I leave for the 10th Annual New York Art Book Fair at MoMA-PS1 tomorrow morning early. I think I've only missed two of them, one during the summer that I moved to Arizona. It has changed and grown much larger (30,000 attendees last year) since the years it was at the old Dia Foundation space in Chelsea.
My old friend and book fair partner of past years, Clif Meador, and I have decided for the second year to not have a table. The table price doubled last year to $1400, and unless one has several new books selling for under $50, sales will be minimal and extremely hard to cover that cost. Even without a table I still go to the event for many reasons. It is a very exciting place to see new work, especially from European and Asian (specifically Japanese) publishers. Virtually every important indie photobook publisher is there. And there is lots of other, non-photo artists' book work on display. Throughout the three and a half days, there are many publishing events and book signings. This year, two that I am looking forward to are Mike Mandel's new compilation of his groundbreaking 1970s work, plus a much-anticipated new bookwork by Christian Patterson.
Last year I was also fortunate to be the subject of a critical panel on my work at the concurrent Artists' Book Conference that Tony White coördinates. This year there are a number of interesting panels, including one by Johanna Drucker and Brad Freeman marking the 20th anniversary of the publishing of A Century of Artists' Books. There are also many tangential book events around town. On Wednesday night at the Columbia University Rare Book Library there is a celebration of Steve Clay's 30th year of Granary Books. Friday night there is a party and talks at the Center for Book Arts honoring the 40th year since their founding by Richard Minsky.
Clif and I are also on a mission. We are scouting for new publishers to be included in a large book art show that will open in the Fall of 2016 at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, conceived and coördinated by Mary Anne Redding, the Art Gallery Director there. And I will be bringing some new work along, especially Celsius 233, which I might be able to sell to some collectors who attend the book fair.
And of course it is also a chance to visit with my musician son Martin and his talented girlfriend Bri, who live in Brooklyn. It is so much fun to see and visit with all of the other wonderful friends that either come to the NYBF or live in the New York City area. I am forever grateful that Karen and I are also perennially and generously hosted by our dear friend Champe Smith who has an amazing apartment in Penn South in Chelsea. So it is always a trip that I look forward to eagerly. Sadly, because of the amount of Fall travel this year, Karen is coming with me this year. The book fair ends Sunday evening and I will be heading home to Tucson on Monday afternoon.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
I created a single-channel video piece to be used as a "viewing environment" while reading the artists' book of the same name. The video can be viewed here, or can be viewed from a blu-ray DVD that is enclosed in the protective phase box that comes with every copy of Celsius 233. (This is the second viewing environment that I have created thus far for one of my artists' books. Last year (2014) during a residency at Ucross Artist's Residency in Wyoming, I created a two-channel video piece for another of my books On the Nature of Things. That book is still in progress, though the video part of the piece is finished.)
The video plays off of the famous 1823 quote by Heinrich Heine "Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned too." Heine's poems and writings were included in the huge piles of books that the Nazi's burned.
Like the video for On the Nature of Things, the projected image was meant to be shown very large on walls behind the spot-lit podium that holds the book(s). Because the book will be shown at the biennial Faculty Art Show at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, with limitations on space and lighting conditions, I am showing the video on a large flat screen monitor directly behind the podium which holds the book. Although it is not as powerful and immersive as showing the image projected very large on the wall behind the book, the installation still works well. This is how the installation at the UAMA, opening at the end of September 2015, looks:
I created the video from numerous edited clips that I obtained from the National Holocaust Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Their video was originally from The National Archive, also in Washington, DC. After re-editing and re-assembling the many video clips, sometimes duplicating and flopping them, I brought the video into Adobe After Effects to colorize it in the same manner that the hardcopy paper book's images were done. The audio came from three sources: I used audio samples from the soundtrack of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will; from a 1938 color Nazi newsreel of the Nuremberg rally; and a short sample from Aldo Ciccolini's version of Erik Satie's 1888 Gymnopédies No. 1, which has the performance instructions "Lent et douloureux" (slow and painfully).