Bell, Doris, Contemporary
Art Trends 1960-1980. New Jersey & London: Scarecrow
Valuable guide to writings about the plethora
of art movements between these years. "One of the notable
trends, however, was the blurring of lines between art, poetry,
video, computers, and photography and, as such, delineated a
completely new direction in contemporary art."
Black, Bob. "Beneath The Underground." Real Life,
(21/22): 7-13, 1991.
Survey of the 80s counterculture, with particular
attention to magazines circulating within this 'marginal' milieu,
and the life of publisher, Gerry Reith. "To find the countercultures
of our time requires burrowing beneath the underground where
a lively, little-known nonconformist scene is thriving in the
Celant, Germano. "Book As Artwork: 1960:72." Books
By Artists. Art Metropole. Canada, May 2, 1981-October 30, 1982.
Excellent article giving detailed background
on aesthetic preoccupations of many of the artists making books
during this period. "The development of art in communications
media, using either human or technological means such as body,
weight, voice, mime, mind, video, radio, pamphlets, telex, xerox,
film or book, dates from the early Sixties."
Dalberto, Janet. "The Viewer as Reader: artists' book
exhibitions and their catalogues." Art Papers, 14(3): 10-14,
Good account of exhibitions and catalogues, with
a bibliography of exhibition catalogues from 1973-1989. "...with
the increasing number of exhibitions, the catalogues, and other
publications, why aren't artists' books better known to the public?
This article will look at exhibitions, their physical display,
and catalogues to overview how successful exhibitions have been
in promoting artists' books."
deAk, Edit. "Copy." Artforum, XVIII (6):1980.
A polemical article urging artists and publishers
of art magazines to come up with some way of solving the hostilities
between each other in order to get art via the printed page out
to more people beyond the art world. "At at time when the
intellectual, moral and artistic aspects of conventional media
are in such a contemptible stateborrowing their ideas from
a sort of circulating library of thoughtart magazines could
and should lend an intensity to what otherwise will become a
dejuiced vehiclethe press."
Held, John. Mail
Art: An Annotated Bibliography, New Jersey & London:
Scarecrow Press, 1991.
An invaluable resource for articles about mail
art and its tangential activities. " While mail art may
not appeal to a commodity-based art mainstream, it obviously
strikes a receptive chord with the general public. Perhaps it's
because it offers an alternative to the growing fascination of
established collectors for expensive artworks and hyped-up art
stars. Anyone can participate in mail art from children on up.
It democratizes art. Everyone can participate despite location.
It decentralizes art. Everyone can participate no matter the
level of skillfulness. It dematerializes art."
Hoffberg, Judith. "Distribution and Its Discontents."
Art Papers, 14(3): 10-14, 1990.
A good survey of the growth of artists' books
as seen through the network of distributors. "But ever since
the first Conference on Artists' Books, held at San Jose State
University in 1977, artists, publishers, bookdealers and collectors
have spoken regularly about the inherent problems of this activity
of putting bookworks or artists' books in the hands of those
visually oriented persons who wish to 'read' these works of art
with their eyes and hands."
Linker, Kate, "The artist's book as an alternative space."
Studio International, 195(990): 75-79, 1980.
A good analysis of the idea of 'alternative space'
and the extensions of this concept as applied to artists' books.
"Termed book art, the bookwork, or the artist's book, this
genre of mass-produced original art, conceived specifically for
the book form, is a '60s product which has gathered momentum
in the '70s. Yet it is in terms of the '70s preoccupation with
the alternate space that it merits discussion in this issue.
For as much as a medium for aesthetic ideas, book art has been
a political tool, or means of reaction, against a series of ills
in the prevailing art system. It has been hailed, indeed, as
the ultimate alternative space. The following text attempts to
locate its ideal and reality within the dialectic of artists'
rights and public address."
LLoyd, Ginny. "Copy Art: Europe and San Francisco."
Art Com, 4(4): 39, 1982.
Brief overview of copyart activities in San Francisco
and Europe. "Copy Art is alive and well. Internationally
it is building momentuously to become a medium bridging the gaps
between technology and Art."
Lyons, Joan, ed. Artists' Books: A Critical Anthology and
Sourcebook. Rochester: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1987.
Twelve articles surveying differing aspects of
artists' books. "Artists' books began to proliferate in
the sixties and early seventies in the prevailing climate of
social and political activism. Inexpensive, disposable editions
were one manifestation of the dematerialization of the art object
and the new emphasis on art process. Ephemeral artworks, such
as performances and installations, could be documented and, more
importantly, artists were finding that the books could be artworks
in and of themselves."
McGregor, O. Periodicals and the Alternative Press. London:
Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977.
Produced under the auspices of the Royal Commission
on the Press 1974-77, the first half of this book deals with
consumer magazines and the second part with alternative publications.
This second section details responses to a survey that the commission
sent out, and includes tables on economics of alternative publications,
lifespan of publications, a section on the different types of
alternative publications, and separate sections on gay publications
and community newspapers.
Minority Press Group. Here is the Other News: Challenges to
the Local Commercial Press. London: Minority Press Group, 1980.
Covers specifically the background to the development
of the local radical press in the UK, with reports from six local
community presses: Aberdeen People's Press, Alarm (Swansea),
Brighton Voice, The Islington Gutter Press, Response (Earls Court,
London), Rap (Rochdale). "During 1967-68, the first local
radical papers were foundedin Cambridge (The Shilling Paper),
Bristol and Glasgow. By 1969 there were 10, by 1975 over 60."
Nelson, Elizabeth. The British Counter-Culture, 1966-73. Basingstoke
& London: Macmillan, 1989.
An examination of the counter-culture based on
an analysis of three underground publications of the period:
International Times, Oz and Friends. "The underground press
functioned in many ways. It was designed to both serve and promote
the counter-cultural community and its ideals. Although the 'news'
and other articles presented through this medium were articulated
by the seemingly committed intellectuals of the movement, the
absence of a strict editorial policyor any editorial policy
at allenabled a variety of often conflicting views and
emphases to be expressed. In a very real sense, these publications
have recorded a process of dialogue between the writers and the
community, and...they have also recorded the various phases in
the counter-culture's development and decline."
Pindell, Howardena. "Artists' Periodicals: An Event for
1984 or Page 2001." Art Journal, 39 (4):282-283, 1980.
A tongue-in-cheek proposal for an exhibition
titled, "Artists' Periodicals: An Event for 1984 or Page
2001," that would include all the artists' periodicals produced
since 1900. "Perhaps the exhibition could be housed in a
twenty-lane linear accelerator structure spiraling the globe
from pole to pole, each lane representing a continent with subdivisions
by country, state, and city."
Relyea, Lane. "How To Secede As An Artist: Introduction."
Real Life, (21/22): 2-3, 1991.
A useful introduction to the DIY culture, mentions
networking and its relation to 'official media,' self-published
magazines and their role within this culture, and other manifestations
outside of the mainstream. "Moreover, by sending out these
exhibition announcements and magazines to fellow do-it-yourselfers
around the country, they are able to contact and cross-pollinate
with scores of distant correspondents, develop reputations in
faraway places, reach across borders and time zones to give and
take advice and inspiration, enter into and break away from fragile
and far flung alliances of the disenfranchised, disgruntled,
flirtatious, and just plain bored."
Schumann, Max. "Introduction." By Any Means Necessary:
Photocopier Artists' Books and the Politics of Accessible Printing
Technologies: Printed Matter. New York, 10 April - May 12, 1992.
This catalogue is comprised of writings by artists
in the show, responding to a request from the curator for their
statements regarding the, "...politics of photocopier artists'
books." Schumann states in his essay, "Photocopying
remains the most immediate printing process, in terms of physical
access and price, for making small artists' publications quickly.
Thus, photocopier books raise questions about accessaccess
to printing technology, and access to audiences."
Snodgrass, Susan. "Some Notes on Alternative Arts Publications:
The Alternatives' Dance for Money or Walking on a Tight Rope."
Artpapers, 15(4): 2-7, 1991.
Introductory essay to an issue devoted to essays/statements
by various national alternative arts publications. This article
provides an overview of the development of alternative arts publications,
(edited by a mixture artists and paid staff, and therefore not
strictly artists' publications), and concludes by commenting
upon the current situation of alternative arts publications.
Concluding this article, Snodgrass comments, "The important
point here is that the alternative arts publications have come
to a difficult and important crossroad. Although both alternative
and commercial publications are being affected by our current
economic slump...alternative arts publications are being further
pressured by conservative politics. Perhaps, this period of questioning
and challenges is actually a blessing in disguise, as it causes
alternative arts publications to re-examine what it means to
be alternative and to redefine just what our role is in the larger
"Special Issue on the Alternative Arts Press." Artpapers,
A useful issue with good introductory article
by Susan Snodgrass, and reports of the travails of publishing
alternative art periodicals. Includes statements from: Whitewalls,
New Art Examiner, Artpaper, Dialogue, Bloatstick, Video Guide,
Heresies, Women Artists News, Art issues, Art Papers, Artweek,
Frame-Work, P-Form, Parallélogramme, Number, Public Art
Review, Parachute, The Arts Journal, New Observations, Reflex,
The Act, and High Performance.
Whitaker, Cathy, ed. Alternative
Publications: A Guide to Directories, Indexes, Bibliographies
and Other Sources. Jefferson, N. Carolina & London: McFarland
& Company, Inc., 1990.
Produced under the auspices of the American Library
Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table Task Force
on Alternatives in Print, this is a useful starting point for
researching further into a broad range of alternative publications,
publishers and distributors.
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