What are they waiting for? Artist e-books/apps are coming!
Via Martin Brink’s blog ‘The digital photobook’ we discover a post written by Greg Albers on artist e-books. Greg Albers wrote that post because Corinna Kirsch tweeted the following:
“Either I’m missing something or there’s a serious lack of artist-designed apps and e-books.” Corina Kirsch, 12th October 2012 @hereisafantasy
Greg Albers thinks Corinna is right. “Kirsch is right. Aside from Badlands Unlimited and a modest if slowly growing number of photographers as featured in The Digital Photobook there is very, very little going on as far as artist-driven digital publishing.” And he points us to a talk held in NY Art Book Fair by Petra Cortright and Lucy Lippard which we can read at Art Fag City blog. This talk is really inspiring and made us thought about our background at Atem Books publishing house (where we publish books of emerging artists in a limited edition, all of them at a really affordable price – trying to make art accessible for everyone) and now our own Ubicuo Studio projects which are really democratic in a sense that they are easy to distribute and really affordable. We read:
Lippard made clear in her keynote that she is not happy with how many artists’ books have become so pricey, glossy, and pretty. Zooming in on the history of artists’ books as she lived it—from Xeroxed leaflets to her days at Printed Matter—Lippard described an ethos of the 60s and 70s that saw artists’ books as “cheap and mass-produced.” It was a time when bookmaking carved out a niche for artistic activity, outside the typical art market.
Look no further than the NY Art Book Fair for evidence of how jumbled the terrain of artists’ books has become. The first generations’ goals have turned into a sea of booths filled with artists and dealers selling wares for as much as a used car or as little as a stick of gum.
Still, digital books can be produced and sold at very low price points and are arguably more democratic than, you know, a pricey coffee table book. Lippard briefly touched on the advent of e-books, and it was awkward. A low point in the presentation occurred when she talked about “CD-ROMs” as if they were new technology and then asked the audience if artists made video games. Someone in the audience piped in with “Yes.”
A lack of artist-designed apps?
Corina’s right. There’s a lack of artist-designed Apps. Digital books are still a new thing we have to explore. Only a few people have dared to publish digital books or apps. Artists, editors and publishers need to know how ebooks and Apps can solve some of the most common problems of publishing and how this new format can make them go further and explore new artistic expressions.
What happens with publishing houses?
Why aren’t they publishing Apps? What are they waiting for? Some of them have told us that they are waiting for “successful cases”, for “numbers”, for “statistics”,… They are waiting for others to make this. Well, this is what we do at Ubicuo Studio when we’re not working for our clients: think, create and publish our own publishing projects. So maybe in the future we’ll have enough data to make other publishing houses feel like publishing apps.