Visible texture: Artists' books, 1960--2010 [electronic resource].

Strizever, Michelle H.
279 p.
American literature.
Art criticism.
Literature, Modern.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Artists' books combine art and/or text with an attention to the materiality and structure of the book. The genre is not defined by common appearance or content; instead, artists' books are identifiable because of their self-reflexivity, whether implicit or explicit. The self-reflexivity of these works affects the way that they are read by antiabsorptively transforming linguistic text into visual and material texture. My dissertation explores the ways that self-reflexive content, materiality and form impact the experience of reading artists' books with text, including Tom Phillips's A Humument, Johanna Drucker's From A to Z, and Emily McVarish's Was Here. My project incorporates close readings of artists' books, reading both the text and the book as a whole. I group artists' books into five categories: visual and legible texts, illegible texts, material subjects, combinatorial structures, and non-codex bindings. In artists' books, text often has visual attributes that redirect the reader's attention away from the linguistic text to the visual text. Some texts border on illegibility. Yet illegibility, the condition in which materiality overwhelms content, also signifies. Works that take self-reflexive materiality as their subject, such as altered books, challenge the conventions and ontology of the book. Binding and physical form impact the way texts are read. Non-codex bindings can be combinatorial, leaving the reader to order, the text. They can also be sculptural, pushing the boundary between the book and the work of art. Artists' books emphasize the differences between the conventional codex and their own interventions. Their self-reflexivity is split between their own real but unusual material forms and the idea of the conventional codex, constantly alluding to and exploring this difference. Artists' books exaggerate features of the codex, reflecting the materiality, technology and reading practices of the conventional book through their imaginative lens.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 71-07, Section: A, page: 2456.
Adviser: Charles Bernstein.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Pennsylvania, 2010.
Local notes:
School code: 0175.
University of Pennsylvania.
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 71-07A.
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
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