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The relational book: exploring the artists' book as a social medium through library-focused social art projects

The relational book: exploring the artists' book as a social medium through library-focused social art projects
The relational book: exploring the artists' book as a social medium through library-focused social art projects
This PhD research explores the artists’ book as a process of cooperative art making. The practice-­‐based research considers the relational potentials of the artists’ book – an artwork in a book form – through three library-­‐focused social art projects. Each of the projects examines the book as a social medium by employing different participatory processes in the making and sharing of artists’ books. The relational potentials of the artists’ book provide for a more cooperative form of social art practice, where exchange with others is founded on the willingness to share rather than on reciprocal obligation. The research question considers how the relational and social capacities of the artists’ book extend our thinking around authorship and relationality in social art practice.
The art projects are founded on the idea of the library as a ‘gathering together’ (Derrida, 2005, p.7). This is set against the general understanding of the library to be an important and valued social space. The idea of the library is illustrated through the participatory process of the ‘library’ coming together as the artists’ books are made and shared. The forming of the ‘library’ also exemplifies the process of ‘shared action’. Tom Finkelpearl suggests ‘shared action’ (Finkelpearl, 2013, p.343) complicates the conventional notions of authorship by defining the aesthetic experience as ‘the modesty of power relations’ (ibid., p.348). The shift from a collaborative to cooperative social art situation asks for a more gentle form of art making where people come together to share what they can, rather than forcefully creating a non-­‐hierarchical environment.
The research brings together a constellation of ideas around books, artists’ books, social art practice and libraries. The theory of the gift and gift exchange in anthropological studies provide useful perspectives on attitudes of generosity, reciprocity and sharing that allow us to reflect on the relational potentials of the artists’ book and cooperative art making. The research findings will be of most interest to artists’ book researchers and makers, social art practitioners, researchers of social and participatory art practice and art librarians.
University of Southampton
Suzuki-Bosco, Noriko
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Suzuki-Bosco, Noriko
30f845d1-02eb-4068-bdb9-cadee23bedf9
Hon, Gordon
ca14398f-3e52-46ba-b0ed-35a52d7b8225
Davis, August J
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Suzuki-Bosco, Noriko (2020) The relational book: exploring the artists' book as a social medium through library-focused social art projects. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 221pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This PhD research explores the artists’ book as a process of cooperative art making. The practice-­‐based research considers the relational potentials of the artists’ book – an artwork in a book form – through three library-­‐focused social art projects. Each of the projects examines the book as a social medium by employing different participatory processes in the making and sharing of artists’ books. The relational potentials of the artists’ book provide for a more cooperative form of social art practice, where exchange with others is founded on the willingness to share rather than on reciprocal obligation. The research question considers how the relational and social capacities of the artists’ book extend our thinking around authorship and relationality in social art practice.
The art projects are founded on the idea of the library as a ‘gathering together’ (Derrida, 2005, p.7). This is set against the general understanding of the library to be an important and valued social space. The idea of the library is illustrated through the participatory process of the ‘library’ coming together as the artists’ books are made and shared. The forming of the ‘library’ also exemplifies the process of ‘shared action’. Tom Finkelpearl suggests ‘shared action’ (Finkelpearl, 2013, p.343) complicates the conventional notions of authorship by defining the aesthetic experience as ‘the modesty of power relations’ (ibid., p.348). The shift from a collaborative to cooperative social art situation asks for a more gentle form of art making where people come together to share what they can, rather than forcefully creating a non-­‐hierarchical environment.
The research brings together a constellation of ideas around books, artists’ books, social art practice and libraries. The theory of the gift and gift exchange in anthropological studies provide useful perspectives on attitudes of generosity, reciprocity and sharing that allow us to reflect on the relational potentials of the artists’ book and cooperative art making. The research findings will be of most interest to artists’ book researchers and makers, social art practitioners, researchers of social and participatory art practice and art librarians.

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Published date: June 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446522
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446522
PURE UUID: eaf7d7a3-c5dd-467d-be16-4562e15886f1

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Feb 2021 17:30
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 10:19

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Contributors

Author: Noriko Suzuki-Bosco
Thesis advisor: Gordon Hon
Thesis advisor: August J Davis

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