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The Contemporary Artists' Books Conference is a dynamic, two-day event focused on emerging practices and debates within art-book culture. For the first time, the Conference will be free and open to the public.

Six ninety-minute panel sessions will be held, covering such topics as the state of artists' books criticism, new pedagogical approaches and audiences, artists' books in Latin America, and samizdat as a model for radical distribution. The regular sessions will be followed by an hour-long pecha kucha, or lightning round, in which invited guests will each present for five minutes, discussing one or more artists' books, zines, or multiples. This year's keynote speaker is artist Tauba Auerbach. Past keynote speakers include Joseph Grigely, Hans Haacke, Richard Hell, Seth Siegelaub, Josh Smith, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

The Conference is organized by the CABC Committee, a national group of art library professionals. Funding for the Conference is supported by generous donations from David Teiger and Phil Aarons.

 
CONFERENCE SESSIONS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011


11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Furthering the Critical Dialogue
This session will focus on the state of criticism in relation to artists' books, an ongoing area of investigation from previous years. Exemplifying diverse approaches to the practice of criticism, participants will discuss an evaluate select publications, rather than speculate on the state of criticism per se.

Participants include: Victor Sira, Photographer/Faculty, ICP-Bard MFA Program; Larissa Leclair, Indie Photobook Library; and Krist Gruijthuijsen, Kunstverein. Moderated by Tony White, Indiana University Libraries.

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Pedagogy: Artists' Books in the Juvenile Justice System
What can the publication of artists' books offer to incarcerated youth? What pedagogical and practical challenges come with this undertaking? Educator Lauren Adelson and librarian Jessica Fenster-Sparber discuss their respective projects raising awareness in an expanded field of practice.

As New York Director of Artistic Noise, Lauren Adelman facilitates artists' book-making as an "opportunity for participants to process and document their lives using the visual arts while learning valuable life and job skills. Through the creation of artwork exploring issues such as self-identity, hope, incarceration, and dreams "along with the exhibition and marketing of their artwork" the young people involved are empowered by: 1) following a complex project through to fruition; 2) having their voices heard through a visual medium; 3) participating in a collaborative project with their peers and facilitators."

At Passages Academy, an alternative school within the New York City Department of Education, librarian Jessica Fenster-Sparber integrates artists' books into her work with incarcerated youth, supporting the Academy's mission to provide students "with both the academic and social/emotional skills they need to be successful when they transition back to school."

Participants include: Lauren Adelman, New York Director, Artistic Noise; and Jessica Fenster-Sparber, School Librarian, Passages Academy. Moderated by Jennifer Tobias, Librarian, Reader Services, Museum of Modern Art Library.

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Radical Print: Samizdat & the Artists' Book
Samizdat (self-publishing) was a form of resistance to the censorship and state control of publishing, which was practiced in the Soviet Block from the 1950s through the 1980s. Censored and unpublished materials were reproduced in small numbers on typewriters and passed from reader to reader, often in risk of severe penalty. Well known examples of literature reproduced and distributed through samizdat practice in the Soviet Union include the work of Mikhail Bulgakov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Joseph Brodsky. Today corollaries of samizdat practice can be found within many authoritarian regimes and often take a digital form.

In the 1980s, Franklin Furnace "the organization's archive is held at MoMA library" presented an exhibition of Russian samizdat art, tracing its origins back to the Russian futurist book. And indeed the form in and of itself is arguably a manifestation of the artists' book. The phenomenon of samizdat speaks not only to the radical potential of the artists' book but to circulation and distribution practice and, in the attempt to preserve the material, raises important questions for archival practice. This panel will engage artists and scholars from a variety of disciplines who will explore the myriad issues raised and contextualize samizdat and alternative forms of distribution within the practice and study of artists books.

Participants include: Ann Komaromi, Assistant Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto; Matthew Higgs, Director of White Columns, NYC; and Michal Nanoru. Moderated by Daphne Carr.

5:45 - 6:45 p.m.
Pecha Kucha: Artists’ Zines
This pecha kucha "the Japanese word for “the sound of conversation" will consist of ten presenters offering fifteen slides, displayed twenty seconds each. Presenters will have five minutes to discuss each project based on interest, influence, or intrigue. The quick pace and strictly enforced time limit of this session format ensures a lively, engaging, and entertaining discussion.

Participants include: Ann Giordano, Katie Haegele, Curtis Hamilton, Jesse Hlebo, Pierre Le Hors, Veronica Liu, Carlos Loret de Mola, Garret Miller, Saul Robbins, and Eleanor Whitney. Moderated by Tony White, Indiana University Libraries.
 
CONFERENCE PRESENTERS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

11:00 am
Furthering the Critical Dialogue

Victor Sira is an artist/photographer born in Venezuela who studied at the International Center of Photography in New York City. He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Mosaique Fellowship from the Minister of Culture of Luxembourg, the Andrea Frank Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and the W. Eugene Smith Fellowship Grant for Humanistic Photography. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, and he is a member of the ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative. Sira is on the faculty at the ICP-Bard MFA Advanced Photographic Studies Program, where he teaches the course, The Book: Imaginary Studio, A Non Stop Process.

Larissa Leclair is the founder of the Indie Photobook Library, a physical archive that collects and showcases self-published and indie published photobooks. Pop-up exhibitions from the iPL collection have been part of the Flash Forward Festival, FotoWeek DC, Photolucida, and the New York Photo Festival, among others. The first feature-length photobook exhibition will open in September 2011 at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston. Leclair has contributed to photo-eye's Best Books annual survey, was invited to nominate a title for the 4th International Photobook Festival Photobook Award in Kassel, Germany and recently finished judging the Photography Book Now 2011 competition.

Krist Gruijthuijsen is a curator and co-founding Director of Kunstverein based in Amsterdam. He has organized numerous national and international projects and exhibitions and was (curatorial) advisor for o.a. Manifesta 7, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Mondriaan Foundation, Bonniers Konsthall and the Foundation of Visual Art in the Netherlands (Fonds BKVB). He occasionally writes for magazines such as Metropolis M.

Moderator: Tony White is the Head of the Fine Arts Library at Indiana University, and the Director of the Specialization in Art Librarianship. He is an adjunct Assistant professor in the History of Art Department, and in the School of Library and Information Science. White recently stepped off the editorial board of the Journal of Artists Books to accept a position with the College Art Association as Field Editor for Artist's Books and Books for Artists. White has curated exhibitions on contemporary artist's books at Yale University, the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan, and at the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts. He is a founding member and on the board of directors for the College Book Art Association (CBAA).

2:00 pm
Pedagogy: Artists' Books in the Juvenile Justice System

Lauren Adelman is New York Director of Artistic Noise, where she facilitates artists' book-making as an "opportunity for participants to process and document their lives using the visual arts while learning valuable life and job skills. Through the creation of artwork exploring issues such as self-identity, hope, incarceration, and dreams "along with the exhibition and marketing of their artwork -- the young people involved are empowered by" 1) following a complex project through to fruition; 2) having their voices heard through a visual medium; 3) participating in a collaborative project with their peers and facilitators."

Adelman also works for MoMA's Community and Access Programs running partnerships with many organizations involved with the criminal justice system such as Passages Academy.

Jessica Fenster-Sparber is the School Librarian at Passages Academy, an alternative school within the New York City Department of Education. She integrates artists' books into her work with incarcerated youth, supporting the Academy's mission to provide students "with both the academic and social/emotional skills they need to be successful when they transition back to school."

Moderator: Jennifer Tobias is the Librarian, Reader Services, at the Museum of Modern Art Library.

4:00 pm
Radical Print: Samizdat & the Artists' Book

Ann Komaromi is a professor in the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Her interests include uncensored literature and art, Soviet dissidence and samizdat, the avant-garde and digital humanities. She has recently launched a Database of Soviet Samizdat Periodicals at the UT Libraries, and she is working on a book about uncensored novels of the late Soviet era.

Matthew Higgs is the Director of White Columns, NYC. He adds: "In 1993, whilst living in London, I started an informal publishing project called Imprint 93. Over the next five years some 40-odd projects would appear under the auspices of Imprint 93, including early published works by Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Elizabeth Peyton, Peter Doig, Ceal Floyer, Chris Ofili, Fiona Banner, Paul Noble, Billy Childish, Hilary Lloyd, and Stewart Home among many others. The projects were distributed privately and free-of-charge. The works remain largely undocumented and to date no historical account has been made of Imprint 93's activities."

Michal Nanoru is a writer, editor and curator. He is a former editor-in-chief of two Czech independent arts & culture magazines, Živel (2004-2006) and Hype (2006-2007). He co-edited Life Happiness Surprise (2007), a book about Prague's graphic design Studio Najbrt, and edited Here Be Dogs (2010), a survey of visual culture of the Czech independent music scene. In 2007 he co-founded and now co-manages www.bigmag.cz, Czech alternative magazines database, that became the basis for an eponymous exhibition, first at the 24th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2010, then at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague (2011). Nanoru holds a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in media studies from Charles University in Prague where he is also a doctoral candidate. He currently lives in New York.

Moderator: Daphne Carr is a music journalist, critic, and scholar living in New York City. She is the Series Editor of Best Music Writing (Da Capo 2007-present), author of Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine (Continuum, 2010), contributor to the books Out of the Vinyl Deeps: The Rock Writing of Ellen Willis, Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs, and Listen Again. She is a PhD candidate at Columbia University, where she is writing her dissertation on the circulation of music in Czech lands from 1968 to the present.

4:45 pm
Pecha Kucha

Eleanor Whitney is a writer, educator, arts administrator and musician living in Brooklyn. She helped found the Portland Zine Symposium and is a longtime zine and art zine maker. She is currently pursuing her MPA at Baruch College and works at the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Photographer Saul Robbins is interested in how we occupy our surroundings and psychological dynamics of intimacy, and is internationally exhibited and published. Curatorial projects include Projecting Freedom, Regarding Intimacy, and Peep Show 28. He teaches photography at ICP and Pratt Institute.

Katie Haegele is a writer who lives outside of Philadelphia. Her essays and book reviews have been published in Utne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and elsewhere. Microcosm will publish her first book, a memoir that began life as a zine, in 2012.

Jesse Hlebo is an artist living in Brooklyn. He is the editor of _ Quarterly, a publication based on obsolescence, and is the founder of Swill Children, a small press and record label integrating limited physical objects and the Internet.

Ann Giordano is a visual artist working with photographs, multiples and unique books. Dreams, symbols, humans, animals and sound are inspiration. Work appears in A Book About Death, Time Capsule, and Blind Spot. Collections include NYPL, MoMA and LA County Museum.

Pierre Le Hors is an artist based in Brooklyn. His book Firework Studies was published by Hassla earlier this year.

Carlos Loret de Mola is an artist/photographer living in Hudson, New York. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States. His solo exhibition Being Upstate was presented at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2011.

Veronica Liu is a writer and illustrator, as well as founder of Fractious Press, the online station Washington Heights Free Radio, and the Northern Manhattan community bookshop Word Up. She works as an editor at Seven Stories Press.

Garret Miller graduated from the ICP-Bard masters program in 2011. Using tools collected by virtue of genetic and socio-political history, he attempts to reconstruct a first order of presence in art, through traditional modes of construction.

Curtis Hamilton is an artist, photographer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the ICP-Bard MFA program in 2011. He blogs weekly for Daylight Magazine, and he was recently awarded the New Photography Grant from the Humble Arts Foundation.