By Dr Tim Mosely, Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research, Queensland College of Art
Artists’ books stand at the intersection of fine art, literature and design. In the western world, the privileging of the sense of sight in the formal production of knowledge is well established in critical discourse and has come under sustained scrutiny over the last century. Effects of this privileging include the relegation of the haptic touch to a subordinate role in the reading of a book. Responding to an emergent haptic aesthetics the Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research (GCCAR) have established a biennial conference that engages with artists books and the nature of reading them.
The inaugural event, abbe (artists books Brisbane event), held in July 2015 was well received by the field and selected papers from abbe were compiled into an Australian volume of JAB (the Journal of Artists Books) which has just been released. They do not advocate a positive discrimination of touch rather they argue for a restoration of touch to the combined roles of conjectural and rational interpretations of books. The next abbe will take place in July 2017.
The Australian edition of JAB can be accessed at: http://www.journalofartistsbooks.org/current/
Further information on abbe is available at: www.gccar.com.au/artists-books-news