Summer 2008

ARTS 618
Typography and Printmaking for Artist's Books, via Chance Operations

Price,Robin R.

06/23/2008 - 07/10/2008
Note: Special Schedule 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Art Workshop 006

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 1-5 PM

[Robin Price, well-known Middletown book artist and publisher, returns to the GLSP this summer to offer this exceptional course in which students create and publish their own artist's books.]

We will use the classic modernist approach of John Cage to explore chance as an artistic principle through which to create artist's books. Our focus will be on handmade books that incorporate text, imagery, and printed letterpress, within a larger field of mixed media. The goals of this course are: 1) using chance operations a la John Cage to relinquish control of our likes & dislikes, and our habits in the creative process; 2) to gain control in the finessing of various techniques applicable to artist's books; and 3) to develop a critical vocabulary for, and understanding of, conceptual issues inherent in the artist's book field.

As we periodically put ourselves in unexpected situations—drawing from our set of chance operations—we'll often work as an ensemble. Students will be encouraged to develop their own methods for including randomness within the creative process; examples of other such work will be shown and discussed. There will be extensive demonstrations of skills and techniques such as hand type composition, letterpress printing (inking, roller height, packing, registration, etc), monoprinting, collage with dry mount film, pochoir, paper manipulations, and other mixed media applications. We'll explore using pre-printed sheets as palimpsests. There will be opportunities to use Adobe Creative Suite for digital development of type and imagery that can be printed letterpress using photopolymer plates or laser. Visits to Special Collections and the instructor's studio will provide a wide array of examples to examine, and will facilitate our conversations about an artist's intention, concept, editorial approach, typography & design, sequence & flow, structure, use of media, etc.

Course readings will include Ellen Lupton, Thinking with Type, and selections from Kathan Brown, John Cage: Visual Art: To Sober and Quiet the Mind; Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style; and Jerome Rothenberg and Steven Clay, ed., A Book of the Book.

Following an introductory visual book exercise and small print project that will introduce hand type composition, letterpress printing, and use of randomness, students will focus exclusively on books. There will be one comprehensive book project incorporating letterpress printing and diverse media, an additional unique book exercise, and a short essay assignment to review a contemporary artist's book.

Enrollment is limited to 10 students.

Additional fee: $190

For the first class meeting students should have read Ellen Lupton's Thinking with Type.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Robin Price (B.A. Pomona College) is an artist, letterpress printer, and publisher whose artists' books are collected and exhibited internationally. Recent exhibitions include "Metaphor Taking Shape: Poetry, Metaphor and the Book" at Yale University Beinecke Library, 2008 and "Sacred Text/Contemporary Form: Spiritual Traditions in the Digital Age" at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Gallery in 2007. Her most recent press book is titled 43, According to Robin Price, with Annotated Bibliography, a book that pays homage to other artist's books and involves the use of chance in determining the text. The University of Vermont held an exhibit of her work in November 2004, describing her "as a chameleon among book artists; no two of her books are alike. She moves easily from beautifully illustrated works of literature to purely conceptual books such as Slurring at Bottom." Click here for more information about Robin Price.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Studio

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 10

Texts to purchase for this course:
Ellen Lupton, THINKING WITH TYPE (Princeton Architectural Press), Paperback

Optional Texts

Robert Bringhurst, THE ELEMENTS OF TYPOGRAPHIC STYLE (Hartley and Marks Publishers), Paperback

Kathan Brown, JOHN CAGE VISUAL ART: TO SOBER AND QUIET THE MIND (Crown Point Press), Hardcover

Jerome Rothenberg, BOOK, SPIRITUAL INSTRUMENT (Granary Books), Paperback

Jerome Rothenberg, A BOOK OF THE BOOK (Granary Books), Paperback


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