Is it weird that that guy reminded me of an amalgamation of Kendra and Matthew Falk?
Anyhoo, i found myself in pretty much the same camp as ol’ Pete, especially his posit that an artbook should be like a poem, something that invites further investigation, something that delights and challenges its audience, something that the vast majority of people don’t really get/know what to do with.
“And what do you do?”
“I make books/write poetry.”
I really wish i remembered what i wrote for our first response about art vs craft (yes, i could go look for it, but….i’m not), but i think functionality is one of the major dividers between them.
I think for most people, if it serves some sort of obvious function, it’s a product of craft, regardless of how beautiful said object is or how much creativity was engaged to create it. Hmm…maybe the perceived amount of creativity engaged for a project could also be a dividing point. Or the perceived quality of expression. But, that then gets close to “just what is this art stuff, anyway?”, which is a whole different can of aesthetic worms.
I loved what he said about personal computers, though. They really did liberate books from their original function. Books don’t have to be just the receptacles of information anymore. They can be something different, something more.
I also really loved his definition of a book artist and an artists book: you’re a book artist if your medium for art is the book, and anything created in that vein is an artistbook.
There. Nice and simple.
Maybe scope/concept is something else that separates craft and art. I feel like artists work on a more broadly cohesive level than a craftpersons, or at least bookartists as opposed to those in the publishing industry.
I dunno. Maybe a bookartist is just someone who keeps asking “what else can a book be?”