This past week was the 2015 Codex International Book Fair and Symposium, at which Rocinante Press had a table. During my last experience at Codex, I didn't have any sales at the event itself - they came afterwards. This year, I made my table and more on the first day!
Unlike last time, I did get a chance to get away from my table and see some books, but I didn't manage to take any pictures. However, my table was against the leather and paper dealers, so I was fortunate to spend a few days just eyeballing lovely goods.
The crowd on the first day was pretty insane - here's a shot from my table - there are tables full of books that are completely obscured by people!
I managed to catch a head cold at Codex, and my voice barely survived the week. Due to this, I only attended one day of the two-day symposium, needing the second morning to catch up on rest. However, here are my notes from day one - not always in complete sentences or thoughts:
Sam Winston, Building a Walk-Through Artist Book For the Victoria and Albert Museum
1) Trying to understand writing as drawing, use of Periodic Table and memory palaces.
2) Use of sacred geometry to create objects of worthy of worship - shapes based on everyday objects to reveal how we worship objects in everyday society.
3) How to meditate through word processing
4) All forms of externalizing memory have associations with black magic.
5) Response to a fictional book set in the future, in which objects were written about as if they were forgotten and humanity was trying to explain their history - objects such as a watch, SIM card, book.
6) Exploring the line between "crafts and concept" in contemporary art
7) Physicality of the book is increasingly significant as the physical book declines.
8) How to surmise a book in a light way?
Carolee Campbell, Chasing the Ideal Book
1) Ninja Press, launched in 1984, had no specific literary agenda at the outset, but now has an abiding interest in contemporary poetry.
2) Books should embody the author's perspective, and extend the reader's world, understanding, and concept of the text.
3) Poetry does not impart information
4) Book needs to be a container to hold ineffability.
5) Talk focused on her book, The Real World of Manuel Cordova, which she felt she attained a perfect synthesis of text and form.
6) Uses Samson typeface designed by Victor Hammer. This typeface was selected because it slows the reader down and takes them out of the everyday. However, the set she used had some wear and tear, and she ended up sawing and kerning several hundred letters to get them to fit together as Hammer's did.
7) Amazon river image didn't match type, so she returned from research to the actual text. Since she'd been away from the actual text, it was like reading it anew. Since the poem did not mention actual locations, (although it was based on an actual person and their experiences in specific locations in Brazil), she could design her own map - and used the Green River of Colorado.
8) Text follows curves of river
9) Enclosure for book is based on map enclosures Campbell saw at Harvard - very wallet-like.
10) Book should conjure forth its subject and exist as a beautiful object in space.
11) Investigative bookmaking - spiral down to a clear design principle - the time it take is transformative - divided between rational and intuitive, between materiality and concept.
12) To print on kakishibu coated papers, Campbell had to put more ink on the press than what is usually necessary - had to make a really sloppy slurry sound.
13) Remember to spend deep time with poetry, and see folding paper as a way to move through states.
Robert Trujillo - The Challenge of of Collecting and Curating the Modern and Contemporary Book
1) Librarians should not just collect for their constituents, they should collect for the world.
2) Collections should be in-depth - have to collect for research, for teaching, for the future, for the world
3) Collect what is evidence of our culture - artist books are that - libraries need to collect expensive books - budgets are not reasons to not collect artist books - digital books are not reasons to not collect artist books.
4) Museums don't collect artist books like libraries do, although they should
5) Stanford stores some of its collection in state-of-the-art facilities in Liverpool, CA.
6) Important for teaching and research to collect artist's archives.
7) Regional collections should talk to each other - not all collect the same stuff - divy it up so the region is more enriched. Collections should also do this nationally.
8) Libraries should also collect archival aspects of making book - such as printing plates and digital files.
9) Libraries should collaborate with museums in lending out artist books for exhibitions
10) Libraries are caretakers, not owners, only owners in the broadest sense of the term.