Unbinding the Book continues a tradition of artists and designers who have approached books as a medium in their own right. From Futurism to Fluxus, books were crucial in the development of conceptual art, and became a medium that was accessible to artists, designers and their audiences, whilst offering new possibilities in creative expression. Below, Gossage provides us with the four key factors he sees as being crucial to the success of the artist book.
‘Firstly it should contain great work. Secondly, it should make that work function as a concise world within the book itself. Thirdly, it should have a design that complements what is being dealt with. And finally, it should deal with content that sustains an ongoing basis.’
John Gossage, quoted in Parr and Badger, 2004: 7
Unbinding the Book explores these four functions as well as adding a fifth – how the reading experience of the printed book can be broadened, extended or enhanced
‘Print has a presence and it has a legacy. It is the role of the artist or designer to understand that, and to push its limitations. And if they don’t, somebody else will.’
Andrew Losowsky, 2013: 7