Yes, it's that time of year again folks... No, no, nothing to do with elderly men squeezing down chimneys, snowfall or reindeer with cold noses, but the time when BookArtObject slides gracefully into a new project! Building on the experience of Edition One (Rosemary Dobson's Learning Absences), Edition Two (Claire Beynon's Paper Wrestling) and Edition Three (Jeanette Winterson's Art & Lies), we're about to start Edition Four, based on Sarah Bodman's An Exercise for Kurt Johannessen.
Those of you who are keen readers of this blog will already have noticed the conception of this project, which came out of the Impact 7 international printmaking and artists' book conference held in Melbourne at the end of September. Sarah Bodman inspired many at the conference with her suitcase full of wonderful books, and also her tale of writing a book of 100 short stories based on one of her favourite books, Kurt Johannessen's Exercises. One of Kurt's unlikely instructions is to "Write 100 stories and bury them in the forest", which Sarah duly did. The book of stories is now quietly decomposing in the soil and leaf litter of the forest floor near Limfjordscentret, where the Doverodde festival is held in Denmark. You can see beautiful photographs of Sarah's book and the place where it is interred here, but Sarah carefully arranged it so that she doesn't know exactly where the book is buried and therefore can't be tempted to dig it up! Luckily, even though the finished book is out of reach, the story titles are still available and can be downloaded from the University of the West of England's Centre for Fine Print Research here.
So the brief for Edition Four is this: there are 100 story titles in Sarah's book, and at the bottom of this blog post is an interactive form you can fill in to send BookArtObject your expression of interest in being part of the project. Participants will be allocated one story title from Sarah Bodman's book, and will use that title as the kick-off point for producing a small edition of artists' books.
BookArtObject is a friendly group of artists, some of whom have been part of all three editions produced so far. We've developed some general "rules" as to how the editions work, and I'm setting them out here so that anyone new to the way we do things can work out what's involved! Artists taking part in Edition Four will be grouped together, with no more than 8 artists in each group. Participants are asked to make enough copies of their own personal edition that they can send one finished book from their edition to each of the other participants in that group, free of charge. In addition, participants are asked to make at least two other copies: one for Sarah Bodman and one for exhibition. The copy for Sarah Bodman will be sent to BookArtObject and then forwarded to Sarah once the project is completed. If you would like to make more copies and sell them yourself that's absolutely fine! From time to time BookArtObject tries - but can't promise - to arranged exhibitions for its projects and participants may be asked to send a copy of their book in if they would like to take part in an exhibition opportunity. Participants pay all the costs of making their own edition and sending it out to other artists in their group. Exhibition costs for exhibitions arranged by BookArtObject are usually shared between participants.