Call for Papers: Digital Artists’ Books


Conference: Images and Texts Reproduced

XIth International Association of Word & Image Studies Conference
University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
10-14 July 2017

Panel: Digital Artists’ Books: From Object to Event

Session Chair: Kathryn Brown

This panel examines the impact of computer technology on the production, reception, and reproduction of artists’ books. While text is a reproducible form, an artist’s book is typically valued for its unique material qualities: the ways in which language, imagery, paper, and typography are combined within a single object or limited set of multiple objects. With the possibilities that computer technology offers for user interactivity, however, digital artists’ books challenge the unique “object” qualities of their paper counterparts. This session seeks to explore the aesthetic and performative possibilities offered by screen-based books that generate distinctive events depending on choices made by the reader/user. Taking up Nelson Goodman’s terminology in Languages of Art an artist’s book might be understood as an “autographic” art that, like painting, resists reproduction. Yet the introduction of computer-based interactivity into a digital artist’s book might redefine that work as an “allographic” art, one that, like a musical score, can be played repeatedly in different ways. This session queries whether the distinction between “autographic” and “allographic” is viable in the context of digital artists’ books. How does reconceiving of the artist’s book as a “score” impact on our conception of the role of the artist and the values that attach to the digital object? What is the role of the reader who generates unique performances of image and text? On the boundary between singularity and multiple user-generated performances, digital artists’ books seem to trouble our very conception of what it means to be a “unique” or “reproducible” work of art. Papers are welcome that approach these themes from a range of aesthetic, literary, philosophical, and historical perspectives.

Please send proposals of max 250 words to:

The deadlines for submissions is: 31st August 2016.

Papers may be in English or French.

Please note that presenters will need to be members of the International Association of Word & Image Studies/ Association Internationale pour l’Etude des Rapports entre Texte et Image. Membership details can be found here.

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