Unbinding the Book


Indie publishing platform Blurb and visual arts studio Jotta have commissioned nine artists and designers to launch Unbinding the Book to challenge preconceptions of who can be an author and what a book can be.

Unbinding the Book will push the boundaries of how books can be experienced, by evoking the storytelling properties of print and the way in which images evoke a narrative, whilst bringing to life the materiality, form and physicality that make books so alluring and different from their digital counterparts.

Keep up with each artist’s creative journey by following the Unbinding The Book blog, where we will be posting articles and insight into their individual projects.


Carlin Brown: Working from a digital art perspective to translate the online experience into a tangible publication

An artist that works predominantly with digital media, who proposes to bring the online experience into book form, challenging the way in which the Internet has supposedly taken over from the offline experience.

Callum Copley: Transforming the reading experience into a collaborative process

Reading is commonly thought of as a solitary act. However, Callum Copley will re-design a short story by Edgar Allen Poe so that it must be read by two individuals simultaneously. The readers must exchange information to fully understand the narrative of the story.

Magz Hall: Transmitting a book across analogue radio waves

Hall explores the rich history of radio as an artistic medium and the relationship between the artist and technology. For Unbinding The Book, she will create a radio book that has a transmitter broadcasting the contents of the book.

Laura Jouan: Exploring the architecture of the book

Laura Jouan’s work considers The Architecture of the Book and the physicality, structure and value of graphic mediums.

Vince Koloski: Bringing poetry to life through an illuminated installation

Koloski will be creating an illuminated book. Light from hidden LEDs will make the text float above objects that relate to the narrative.

Camille LeProust & Andres Ayerbe Posada: Exploring the temporality and tactility of the book

A collaborative project which explores the transience and impermanence of the book. As the book is read over the course of the exhibition, the text will gradually disappear, pages fade to black.

Kate Morrell: Bringing typesetting innovations from the archive into the digital age

Morrell will be conducting a research-led book project to create a digital remake of a 1958 typesetting innovation that intended to create a more efficient use of the printed page.

Helen Schell: Incorporating unconventional materials to create a large-scale, light-reactive book

Schell specialises in projects about space exploration and science of the cosmos. For this book, a large book about the Moon, she will incorporate light reactive Smart Materials to create various versions of the book depending on flash and lighting conditions.

Aymee Smith: Pushing the limits of the printed page

An artist with a fascination for relationships between author, text and reader. With every turn of the page, the viewer will be able see the text of previous pages layered over the current one. Eventually the whole book can be seen, but will also be invisible at the same time.

Unbinding The Book will culminate in exhibitions
in both Europe and North America.


The Unbinding the Book commissions will launch as a special project at the London Art Book Fair, hosted by The Whitechapel Gallery in London UK. This free fair will run from the 25th to 28th of September 2014 and celebrates the best of international contemporary art publishing.

Whitechapel Gallery, London

77-82 Whitechapel High St
London E1 7QX
September 26th-28th 2014

Private View:
September 25th 2014

North America

Date and location of the North American exhibitions will be confirmed soon

New York

Date and location for the New York exhibition will be confirmed soon.

San Francisco

Date and location for the San Fransisco exhibition will be confirmed soon.

To launch Unbinding the Book, Blurb and Jotta hosted a series of events in London, New York and San Francisco to promote the wide landscape of independent publishing.

Launch events

Each event included lectures, providing a platform for eminent speakers to discuss their experiences of book arts. You can catch up with our London talks below.


Alida Sayer
Matthias Hübner
James Cuddy & Roma Levin

at Shoreditch Studios
16 April 2014

New York

Yolanda Cuomo
Brian Storm
Brian Dettmer
Sto Len

at Glass Houses
21 April 2014

San Francisco

Andrew Losowsky
Ala Ebtekar
Donna Seager

at Dog Patch Studios
24 April 2014

Selected talks

Matthias Hübner

Designer Matthias Hubner discussed the possibilities of bookmaking, breaking it down into the different stages which should be considered when making a book. Hubner guides us through structure, layout, paper, colour and printing.

Alida Sayer

Artist Alida Sayer’s work focuses on the form of the book, unconventional writing structures and the materiality of text. In her talk, she discusses the sculptural qualities of the expanded book and ways of encountering narrative structures with regards to her own work.

James Cuddy & Roma Levin

Six:Thirty, a studio made up of designers and technologists, discussed their Collate project - an experiment in collaborative publishing commissioned by London Design Festival.

For more information please contact
the team at utb@blurb.com

For press enquiries, please contact
+44 (0) 207 923 2861

About Blurb

Blurb® was founded on the premise that everyone – not just the talented few – should be able to publish, share, and distribute beautifully created books with first class production values. By creating a business model that enables the company to profit on a unit of one, Blurb has opened up the world of publishing to everyone who has access to a computer and a story to tell.

Blurb's indie publishing platform offers the ability to design, publish, share, market, distribute, and sell both digital and print books. Further, Blurb puts independent publishers in full control by providing a comprehensive publishing toolkit: a suite of free book design tools including Blurb BookWright™, an Adobe InDesign® plugin and Adobe Lightroom® integration, a variety of print and distribution options, book format and paper choices, and online selling and social sharing tools.

Launched in 2006 by CEO Eileen Gittins, Blurb now enjoys global scale via more than one million book authors, resulting in nearly three million unique book titles so far.

About Jotta

Jotta is a creative studio founded with the world famous Central Saint Martins, a partnership that encourages the exploration and application of the latest trends in materials and ideas within our work. Bringing together skills in installation and exhibition design, content creation and digital production, Jotta works across mediums to develop output with a strong visual aesthetic that builds a lasting cultural legacy for our clients. Past collaborators include Sony, Unilever, Absolut, Intel and The Design Museum.