Meet the book artists

Sunday 26.5 10.30–11.30
Presentations by some participants at MABB2024.
The stage at Victoriateatern.
Tim Shore (UK)
Kurt Johannessen (NO)
Olle Essvik, rojal publishing (SE)

Sunday 26.5 11.30–12.30
Hartmut Abendschein (CH): TetrisYoga™.
Imri Sandström (SE): The Weave Reader

The Artist’s Book as Commodity: selling and distribution

Victoriateatern, Södra Förstadsgatan 18, Malmö
Sunday 26th of May, 1.30–3 pm.

We are excited to welcome representatives from three shops that sell books by artists to talk to us about their experiences and discuss current issues with each other. Independent book shops are vital to our DIY culture, making and facilitating opportunities for small publishers and presses: dissemination of artists’ publications brings increased visibility, understanding and appreciation to the field. Firstly, we will take a look behind the shopfront with each presenter to learn about their own experiences of sales, projects, partnerships, social media, book fairs and audiences: in relation to Boekie Woekie in Amsterdam, Bookartbookshop in London and Bladr in Copenhagen, with Q&A, then we will have a panel discussion.

Jan Voss from Boekie Woekie, Amsterdam

Boekie Woekie, books by artists, began paying rent for a tiny space in downtown Amsterdam on January 1st, 1986. It was then seen by its 6 founders (artists from 3 countries living in Amsterdam) as a shop for their own publications. After the first 5 years and some reshuffling of the group and with 3 of the founders left, Boekie Woekie began its second phase in a quite much bigger shop space around the corner and with a renewed concept resulting from the gained experience: the new shop opened for publications by others. There are now about 7000 titles – almost exclusively self-published or small press books. Those who run it – Henriëtte van Egten (Dutch), Rúna Thorkelsdóttir (Icelandic) and Jan Voss (German) have continued their personal artists’ careers and since years count the shop itself as a sculpture in progress they work on concertedly. A small gallery space has belonged to Boekie Woekie from the beginning. There never came a stop to very small-scale publishing (3 or 4 titles a year) which has led to the yearly participation in one or two book fairs (Frankfurt, London, New York). The entirely self-financing enterprise is Europe’s, if not the world’s, venue for artists’ books the longest in existence which carries books regardless to their author’s fame.

Tanya Peixoto from bookartbookshop, London

Founded in 2002, in Pitfield Street, Hoxton, London, bookartbookshop is a non-profit organisation that sells and promotes artists’ books & small press publications. This includes all books by Atlas Press in print, the London Institute of ‘Pataphysics, pop-ups, illustrated books, flip books and zines. It’s a tiny shop with BIG ideas. We love to display students work alongside well-known artists and publishers. Bookartbookshop also hosts occasional exhibitions and book launches.

Rebecca Krasnik from Bladr, Copenhagen

Bladr (Danish for ’turn the page’) is a platform dedicated to the communication, appreciation, and dissemination of artists’ books, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. As a platform, Bladr assumes various shapes by being a bookstore and an exhibition place, as well as a space for workshops, talks, performances, and book launches.
By exploring the artist’s book and how it is interlaced with various art disciplines, Bladr seeks to showcase the potential of the art form. The purpose of Bladr is to increase the visibility of artists’ books and to create and facilitate activities that foster a larger community.
Bladr is a non-profit organization founded in 2017 and solely run by volunteers.

The seminar is chaired by Dr Angie Butler, artist-printer and senior research fellow, Centre for Print Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Angie collaborates on projects and events with organisations and individuals: sharing knowledge of studio practice, letterpress printing, artists’ books and small publishing through teaching, lectures, book fairs, talks, symposiums and conferences.

Artistic print on demand

Sunday 26.5 3–3.45 pm
The stage at Victoriateatern.
Andreas Bülhoff (DE)

Print on demand has revolutionized publishing. Digital printing and online platforms such as Blurb, Lulu and Kindle Direct Publishing allow anyone to publish a work immediately and without financial risk. This has democratized production and opened up spaces beyond the established trade book world and its gatekeepers. At the same time, new dependencies emerge. This dynamic has given rise to an entire subculture that engages with print on demand in search of new aesthetics, economies, and publics, while also critically negotiating our postdigital present and its monopolies. The Library of Artistic Print on Demand maps this experimental field for the first time and explores its global spread, history, contradictions, and political implications. It consists of a collection of 244 outstanding artistic works that are preserved by the Bavarian State Library, an online archive that documents and categorises all items as well as a printed catalog published by Spector Books presenting all works in addition to 25 writings from leading practitioners and scholars in the field alongside an extensive introductory essay.

Andreas Bülhoff is a researcher, poet, and publisher. He co-founded the Library of Artistic Print on Demand, hosts the event series Tab Talks, which interviews authors about their writing technologies, and runs the experimental post-digital publishing label sync edition. Recent publications include a vinyl record for writing sound poetry and a book that runs the video game Doom.