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.