The page as an alternative space

We recently visited the legendary Printer Matter in New York. It exceeded expectations. I bought 'I See / You Mean' by Lucy R. Lippard and subsequently find that she was one of the founders in +/- 1976. Alongside her was Sol Lewitt. Throughout his career, he acknowledged and used the book format on merit, with a recurrent nine-or-sixteen-square-grid, as seen above (in Autobiography (1980)) and below (in Four basic kinds of straight lines (1969)) (via).

An excellent interview with Lippard here, where she describes the original motives for setting up Printed Matter; useful for us looking in the 'Publish' project, for propellant beyond the churn-out of a showcase 'zine. And also the importance of distribution. She says: "We were all into artists'' books at the time because they seemed yet another way to get art out of the gallery/museum, to give artists control of their own production, and to get art out to a broader audience. Somebody wrote about 'the page as an alternative space.'"

Books that lie open

Robin Kinross, typographer, writer and proprietor of Hyphen Press, writes here on the 'vexed issue of book-production: binding techniques. He discusses paperbacks, the advantages of the relatively new 'Otabind' process, where the book-block is free of the cover sheet spine, allowing for a flat opening (pictured above) and the problems with the 'hot-glue' binding (pictured below), which cracks when the book is opened by the 'serious reader'.

He goes on to say: 'One might remark also that a book open on a table – while the reader holds a cup of tea in both hands (for warmth and comfort), or sews a button on a shirt, or carries a young child – is no more than a mark of decent civilization. So the binding should be strong enough to withstand this opening-out.'