I hate name tags, just so you know. I like to be incognito.
We went to the Hybrid Book Conference and Book fair in Philadelphia on Thursday. It’s always nice to get out of town, and despite the lousy weather it was a good time. Book arts conferences seem to be happening constantly these days, and this one seemed well-organized. I liked that the organizers planned for talks in the morning and a book fair in the afternoon- most of the time at these kinds of events both happen simultaneously, which means if you have a table you end up missing half the event, and the talks aren’t as full as they could be, and the book fair has long lulls where there’s no one there.
Sitting at a table renders me inarticulate. There’s a lot of sitting and staring, and smiling vaguely at people. There’s usually some fluorescent lighting involved. It’s all a little exhausting. The good part comes if you are lucky enough to have someone with you to watch the table while you walk around and look at other people’s books. I don’t really think that standing at a table is the best way for me to absorb a book; I generally get overwhelmed fairly quickly, but since it’s one of those rare occasions when you can handle lots of artists books and talk to the people who made them, it is a great opportunity to see a lot of work in a short period of time.
Highlights for me included:
1. A new book by Katie Baldwin, Treasure, which she produced in residence at the Women’s Studio Workshop.
4. Lots of fantastically great stuff by Gregory Pizzoli-why isn’t there more of this kind of work at book arts fairs? Is humor a bad thing?
5. The ongoing recruiting efforts of Impractical Labor.
7. Patty Smith talking about gender and offset printing.
I think though, that the main highlight of the conference was the Malaysian food we had for dinner on Friday night.
You like how I took more pictures of food than I did of books?
Big thanks to Josh Harris for putting my cohort Corinna Z. (see above) and I up for two nights in his glorious renovated home. Apparently artists can become homeowners outside of NYC.