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Unbound: Beyond the codex, the book as process/experience/event

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This article argues that the book as ‘process’ and ‘event’ requires a different understanding of ‘book’: one that acknowledges the impossibility of meaning residing in the final object alone. The finitude of the codex form is made a mockery of by the infinite dimensions of language, interpretation and time: this article extends that notion by exploring the process of making artists books as experience(s) that engage spatial/temporal/sensory attributes of making as being fully involved in their knowledge and meaning. Such books pose knowledge as an ‘event’: foregrounding the making and not the outcome. By example, the bookwork, Skinful (2003), questions the role of the materiality of the bound codex as object and examines how time and process operate in the book as a metaphor for emotional encounters. To complement this, The Cruelty of the Classical Canon (2014), expands the paradox of the material book as a container of knowledge explored through ‘brute’ encounters with making and experiencing such an object. Both books explore the relationship between the body/embodied thought in the book-as-process.
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Keywords: book; event; experience; knowledge; materiality; process

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of the Arts

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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  • Book 2.0 is a new, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal which aims to publish articles and reviews on developments in book creation and design, (including the latest progressions in technology and software affecting illustration, design and book production). It will also explore innovations in distribution, marketing and sales, and book consumption, and in the research, analysis and conservation of book-related professional practices. Book 2.0 aims to provide a forum for promoting and sharing the most original and progressive practice in the teaching of writing, illustration, book design and production, and publishing across all educational sectors.
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