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Scrolling the Page



The American Print Alliance has sponsored this competition and Internet exhibition of artists' books to amplify Turning the Page, a celebration of the book as art in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in September 1999. Scrolling the Page offers a useful survey of what's happening and how the book is being redefined as an educational resource to the world.

Artists from around the world were encouraged to enter the competition, which was free. There were only two requirements: that the book was created in the last three years and that it meet the artist's own definition of an original artist's book. The 24 books presented here were selected by curators Daniel Piersol (Curator of Prints & Drawings, New Orleans Museum of Art) and Dr. Carol Pulin (Director, American Print Alliance).

"Scrolling the Page provides an enlightening survey of current trends in book arts. The objects submitted reflect not only the influence of exciting new technologies and materials, but also the values of traditional sources. While some creators sought inspiration from familiar, venerable themes, others chose topical, even difficult subjects for expression."

"I am reassured by two ideas which become quite clear in the exhibition: that the hoary concept of the book is constantly being redefined by artists; and that the book retains its power and validity as we approach the millenium."

—Daniel Piersol
"I thought it would be fun and instructive to show an exhibition of artists' books on the Internet, to compare 'old' and 'new' modes in the exhibition and in its presentation. Books in all their forms, from scroll to codex, are an ancient way of packaging written and pictorial knowledge, in contrast to the electronic media, our most contemporary format. Books and computers share a peculiar combination of intimacy and publicity, for each encounter is typically private and personal, one reader/viewer at a time. Yet these are also expressly public media, designed so that their packets of images and information, pictures and text, can be passed along and shared among dozens, hundreds, thousands of people. The idea of the printed edition of a book implies that its many copies can be seen and read at the same time, while the Internet boasts that untold thousands of computer screens have simultaneous individual access."

"I trust that the inability of each visitor to our Scrolling the Page exhibition to handle these books, to touch the texture of the paper and turn the pages, play with the binding structures and enjoy the physical properties of the materials, is compensated for by their presence in cyberspace. Here at least their images are available, even in a severely limited way, without geographic restriction, local censorship, admission fees or architectural barriers."

—Carol Pulin

A selection of the books in Scrolling the Page was seen in a "real live" exhibition at two venues:

  • August 25 to September 30, 1999, at the Barnes and Noble Café Gallery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • November 4 to November 14, 1999, at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia

A more extensive article on Scrolling the Page appeared in the Fall 1999 issue of Contemporary Impressions, so order a copy today!

Enter Scrolling the Page

Shireen Holman
Memories of My Father
© 1998

Michael Jacobs
Triangle Pyramid B.O.O.K.
© 1998

Lyn Bishop
A Digital Artist: On the Road in China
© 1998


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