Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aaargh! and a P.S.

I thought I was being very clever, installing some software on my computer that would prevent a certain kind of pop-up advert displaying on screen (and thereby save me from downloading the unwanted image, which is a consideration at the moment because we're on a limited-download package until Telstra get their backsides into gear and dig that 1.5km trench we need and install a damned land-line...). Anyway, the side-effect of such superior technological fiddling is that I can no longer place comments on un-moderated blogs, because the darned software seems to think that the comment box on Blogger is some sort of unwanted pop-up box! Hence the afore-mentioned Aaargh!

I feel very left-out, hiding in my hole in Coffs Harbour, so I'm making a spurious post to catch-up...

So in response to Amanda's possum-stirring, I have to say that I was there when Tara O'Brien commented at the SCU opening, and found her forth-right views on the format of some of the books she'd seen to be a little confrontational. While I'm not an advocate of screw-posts myself, they have their place, as does stab-binding. I was surprised to be lectured about inadequacies of form and structure at the opening of a book arts show, but perhaps I should lower my very British raised eyebrows in order to acknowledge the force of her words... the very fact that she dared to speak of things like appropriateness of form and structure, while a bit of a surprise, was accurate: there are people out there who don't think about the overall format of their pieces, just the content. But I thought the comments about buckram were a little harsh!

As for Ronnie and Di, tantalising everyone with their scant(y) photos... well! I'm looking forward to seeing the end results, but the anticipation is killing me!

P.S. As a follow-up to the Tara O'Brien debate, I was thinking back to being at the SCU opening and hearing her speak, and I think my hackles rose a bit not so much over what she said as how she said it. I'm sure she didn't intend to be patronising but in a way her 'talk' seemed more like the kind of lecture a tutor gives to students than a peer-to-peer contribution to the debate about artists' books. She is, I think, a tutor in book arts at Moore College of Arts and Design in Philadelphia. Perhaps it was a cultural difference but generally I think of openings as being opportunities to laud the work displayed, say something very positive about it, and draw attention to its strengths not point out lots of faults and suggest that too many entries were deficient in some way although it undoubtedly had the effect of waking people up and perhaps shaking up a few ideas! I hope the underlying narrative wasn't about prodding poor dear isolated Australian wannabe book artists into jumping higher to achieve the superior standards set by fabulous American book artists, of which there are many...

P.P.S. I made an edition of 11 books using the colophon exactly as described by Duck, with space to hand-number and sign each book. I am now having to make a couple of 'A/P' versions in order to spread them around a bit - but probably only 2 because otherwise I may go mad with an axe!


dinahmow said...

Sara, that sounds like the comment trouble I was having, except that I had not installed new software.Blogger (ie Google) has, however, been tinkering so maybe that has something to do with it.

Thanks for your input on the Tara O'Brien exchange.

Amanda said...

I remembered that you were at the opening Sara - and I was wondering why you hadn't chipped in. Can you remember any more details concerning Tara's comments about buckram? All I know is "Just that there were many more suitable materials". It's interesting to hear that you found her comments a little confrontational - I was wondering how she had managed to put her view across, whether it was delicately-done or not. Sounds like not!

ronnie said...

I've just signed and numbered and put the final touches on my little lot - I'm still monitoring the drying but if the weather is helpful my lot might get into the mail ever so slightly earlier (fingers crossed)

and I also used the colophon exactly as written by ampersand duck (with my name and details inserted of course!)

ps I've enjoyed the exchange regarding the commentary from last year's SCU exhibition - and your addition to that sara reminds me that these same issues and debates seem to occur everywhere - these same debates (even if the materials and context is different) have occured within the rarified area of calligraphy.... and likewise I wondered if cultural differences played any part in percieved misunderstandings