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“Anti-book” used in the sense I mean by others

October 17, 2010

Talking about all artists books as a sort of anti-book. I’d argue that in the sense that since the definition of books has expanded, it’s hard to call artists books anti-books ANYMORE, but YES YES YES YES, essentially these are details. Artists books basically questioned the book as just text and not visual and the whole structure as a given and thus were anti-book.

“Rather than trying to understand the function of these books from the viewpoint of their deviations from standards set by conventional books, however, which inevitably dead-ends in some woefully inadequate form of communications theory, a more useful approach, as Carrion points out, sees the contemporary artist’s book or anti-book as categorically rejecting the hierarchic and linear elements upon which traditional culture has been established.”

Subversive nature of using an “anti-form”:

“Separation of codes [i.e. visual and verbal modes of communication] and the social specialization necessary for their mastery and transmission provide entry points for an analysis of culture. Consequently, works which consciously rejoin the codes will be perceived as politically subversive, since control of the production and distribution of word and image is necessary to maintain the status quo.

“In “Independent Publishing in Mexico,” jointly authored by Felipe Ehrenberg, Magali Lara, and Javier Cadena, we have a direct demonstration of a theory of the anti-book; artistic forms are generated out of a social context acutely conscious of arbitrarily constituted power structures.”

This is sort of blowing my mind… I don’t want to start research artists’ books too extensively, but….

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