internationally.

In the language in which I write and work, two constraints were invented. The first one concerns a flowering technique. From the core of a word, phrase, or sentence emerges the next layer of text, which develops the previous layer. One grows out from the other continuously. The second is the emanation technique, based on folding sentences, words, entire books, which allows the writer to hide huge areas of invisible text under the visible text. With a sheet of paper, the reader brings out these layers.

When I think about the definition of a book today, I am thinking of these two writing techniques, which in my opinion describe the transformation of the book as a medium. On the one hand, all its extensions, enrichment, or uses of other platforms often lead to flat and distracted reading (a characteristic of digital media); on the other, the book serves as a civilizational medium, exercising concentration, deep reading, stability. These movements (blooms and folds) also cause the medium to be constantly revived and refreshed.

—Piotr Marecki

Piotr Marecki is assistant professor at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and lecturer at the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School in Łódź. Since 1999 he has been editor-in-chief of Ha!art Publishing House, which he co-founded. He is also the head of UBU lab. In 2013-14 he did a postdoc at Massachussets Institute of Technology at the Trope Tank lab. His recent collaborations include the conceptual book 2x6 with Nick Montfort, Serge Bouchardon, Andrew Campana, Natalia Fedorova, Carlos León and Aleksandra Małecka published by Les Figues Press and Robbo. Solucja the book designed and generated on pure Atari (with demosceners Wojciech Bocianu Bociański, Lisu, Piotr Kroll Mietniowski and Krzysztof Kaz Ziembik). Currently Piotr works on a ZX Spectrum monograph (together with Yerzmyey and Hellboj) and is based in Kraków, Poland.

A book is flight. Pages and spine, feathers and skeleton. Take off.

—Aurelea Mahood

Aurelea Mahood is a Professor of English and Liberal Studies at Capilano University.

As and when language is practiced as graphic gesture, the book is whatever volume has been created by the conceptually third-dimensionless material support of leaves, inscribed and bound. The persistence of such volumes engenders the predominant imaginary of our historical enculturation and belies the circumstance that the practices these volumes seem to contain are mere dialect with respect to so much more. For, the book itself—the book that has always been to come—is simply an architectonic dwelling for language, in any form and supported by any perceptible material, a dwelling that is capacious enough to welcome and care for human life, by allowing its language to be read at length, read, that is, as located communal singularity, style, and outer-inner voice, the substance of language, the articulable substance of, all-at-once, our significance and our affect.

—John Cayley

John Cayley is a writer, theorist, and pioneer-maker of language art in programmable media. At the time of writing he is exploring aestheticized vectors of reading and transactive synthetic language, and he composes as much for reading in aurality as in visuality. Cayley is Professor of Literary Arts at Brown University and directs a graduate program in Digital Language Arts.

Through my investigation of the nonverbal narrative in artists books, I was led to explore the essence of storytelling in the absence of words. It was not simply the linear arrangement and progression of images with storytelling qualities that I was pursuing, but rather the resonance and communicative quality that are embodied in its physicality.

Books in sculptural form are a medium for me to explore the narratives of the landscape. The book has been the vehicle of language across the ages. I consider it an intrinsically visual experience, a spatial and tactile object whose form is fundamental to conveying its message. The physicality and visual suggestions allow me to create a book conveying a language in the absence of text that speaks of the complex interaction of nature and humanity.

—Pamela Paulsrud

Pamela Paulsrud is a visual artist recognized internationally as a papermaker, calligrapher, book artist and collaborator creating both intimate pieces and large-scale installations. Pamela's exploration of energy and vibration, letters and lines, her love of the land, the earth and its resonance, inspires both her work and her life. Numerous private and public collections have collected her work and she been published in many magazines, books, and journals. She also enjoys teaching workshops in lettering and book arts around the world. Images and process of her work can be seen at Pamela is extremely passionate about an ongoing project which she co-created entitled Treewhispers, — an international collaboration awakening a heartfelt connection to trees.

I think of a book as a structure for reading or encountering language. That structure can be an outdoor garden with verse cast or stamped into concrete, lines printed on the structure of a bridge, wayfinding texts on a bicycle path. Of course, books also have pages, but the most interesting books lie in unconventional forms that bring alive the experience of reading through a physical engagement with all of the senses.

—Shin Yu Pai

Shin Yu Pai is the author of several books including AUX ARCS (La Alameda, 2013), Adamantine (White Pine, 2010), Sightings (1913 Press, 2007), and Equivalence (La Alameda, 2003). Her book arts projects include Hybrid Land (Filter Press, 2011) and Works on Paper (Convivio Bookworks, 2007). A mid-career retrospective, ENSO, is forthcoming from Entre Rios Books. From 2015 to 2017, she served as the fourth poet laureate of the City of Redmond. Her visual work has been exhibited at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas Museum of Art, The Paterson Museum, American Jazz Museum, Three Arts Club of Chicago, The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago, and The International Print Center. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Pai lives in Seattle, where she works as Deputy Head of the Obscura Society and designs events for Atlas Obscura.

For more information, visit

Le livre est un support matériel qui, tout au long de son histoire, a offert toujours plus de manipulabilité à son lecteur. Avec le numérique, ce n’est plus seulement le support, mais le contenu lui-même qui est manipulable.

Le support numérique s’inscrit ainsi dans une continuité. Néanmoins, on peut parler de passage à la limite dans la mesure où toute la médiation est calculée ; avec le support numérique, tout devient manipulable.


The book is a physical medium that, all along its history, has always offered an ever-increasing manipulability to its reader. With the Digital, it is not only the medium, but the content itself which becomes manipulable.

Thus the digital medium is a continuum. However the phrase passage to the limit is relevant in so far as the whole mediation is based on computation. With the digital medium, everything becomes manipulable.

—Serge Bouchardon

Serge Bouchardon is currently Professor at Sorbonne University, Université de technologie de Compiègne (France), where he teaches interactive writing. His research focuses on digital creation, in particular digital literature.

As an author, he is interested in the way the gestures specific to the Digital contribute to the construction of meaning. His creations have been exhibited in many venues in Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East. The creation Loss of Grasp won the New Media Writing Prize 2011.


It’s a space that makes a space—the book opens to vastness.

—Jen Bervin

Jen Bervin is an interdisciplinary artist and poet. Her projects are research-driven and often weave together art, writing, textiles, science, and life. She has published ten books, including Silk Poems—presented as a long-form poem and as an implantable, silk biosensor developed in collaboration with Tufts University’s Silk Lab. She is a 2018 Artist in Residence at Northwestern University and is currently participating in the SETI Institute’s Artist in Residence program, which facilitates a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas between artists and scientists. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center; Granoff Center for the Arts at Brown University; and featured in exhibitions at MASS MoCA, The Power Plant in Toronto, Getty Research Center in Los Angeles, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and Artisterium in Tbilisi, Georgia. She’s the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including The Rauschenberg Residency and a Creative Capital Grant.

When I think of what a book is, I think of Gilles Deleuze saying that instead of asking what a body is, he wants to ask what a body does. I think of Gloria Anzaldúa describing how writing makes the reader into a shape shifter. I think of Neal Stephenson's book Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, in which a young girl in the future receives a nanotechnological book that contains an AI with the ability to talk to her and respond to her requests by transporting her to virtual worlds. I think of Ursula K Le Guin's carrier bag theory of science fiction which says that we have had too many stories about long stiff weapons, sticks, swords and obelisks, which she calls killer culture, and she says that what we need more of are stories that can be carrier bags, containers, to carry our people, stars, memories and new worlds.

—micha cárdenas

micha cárdenas, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Art & Design: Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. cárdenas is writing a new algorithm for gender, race and technology. Her book in progress, Poetic Operations, proposes algorithmic analysis to extend intersectional analysis and develop a trans of color poetics to reduce violence against trans women of color. cárdenas’s co-authored books The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities (2012) and Trans Desire / Affective Cyborgs (2010) were published by Atropos Press. Her artwork has been described as “a seminal milestone for artistic engagement in VR” by the Spike art journal in Vienna. She is a first generation Colombian American.

… adept and affecting in a touch, a sound,

a glance in ways that transcend borders of culture, place,

religion, being, thinking, time, and hate.

—Tia Blassingame

“* The Asterisk, or Maybe” from the artist's book A Love Story, Primrose Press, 2018

Tia Blassingame is a book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception. Utilizing printmaking and book arts techniques, she renders racially-charged images and histories for a nuanced discussion on issues of race and racism. Blassingame holds a B.A. from Princeton University, M.A. from Corcoran College of Art + Design, and M.F.A. in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. She has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo and MacDowell Colony. Her artists' books and prints can be found in library and museum collections around the world including the Library of Congress, Harvard, Yale, University of Virginia, the State Library of Queensland, and Tate Britain. Her writing is featured in Freedom of the Presses: Artists' Books in the 21st Century, an upcoming Booklyn publication. Blassingame teaches Book Arts at Scripps College, and serves as the director of Scripps College Press, an experimental letterpress and bookbinding studio.

Primrose Press

Book Arts and Social Justice

In the best sense of the word connection, paper and puddles reflect the entire sky.

—CA Conrad

CAConrad is the author of 9 books of poetry and essays, the latest is titled While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017). A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Literature, they also received The Believer Magazine Book Award and The Gil Ott Book Award. CA is currently working on a (Soma)tic poetry ritual titled, "Resurrect Extinct Vibration," which investigates effects the vibrational absence of recently extinct species has on the body of the poet and the poems.

Their poetry is online at

The book is an author-making, reader-making, random-access text machine, usually but not always of paper that is attached, fitting in some ways both the hand and eye. Powerful and projecting, it must be bound and contained.

—Nick Montfort


Nick Montfort's computer-generated books of poetry include #!, the collaboration 2×6, Autopia, and The Truelist, the first in the new Using Electricity series from Counterpath. Among his more than fifty digital projects are the collaborations The Deletionist (with Amaranth Borsuk and Jesper Juul) and Sea and Spar Between (with Stephanie Strickland). His digital artwork has been shown internationally. He has six books out from the MIT Press, most recently The Future (in the Essential Knowledge series). He is professor of digital media at MIT and lives in New York and Boston.