CFP: [Theory] Art, Fact, and Artifact: The Book in Time and Place (6/1/08; 1/8/09-1/10/09)

full name / name of organization:

College Book Arts Association First Biennial Conference
Call for Proposals


January 8-10, 2009

hosted by the University of Iowa Center for the Book, Iowa City, Iowa

The art of the book has been at once visionary and documentary, imagining a
future that has yet to exist while finding inspiration from the resources
of the past. The first biennial conference of the College Book Arts
Association seeks to bridge the worlds of book art, book history, cultural
criticism, and curatorial work through appreciation of the book as an
aesthetic sensorium. Scholarship, artistic practice, and the digital age
have evoked for us the multimedia nature of the book experience. Animated
by practices that define anew the cultural record, contemporary book
creators unsettle the categories whereby art is valued and appreciated,
making new objects that express the range of human experience. Roused by
research into the materiality of texts, humanities scholars and
institutional curators have summoned new facts to explain communication
technologies, writing an alternative history of word and image in the book
format. Pressed by political urgencies, artists and researchers have
measured the meanings of art and fact through bookwork that serves as
cultural criticism. At a time when the book arts have never been more
vital, “Art, Fact, and Artifact” builds from these energies and seeks
presentations, papers, and studio demonstrations from artists and scholars
interested in the future, present, and past of the book as an expressive form.


The conference will feature exhibits and tours of facilities. For the
conference program, the organizers invite submissions for individual
presentations, pre-formed panels, and studio demonstrations.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

Artist presentations of current work or work-in-progress
Studio demonstrations: process/experimentation/resurgence
Questions of materiality: the actual, the physical, the virtual, the digital
The book as document
Curating and collecting: what do we want? how do we know?
The procedural turn, then and now
Flat art, spatial art, temporal art, book art
Intimacy and the book: sex, touch, the private, the public
Institutions and theories of value
The book as witness
Questions of practice: modeling methods
Ideologies of the book
Craft perspectives: the hand in the work
History and documentation: writing our history and our now
Humble books and an aesthetics of the ordinary
Conceptualism, bookwork, and installation
The role of criticism
Space, pace, and plane
The theory and practice of exhibition
Reading and the hand-operated codex
The archive as muse


Send proposals as email attachments to:


University of Iowa Center for the Book
216 North Hall
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
Attn: Art, Fact, and Artifact

All proposal submissions should include: proposal title; name and contact
information; a biography or vita of participants; audio-visual needs.

*Individual proposals*: A 200-250 word description of a paper (abstract for
a 20-minute talk), artist presentation (20 minutes), or studio
demonstration (include time requirements for demonstrations).

*Organized sessions*: a 250-word overview of proposal. Organizers should
assemble 3 speakers for a paper session (include individual paper abstracts
in addition to overview), 3-4 presenters for an artist presentation
(include individual descriptions in addition to overview), 1 moderator and
up to 4 contributors for a panel/roundtable discussion, and 2-3 studio
specialists for a demonstration.

*For artist presentations*, please include 5-10 representative examples of
work to be shown (jpegs, pdf or powerpoint).

*For studio demonstrations*, detail facilities requirements, including
equipment, materials & supplies, and space requirements. Please be specific.

*Alternative formats encouraged.*

Graduate students: the CBAA encourages graduate student participation. The
UICB has secured funding to help defray costs for student presenters. To
apply, include a brief letter describing your need for assistance.

Presenters must be members of the College Book Arts Association. To join,
see the CBAA’s website a

For more information, contact Matthew P. Brown
( or Julie Leonard
( For more information about the UICB, see our
website at

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Received on Fri Apr 04 2008 - 14:05:33 EST