Leigh Steinberg Presentation


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"Uncommon Goods: Artist Book as Object"


Uncommon Goods: Artist Book as Object

The Newport Beach City Arts Commission is hosting an exhibition featuring a reinterpretation of the book by 25 University of California, Irvine student artists. Students researched the history and creative production of the artist's books at the special collections department of UCI’s Langston Library. There they explored the infinite possibilities of constructing and organizing data, or in some cases interweaving visual narratives, using unusual materials, color, line, and form.  Their collective activity underscores what Johanna Drucker, visual theorist and cultural critic, suggests that “artist's books became a developed art form in the 20th century. In many ways, one could argue that the artist's book is the quintessential 20th-century art form.  Artists' books appear in every significant movement in art and literature and have provided a unique means of realizing works within all of the many avant-gardes, experimental, and independent groups whose contributions have defined the shape of 20th-century artistic activity.”

The exhibition will be on display on the 2nd floor of the Central Library during regular operating hours, April 7 through May 5, 2018. 

An opening reception is being held on Saturday, April 7 at 12 p.m. in the exhibition area, and some of the artists will attend the opening event and discuss their works.


A few exhibiting students answer the question, “What is a Book?”

"A book is a composite structure of content, design, and materials. Artist books have visual elements, may have textual features, and rely upon an interaction between their materiality and the audience."
        Jessica Lujan

"Books are adaptive. The way we know books now is not how people knew books 1000 years ago. Pages of parchment, bound and bonded, information is indexed, collected and counted."
        Samantha Bejarano

"A book is an object that has something to say. From the power of imagination to the deepest darkest histories of the world, you never know what it holds inside."
        Jennifer Ngo

 "At its most traditional, a book is comprised of pages—blank like a notebook, or filled with text or images—bound together in some way. At its most unconventional, a book can become sculpture—deconstructed beyond recognition of its traditional ancestors. A book is an idea; a concept we construct to represent a thing we can hold in our hands—archives of information manufactured or carefully crafted—that take on new meaning with each new owner and each new intended purpose."
        Melissa Mewes

“I read my eyes out and can’t read half enough... The more one reads, the more one sees we have to read.” - John Adams
        Meng Yuan


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