This conversation of craft vs. art could go one forever, and I think that’s fine, but what interests me more is Peter Thomas’ quick and simple definition of what a book artist is: an artist whose medium is books. Nice, I’m on board. I also like that he talked about how there’s a need for different schools of book art a vocabulary with which we can talk about them.
I’m not sure I’m as optimistic that book arts will become the dominant art form in the coming century. I love his idea about how a book is one of the only 4D works of art. To me the fourth dimension of time is the most important part of a book. I spend so much more time, on average, absorbing a book than I do a painting, sculpture, or most other types of visual art. And I think that’s why I love them so much. But I don’t think, even with the advent of computers to “free” books, that books will be able to reach the same level of appreciation that many other art forms achieve.
My only other reaction to Thomas’ lecture is that I don’t agree that art is better than craft. I see nothing wrong with calling myself a craftsman (or woman, or person) instead of an artist. To craft an item requires patience, skill, dedication, and creativity. Exactly the same things that go into creating art, in my opinion. So I’m not sure there is much difference between them and this is more of an argument over language than it is over quality of the thing being created.