logo: THe 2021 Contemprary Artists' Book Conference

The Temperature of Art Book Criticism and Scholarship


February 26-28, 2021

Admission is free for all sessions, but space is limited—please register to reserve your seat.

Founded in 2008, CABC has been a long time programing partner of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs. This year CABC will be presented as part of Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair.


The 2021 Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference (CABC) will focus on “The Temperature of Art Book Criticism and Scholarship.” As the scale of participation in and range of approaches to artists’ books and publishing have blossomed in recent years, now is a key time to develop new critical tools for assessing artists’ books and their broader impact on the cultural and artistic practice. Artists’ book criticism in the 21st century must contend not only with the book as an artistic medium, but also art books’ engagement with a range of cultural histories and publishing traditions.

Across 7 panels representing artists, scholars, writers from across the globe and from a wide range of backgrounds, the conference will explore these questions and look to progress the conversations on what artist book criticism and discourse can be.   The subjects covered will include the roles of institutions, how artist books are functioning in times of crisis, perspectives on insider vs. outsider makers and marginalized communities, and the book in the face of oppression and censorship.

Many types of institutions play a role in the discussion and presentation of artists’ books (universities, associations, journals, museums, bookstores, etc.) and Artist’s Book Criticism Beyond the Book will explore how these organizations shape the interdisciplinary conversations within and beyond the academy and how that discourse compares with the wider art world.

The role of the artist book in times of crisis and conflict is especially visible now and Urgent Publishing After the Artist’s Book will discuss aspects of the anti-capitalist take of such books and the impact on the making and reception of them.  Zine Steganography will look at how books made in the presence of active oppression and censorship may force the work to be hidden and how that impacts the ability and context of writing and talking about them.

Makers of artist books are another key theme to be explored.   Books on Places & Books from Places  will investigate the implications of work made by an outsider or visitor to a place vs. the view expressed in locally produced books.  Outsider Book Arts: Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Alternative Publishing Practices  looks at how books function as record and archive when presenting non-mainstream narratives and which operate without the support of major institutions.  Nine Artists|Nine Months|Nine Perspectives will present in detail the work of 9 mature Black woman artists and how the artist book serves as a platform for telling their stories and for collaboration.

Content through Structure: the Critical Focus on the Artist’s Book as Object will look at the expanding range of non-traditional formats for the artist book today and how those objects shape and augment the language of the book and its reception.

These interrelated sessions are planned to encourage conversation during the conference, between the many speakers, and amongst the wider audience about the role and future of artist book criticism. These conversations will help to identify future topics for investigation and to generate ideas and suggestions for how to strengthen, expand and enhance the practice.


2021 CABC Committee: 

  • Nicholas Coblence (Cultural Strategy)
  • Sarah Hamerman (Princeton University Library)
  • James Mitchell (Cooper Union)
  • Corina Reynolds (Center for Book Arts)
  • Giana Ricci (New York University)
  • David Solo (Independant Researcher)

Books on Places & Books from Places. An Unbalanced Equation.

Feb 26, 2021 at 10:30 am EST

Some of the most recognized artists’ books dealing with geographical regions were not made by an artist from that place. This round table will analyze the problematic relationship epitomized in such books. It will explore the breadth of these photobooks depicting countries including India, Cuba, or Nigeria, prioritizing photobooks made with artistic intent (as opposed to photographic travel books).

Artist’s Book Criticism Beyond the Book

Feb 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm EST

As more artists’ books are exhibited, it is increasingly important to understand how the institutional context in which they are shown, from bookstore spaces to museum vitrines, helps and hinders criticism in the field. This panel aims to extend criticism beyond the individual book and address the interconnected institutions and power structures that form the field of contemporary artists’ books.

Critical Convening on Terminology and Contextualizing Historic Material

Feb 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST

How does inadequate, inconsistent or unclear terminology limit our ability to write critically about artist’s books? How can and should we recontextualize historical artist’s books? After a brief introduction, we invite you to join the founders of BAR and a group of international guests in this convening as we split into small breakout groups to explore these questions and work on developing views and recommendations. 

Content through Structure

Feb 27, 2021 at 12:00 pm EST

With an artist’s book, content and form are interwoven. This panel will provide critical focus to the artist’s book as object, its place within the art world and the constructs of language around it.

Urgent Publishing After the Artist’s Book

Feb 27, 2021 at 1:30 pm EST

Publishing has always been political, but has it ever felt as urgent as it does right now, in the global distress and intersecting crises of the past year? How can publishing be used in movements towards liberation?

Zine Steganography

Feb 27, 2021 at 3:30 pm EST

How do you share a zine in places where sharing ideas is dangerous? We will consider the fraught relationship between zines and book criticism through the artists’ decisions to camouflage their text-works as part of larger socially-engaged projects and digital installations.

Critical Convening on Approaches to Criticism for Activist Artist’s Books and Publishing as Practice

Feb 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST

Does a different framework need to be developed for artist’s books created for activism? What role does the publisher of an artist’s book play in content creation? What is needed to write critically about publishing as artistic practice? Join the founders of BAR and a group of international arts writers in this convening as we use small group discussions in an attempt to crowd source the answers to these questions.

Nine Artists | Nine Months | Nine Perspectives

Feb 28, 2021 at 3:00 pm EST

Centered on the conception and gestation of a collaborative artists’ book project, this panel looks at the book as an instrument of resiliency and object of desire for African Americans once denied the right to read, write, and own their narratives.

Outsider Book Arts

Feb 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm EST

How do the book object and magazine build and nurture communities outside of institutional frameworks? This panel looks at contemporary and historical approaches to alternative publishing practices.

Closing Plenary: The Temperature of Artists Book Criticism

Feb 28, 2021 at 4:30 pm EST

The sessions and convenings over the past 3 days have explored a range of lessons and ideas around what artist book criticism and discourse is and can be. Join the CABC committee and other session speakers as they share and discuss their key takeaways from the conference and engage with the audience to further refine tangible actions for the community to take. 


Conference Sponsors

Special thanks to our sponsors! Supporting the field by investing in the critical dialogue about contemporary artist’s books builds awareness for this art form by reaching a larger audience and creating a stronger, more diverse community of artists, collectors, and scholars.


About CABC

Initiated in 2008, the Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference presents in depth talks, panels, and conversations to further the critical dialog surrounding artists’ books. Now organized by Center for Book Arts, the CABC committee is made up of historians and professionals in the field, sessions will cover a range of lively topics from artists, scholars, and other leading figures.

The Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference is held in conjunction with Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs. The 2021 fair is scheduled to take place virtually in February 25-28, 2021 at Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair

About Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs

Initiated in 2005, Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair (NYABF) is the leading international gathering for the distribution of artists’ books, celebrating the full breadth of the art publishing community.

Normally held at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, the NY Art Book Fair regularly hosts over 350 exhibitors from 31 countries, including a broad range of artists and collectives, small presses, institutions, galleries, antiquarian booksellers, and distributors. Free and open to the public, the event draws more than 40,000 individuals including book lovers, collectors, artists, and art world professionals each year. With a commitment to diversity and representation, the fair will serve as a meeting place for an extended community of publishers and book enthusiasts, as well as a site for dialogue and exchange around all facets of arts publishing.


CABC Conference Archive


2020 CABC Los Angeles

Before the transition of the LAABF to a virtual fair resulting from the pandemic shutdown, the 2020 LA CABC conference was slated to feature a keynote address by Kameelah Janan Rasheed exploring the notion of books as objects of perceived finality in relation to ideas of incompleteness, revision, and reinterpretation over time. Kimi Hanauer, Bomin Jeon, and Arianne Edmonds were to join the conversation and examine the intersection of archiving and publishing practices as they relate to themes of community.

In place of this planned program, Printed Matter has generously included full audio from Rasheed’s recent launch of her Printed Matter publication, No New Theories, in conversation with Jessica Lynne, co-founder of the art criticism journal ARTS.BLACK. The book is available for purchase here.

Listen to the conversation on Printed Matter’s website here.

The 2020 Conference was organized by the LA CABC Committee:

  • Megan Sallabedra, Getty Research Institute
  • Lea Simpson, UCLA, MLIS 2021
  • Farris Wahbeh, Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Dianne Weinthal, UCLA, MLIS 2020
  • Stephanie Williams, UCLA, MLIS 2021

2020 Keynote
Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b. 1985) is a Brooklyn-based learner from East Palo Alto, CA. She is invested in the shifting ecosystems of Black epistemologies, or the agile relationships between the varied modes of  reading, writing, archiving, editing, translating, publishing, reflecting upon, and arranging narratives about lived Black experiences. Rasheed has exhibited at the 2017 Venice Biennale, ICA Philadelphia, Pinchuk Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, New Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The Kitchen, among others. She is the author of two artist books, An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019) and No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2020).


2019 CABC New York

The 2019 Conference featured a full day of talks and conversations, taking place on Saturday, September 21 at Artbook Bookstore Event Space. Organized by art librarians and professionals in the field, sessions will cover a range of lively topics from artists, scholars, and other leading figures, with a keynote address by the artist Adam Pendleton.

This year’s Conference is made possible by generous contributions from Stephen Bury and Deirdre Lawrence.

2019 CABC Committee: 

  • Sarah Hamerman (Princeton University Library)
  • Sofia Kofodimos (The Museum of Modern Art)
  • James Mitchell, Corina Reynolds (Center for Book Arts)
  • Giana Ricci (New York University)
  • Farris Wahbeh (Whitney Museum of American Art)
  • Megan Williams (Schomberg Center for Research and Black Culture, New York Public Library)

2019 Keynote
Adam Pendleton

Adam Pendleton is a New York-based artist known for work animated by what he calls “Black Dada,” a critical articulation of blackness, abstraction, and the avant-garde. Drawing from an archive of language and images, Pendleton employs photocopying, painting, printmaking, video, and collage, often translating to and from the printed page. In 2017, he published Black Dada Reader, a sourcebook of photocopied texts and commissioned essays that correlates the legacies of modernism and conceptualism to those of black radicalism. The same year, the Reader was named a “Best Art Book” by the New York Times, and a subsequent paperback edition was published in 2019. Anthology, a large-format, limited-edition volume of silkscreen prints, nearly 200 pages, was published in 2018 by Zucker Art Books. For his address at the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference, Pendleton will collage texts pulled from books in his personal library and consider these excerpts in relation to his broader body of work.

Collecting for Social Justice: Artists’ Books and Critical Theory

Giana Ricci moderates a panel with Jennifer Ferretti, Adriana Monsalve, and Kamaria Hatcher

Critical theory can be defined as a philosophical approach to analyzing culture that seeks to confront the social, historical, and ideological forces that produce and constrain it. Panelists will examine critical theory as an approach to creating a diverse and inclusive book collection, as well as how collecting artists’ books in particular can help to achieve this goal. Speakers will bring academic, artistic, marketing, and publishing perspectives to the discussion. The conversation is moderated by Giana Ricci (Librarian for the Fine Arts, New York University), and includes Jennifer Ferretti (Digital Initiatives Librarian, Maryland Institute College of Art), Adriana Monsalve (Homie House Press), and Kamaria Hatcher (Assistant Museum Librarian, Reader Services, Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Technologies of Care: Panel Discussion

The artist publishers featured in this session evoke considerations of embodiment and identity, envisioning “technologies of care” that counter the technologies of surveillance prevalent in our digital landscape. Rooted in a feminist and anti-racist ethics of care, these projects offer powerful models for community-building in print and online space. While some speakers look to cyberfeminism to conjure new bodily imaginaries, others draw on intersectional and Black feminisms to build supportive spaces for marginalized people. All of these projects envision publishing as a kind of activism. The session features presentations by Gaby Collins-Fernandez and Florencia Escudero of Precog Magazine, and Kandis Williams of Cassandra Press, moderated by Sarah Hamerman (Cybernetics Library, Princeton University Library).

What Motivates a Book Collector?

Why does a library choose to add one book to its collection over another? How does a private collector find the book they have been searching for? What makes a photobook desirable? Does production quality matter to the collector? Find out the answers to these questions and more, by joining us for a series of rapid fire micro-talks from a cross-section of artists’ book collectors. The session features presentations by Johanna Bauman (Pratt, New York), Monica Johnson (Booklyn Artists Alliance, New York), David Solo (private collector, New York), Robbin Ami Silverberg (The Jack Ginsberg Center for Book Arts, South Africa).

Organized by Corina Reynolds (Center for Book Arts).


2018 CABC New York

Avalanche Magazine

Founded by Liza Béar and Willoughby Sharp, Avalanche Magazine(1970—1976) is known for prioritizing the voices of artists through in-depth interviews or less formal dialogues, and for documenting their work processes through cinematic photographs. Remarkable for the breadth of its international content, Avalanche remains an unparalleled source of information on the new media, attitudes, and politics of art during the 1970s. After the screening of a short film of Liza Béar in conversation with Christophe Cherix (MoMA), Sofia Kofodimos (MoMA, Morgan Library & Museum) will introduce the panelists and present select items related to Avalanche’s production from MoMA’s archive. Kim Conaty (Whitney Museum) will discuss Avalanche in light of its conception as an “international information tool” by focusing on how the magazine was designed to be used as an exhibition space, not just read. Amy Ballmer (Pratt Institute) will discuss her work creating the Avalanche Index, a comprehensive online open access resource designed to help researchers find and identify content within the magazine.

Comics are Books by Artists

Historically, comics and artists’ books have existed within different cultural and commercial contexts and have employed different methods of material production. However, many of the distinctions between comics and artists’ books have been erased in the hands of contemporary artists who blend both histories to make books of comics as their chosen medium of artistic expression. Comics critic and curator Bill Kartalopoulos will lead a conversation about the growing relationship between comics and artists’ books with artists David Sandlin (Sleep of History) and Aidan Koch (Little Angels) and publisher Lisa Pearson (Siglio Press).

Organized by Giana Ricci.

Vernacular Photography and Narrative

The history of appropriated imagery in artists’ books is a rich one. The recontextualization of other people’s photographs continues to evolve within the contemporary photobook medium. This panel will focus on three artists who weave these found photographs into new fictions, use family snapshots to interrogate familial and societal structures, and bring hidden histories to light, or perhaps make more mysterious. Artists Melissa Catanese, Gillian McCain and Erika Morillo will discuss these topics in their books and practice.

Organized by Emily Dunne.

Diasporic Print Space

How are diasporic communities intentionally ‘taking up space’, and re-framing mainstream narratives of migration with printed matter? For this panel, Liberian born and Baltimore based Bilphena Yahwon of Press Press will be in conversation with Lizania Cruz (We the News), Stephanie Orentas (La Liga Zine), and PJ Gubatina Policarpio (Pilipinx American Library). Join us as we discuss new & recent platforms for radical kinship, investigation, and collective reimagination.

Organized by Catherine Feliz

Queer Publishing as Community Practice

This panel and roundtable brings together Nicole Killian (VCU GDES, ISSUES magazine), Be Oakley (GenderFail), and Gabriel Ramirez (Unity Press/Unity Queer Skateboarding) to discuss their projects, which envision queer publishing as an intersectional and community-based practice.

The panelists consider how publishing can amplify queer, nonbinary, and POC voices and envision radical new forms of collaboration that extend beyond the printed page. Whether organizing meetups for queer-identified skateboarders, building a participatory archive of zines and functional sculptures, or bridging online and offline networks through design and education, these publishers consider empathy, failure, and play as part of an activist practice.

Organized by Sarah Hamerman.


2017 CABC New York

Community Organizing

Moderated by James Mitchell, with Barbara Calderón, Kimi Hanauer (Press Press), Devin Morris (3Dot Zine).

Guerilla Collecting

Moderated by Sara Rubinow, with Karen Gisonny, Kameelah Janan Rasheed.

Underground Publishing

With Akili Tommasino and Awol Erizku.

Furthering the Critical Dialogue: Books by Tauba Auerbach

Moderated by Tony White, with Corina Reynolds (Small Editions), Sarah Hamerman, Karla Nielsen.


2017 CABC Los Angeles

2017 Keynote
AA Bronson: My Life in Books

An autobiographical romp through the world of artists’ books, from the 60s to today, from underground newspapers to queer zines, through the eyes and words of AA Bronson. From his beginnings in a free school and commune, through his 25 years as one of the artists of General Idea, his deep involvement with founding and developing collaborative and social structures such as FILE Magazine, Art Metropole, the LA Art Book Fair, and AA Bronson’s School for Young Shamans, as well as through his current collaborations with younger generations, he has focused on the politics of decision-making and on living life radically as social sculpture.

re: the FURIES

This panel brings together the artists published in re: the FURIES (CASSANDRA Press, 2017) for a discussion on the impassioned female voice — the angry woman and how rage is read and consumed by the art world. Panelists will discuss the professional limitations for women who make work centered around aggression, antagonistic language, or pessimism. We will share our views on how the underrepresented woman — the hysteric, the witch, the lesbian — function to serve feminist histories or to reinscribe patriarchic modes of exchange or ideological assumptions; and how marginalized female images, voices, and politics are systemically separated, co-opted, or erased within the art market and industry when they are produced by women. The panel will summarily look at the marginalization of female power and discuss the contemporary parameters for expressing the contrarian — from political dissent to personal dissatisfaction, whether online, in intimate or public space, and within a realm of political aesthetics.

Participants: Ligia Lewis, Andrea Liu, Kandis Williams, La Porcha Wynne, Melinda Guillen, Mariaunna Freeman, and LA Speaks Volumes.

X-TRA presents Artists’ Books Change Lives

Artist and writers present books that changed their lives. An eclectic series of short readings and performances accompanied by images. With Patricia Fernández, Mariah Garnett, Vishal Jugdeo, Lakshmi Luthra, Kavior Moon, Paul Pescador, Ragen Moss, Rachelle Rojany, Leslie Shows, Patrick Staff, Brica Wilcox and many more. 

Making a Splash: WET Magazine

This panel brings together a group of architects, artists, graphic designers, performers, poets, writers, and bathers who collaborated on the making of WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing. WET Magazine was published from 1976 to 1981 in Venice, California. In both content and design, this eclectic magazine combined the aesthetics of 1970s Venice Beach culture, Los Angeles punk rock, and California hippies, alongside articles about bathing, hot tubs, showering, and personal hygiene. A lively panel discussion about the history and making of WET Magazine includes participants Leonard Koren, Kristine McKenna, Lewis MacAdams, The Dark Bob, and others.

Artists’ Publications: Alternative to What?

Participants: Haegue Yang, Gelare Khoshgozaran and Eunsong Kim (Contemptorary.org), William E. Jones.


2016 CABC New York

2016 Keynote
Martha Wilson

Martha Wilson discusses the founding of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc., which gathered the largest collection in the United States of artists’ books published internationally after 1960; this collection was acquired by MoMA in 1993. As in 1976 Printed Matter was also being founded by a collective of artists and activists, she will touch on the close relationship between the organizations; as well as discuss how their complementary programs were sorted out 40 years ago. Wilson’s lecture will cover the first four years of Franklin Furnace’s life.

Performing Language

A lecture, a talk, and a live reading on and around the photo-mechanical image.

Artists-writers perform discursive art pieces, revisiting the formats of the conference and literary reading to creatively and critically investigate the relationship between text and image. Jenny Perlin with her lecture Twilight Arc discusses the history of the color organ and how it has influenced contemporary cinema and her own filmic practice. In a performance based on his essay Matter of Rothko, David Levine addresses the personal and artistic consequences of his father’s involvement with the Rothko Estate scandal. Marcelline Delbecq presents Vies Immobiles, a live reading accompanied by a slide show of an imaginary book of illustrations exploring the arrested existence of animals in various still lives. Moderated by Béatrice Gross.

Spaces of Information

This panel session examines the intersections of art, architecture and editorial design. It will focus on the ways in which environment, architecture and expanded publishing dissolve disciplinary boundaries and the activities of production, spectatorship and reception. The three speakers will explore how conceptual art created an escape from media specificity; the programming and publishing strategies developed by the Focal Point Gallery; the architecture of memory, and esoteric classification schemes. With Ruth Blacksell (moderator), Andrew Hunt, and Karen Di Franco. Organized by Stephen Bury.

Printed Page in the Digital Age

This panel examines relationships between the printed page and the digital screen in contemporary art. Digital and print media are looking to each other for influence, resulting in new modes of expression and critical interrogation that take into account hybrid platforms and habits of media consumption. Artists working with the internet, photography, and video are referencing the space of the book in their works, just as artists publishing and working with printed books are re-conceptualizing the book space to reference screen-culture and digital modes of reading. Speakers will explore the activity of reading and ways in which shifting intermedia relations demonstrate a new mode of reading and engagement with the page. Organized and introduced by Megan N. Liberty, with Paul Soulellis. With Megan N. Liberty, Paul Soulellis, Leslie Hewitt.

Paper Exhibitions

This panel session explores the relationship between publishing and curating, where artists’ books and printed matter are considered as portable exhibitions in their own right. The book will also be considered as an axis of innumerable relationships that are concretized through the publication and that are also informed by or inform curatorial practice and exhibitions of artists works in physical space. The tensions between books and exhibitions will be discussed as will issues of materiality, scale, distribution and audience. Panelists include Sadia Shirazi (moderator), Francesc Ruiz Abad, Alexis Bhagat, and Sharmini Pereira. Organized and introduced by Lindsey Reynolds.

Furthering the Critical Dialogue

Discussing two books by Ed Ruscha: Twenty Six Gasoline Stations and Every Building on the Sunset Strip.)
Moderated by Tony White, with Russet Lederman, Ian McDermott, Anne Thurman-Jajes.


2016 CABC Los Angeles

2016 Keynote
Experimental Jetset

Amsterdam-based graphic design studio Experimental Jetset will deliver this year’s keynote address. The work of EJS has been featured in group exhibitions such as Graphic Design: Now in Production (Walker Art Center, 2011) and Ecstatic Alphabets / Heaps of Language (MoMA, 2012); in 2007, a large selection of work by Experimental Jetset was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for inclusion in the permanent collection. In 2013, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art launched a graphic identity developed by Experimental Jetset.

Moderated by writer and designer Mark Owens.

Immaterials and Proposals

A collaborative reading of artworks that exist in description only. Presented by Project X and X-TRA, a group of artists and writers will select and present other artist’s written outlines, descriptions and proposals for art and exhibitions that are never intended to be or never will be realized in other forms. Followed by a panel discussion.

Contemporary Art and the Occult

A panel of practicing contemporary artists discuss their work relating to alchemy, astrology, chaos magic, Gnosticism, shamanism, and occultism at large; manifested and documented in the printed form. Panelists include: Kathryn Garcia, Frank Haines, Lazaros, Micki Pellerano, and Penny Slinger.

Sexually Explicit Art and Artists’ BooksSexually Explicit Art and Artists’ Books

Books are a natural home for sexually explicit material, handheld and intimate, with room for the unexpected. A panel of artists and publishers will present their book and publication work dealing with sex and sexuality, followed by a discussion.

Artists’ Books at 33 RPM

Artists have long incorporated the vinyl record into their respective practices; the medium is at once familiar, tangible, listenable, and easy to reproduce in multiple. This panel of contemporary artists, musicians, and publishers will discuss the history of the record in art and how the vinyl edition informs their work.


2015 CABC New York

2015 Keynote
Walead Beshty & Liam Gillick

A conversation between the artists Walead Beshty and Liam Gillick on the occasion of the publication of the volume “Ethics” in Whitechapel’s Documents of Contemporary Art series (MIT Press, 2015), which was edited by Beshty, and for which Gillick was a contributor. With this volume as a backdrop, they discuss both their work and critical writing in relation to the broad network of relations that contemporary art traffics within, and the centrality that systems of distribution and the social field have come to play in its reception. With an introduction by Milan Hughston, Chief of Library at the Museum of Modern Art. 

Furthering the Critical Dialogue: Artists’ Books by Veronika Schapers

This conference panel discussed selected books by Veronika Schapers, with a special focus on her book “26°57,3’N, 142°16,8’E.” Panelists: Peter Koch, Printer, Author, and Director of the Codex Foundation; Mark Dimunation, Head of Rare Books & Special Collections, Library of Congress; and Lynn Maliszewski, writer and curator. Moderator: Tony White, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Instruction Sets and Cookbooks

This conference panel explored relationships between performance and text by comparing classic conceptual strategies with the idea of the recipe or cookbook. How do instruction sets and performance scores relate to the culinary recipe? Is the inedible or unmakeable central to this approach? How do these relate to contemporary interest in social practice and performance? Berin Golonu presented work from the book project “Recipes for an Encounter” (Vancouver: Western Front Editions, 2010), which was also presented as an exhibition at Dorsky Gallery in Long Island City (2010). Colby Chamberlain reported on his research concerning George Maciunas. Béatrice Gross addressed Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings in relation to his publications. Moderator: Jennifer Tobias.

The Revolution Will Be Printed

This conference panel explores the role of artists’ publications and printed matter in social practice and community engagement, as politically and culturally charged transactional objects, and as relevant to contemporary activism. Panelists include Clara Lobregat Balaguer (Philippines) and Steffani Jemison (New York). Moderated by Lori Salmon. Organized by Sara Rubinow.

Show & Tell

In the conference’s lightning round, speakers had four minutes each to present one book of their choosing. A video overhead projector was used so that the books were presented directly and spontaneously. Speakers were Hrag Vartanian (HyperAllergic), Matthew Bede Murphy (LAND Gallery), Dan Fox (frieze magazine), Megan Liberty, Lauren O’Neill-Butler (ArtForum.com), Maya Harakawa, and Stephen Bury. Moderated by James Mitchell.

Animating Archives in Photobooks

Archives and photography have always had a dynamic relationship and the using of an archive as a narrative structure has been an increasing phenomenon in photobooks in recent years. Archives are often moribund if not banal, but once they are launched into motion by the actions of artists they come alive with almost endless possibilities and permutations. The photo-based artists’ use of the archive is often fragmentary, allusive and at times even poetic. This conference session explored the restructuring of the archive in the work of the artist Susanne Kriemann and the London-based group the Archive of Modern Conflict. Organized by Matthew Carson and moderated and introduced by Bernard Yenelouis. Presenters included Susanne Kriemann (Berlin) and Kalev Erickson (London).

Moderated by Mathew Carson, with Susanne Kriemann, Kalev Erickson, Bernard Yenelouis.

Artists’ Records and Recordworks

Artists’ records and recordworks are editioned multiples, generally very affordable. Recent ones have functioned as alternative exhibition catalogs. Speakers on this panel were: Matthew Higgs, artist, curator and director of White Columns, talked about artists and music as well as The Sound of White Columns (TSoWc), the gallery’s record label. Art historian and writer Francesco Spampinato discussed his new book “Can You Hear Me? Music Labels by Visual Artists.” And artist Pieter Schoolwerth spoke about the relationship between Wierd Records, his record label, and his larger art practice. Susan Thomas provided a substantive introduction and served as moderator of the session.


2015 CABC Los Angeles

2015 Keynote
Frances Stark

The L.A.-based artist Frances Stark will deliver this year’s keynote address. Stark’s practice draws on language in all its forms, from the literature of Robert Musil and Joan Didion to the culture of contemporary chat rooms and everything in between. Her work addresses popular culture, sexuality, the anxieties of being an artist, and the mechanisms of the art world, very often existing as both word and image, in the world of texts and the world of things. Not surprisingly, she is a prolific publisher of books.

The Evolving/Devolving Definitions of Punk, DIY, Indie, and Self Publishing

From the 1970s through the late 1990s, the terms Punk, DIY, Indie and Self-Publishing were strongly connected with various anti-establishment groups and movements. The words are now often used as aesthetic descriptors, frequently employed by institutions, organizations, and corporations that exist in direct opposition to their original definitions. This panel will discuss the evolution/devolution of these terms and the fields they describe.

In the Archives

A conversation between artists who use publishing to rethink the meaning of archival materials. The internet has made saving and organizing information a routine activity. Through researching, collecting, and remembering these artists’ reenact the ways that knowledge previously circulated within subcultures. This session considers the relationship between history, politics, and the archive as both a site and resource for work.

Artists’ Periodicals

Beginning with modernist little magazines, serial publications by artists have served as a vital collaborative and cross-disciplinary mode of transforming the artistic field. The genre has experienced explosive growth in recent years, and this multi-generational panel surveys some of the changes in a mode of production in which artists also must think as editors and curators, and in which time has as much a place as the page spread.

1 Image 1 Minute

Presented with X-TRA and Project X. Fifty artists, curators, writers and members of the art-book community will give a one-minute lecture on a single image of their choosing. The resulting series of presentations offers an engaging survey of the way we interpret and relate to the static image. Based on Micol Hebron’s column in X-TRA, the concept was inspired by Agnès Varda’s television series Une minute pour une image (1983).

Participants will include Andrea Bowers, Tacita Dean, Travis Diehl, Anne Ellegood, John Houck, Eric Kim, Kris Kuramitsu, Carolina Miranda, Sohrab Mohebbi, Dushko Petrovich, Shizu Saldamando, Asha Schechter and many more.


2014 CABC New York

2014 Keynote
R. Quaytman and Susan Howe

A conversation between artist R. H. Quaytman and her mother, poet Susan Howe. May Castleberry, Editor of publications of the Library Council of The Museum of Modern Art, moderates a discussion about the new collaborative publication Tom Tit Tot. The work knits together sixty-seven poems by Howe, with design elements and original prints by Quaytman. 

Ceci N’est Pas Une Comic: Graphic Novels, Contemporary Art, and The Public

The graphic novel is a genre that continues to gain in popularity. It is a growing segment, filling bookshelves nonstop with brilliant, innovative work and shaping ideas in visual culture. In this panel session, three speakers discussed current trends in graphic novel writing and illustration in relation to contemporary art and its audiences. The panelists were artist Chitra Ganesh; cartoonist and illustrator Peter Kuper; and Daniel Norton, NYPL. The moderators were Eric Ingram (SVA) and Lori Salmon (NYPL).

Furthering the Critical Dialogue (books of Phil Zimmermann)

This conference panel focused on the artists’ books of Phil Zimmermann. Speakers were Leslie Atzmon (Eastern Michigan University), Cynthia Marsh (Austin Peay State University), and Emily McVarish (California College of the Arts). The moderator was Tony White (Maryland Institute College of Art).

Photo Meets Text

This conference panel explores how text and images can be integrated to create narrative in photobooks. Long existing side by side the photograph and the word have now collided. Unravelling and investigating the relationship of photography & writing can be complex and perhaps even mind/perception altering. Russet Lederman maps out some of the history of words and images and leads a discussion into the possible futures. Brad Zellar and Nicholas Muellner present from their experiences of their own extensive ‘field work’ as investigators, researchers and writers.

The Re-Materialization of the Art Book: Contemporary Livres d’Artistes

Often viewed as a conservative form, a deluxe curio for wealthy collectors’ coffee tables, even a relic of early-20th century art marketing, the livre d’artiste has evolved into an important site for collaboration between visual artists and writers. Sheelagh Bevan (Morgan Library) presented her research on “Poésie de mots inconnus,” Iliazd, and the Lettrist debate; Jenni Quilter (NYU) talked about “The Animal is in the World Like Water in Water” by Kiki Smith and Leslie Scalapino (Granary Books, 2010); and Maddy Rosenberg (Central Booking) discussed various works from the exhibition “Livre d’Artiste d’Aujourd’hui: Interdisciplinary Collaborations,” which she organized recently at the Center for Book Arts. James Mitchell served as moderator. 

Off the Runway: Print as Performance in Contemporary Fashion

Panelists K8 Hardy, Susan Cianciolo, and Francesca Granata, with moderator Susan E. Thomas, explore the intersection of art, fashion design, and independent publishing.


2013 CABC New York

2013 Keynote
Clive Phillpot & Christophe Cherix

A Conversation with Pictures. A 40 year trek through 50 years of artist books.

2013 Keynote
Warren Lehrer

Furthering the Critical Dialogue:
Discussions of Michael Snow’s Cover to Cover

Moderated by Tony White, with Jennifer H. Krivickas, Philip Zimmermann, Jon Evans.

Text Engines

Moderated by Stephen Bury, with Craig Dworkin, Robert Fitterman, Joey Yearous-Algozin.

Design Authors and Auteurs:
Designers’ Books and Publications

Moderated by Susan Thomas, with Lauren Mackler, Adam Michaels, Brian Roettinger, Tanya Rubbak.

Fluid Dynamics: Pedagogy in the Expanded Field

Moderated by Jennifer Tobias, with Trinie Dalton, Jen Bervin, Munro Galloway.

The Book Is No Image

With Roger Willems, Moyra Davey, John Neff, Pradeep Dalal (moderator).

“Comics as a medium for self expression? Oh John, you’re such a fool!”: Contemporary Experimental Comics and/as Artists’ Books

Moderated by James Mitchell, with Gabe Fowler, Andrei Molotiu, David Sandlin.


2012 CABC New York

New book to benefit the 2012 Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference. Each year the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference commissions a new artists’ book as part of its program. Previously commissioned artists include Dexter Sinister, David Horvitz, and Emily Roysdon, and last year’s “assembled magazine” Adventures. This year, Estonian artist Triin Tamm will create a new book in collaboration with Rollo Press (Switzerland). Sales of the book will help to support free admission to the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference for all visitors.

2012 Keynote
Lucy Lippard & Paul Chan

Appropriation & Intellectual Property

Moderated by Stephen Bury, with Greg Allen, Eric Doeringer, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento.

Graphic Notation and Artists’ Books

With Nick Hallett, Zach Layton, Miguel Frasconi.

Focus on East Asia: Artists’ Books in Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul

Moderated by Sara Rubinow, with Oliver Watson, Charwei Tsai, Juk Hee Kwon.

Pecha Kucha

Moderated by Tony White.


2011 CABC New York

2011 Keynote
Tauba Auerbach

Pedagogy: Artists’ Books in the Juvenile Justice System

Moderated by Jennifer Tobias, with Lauren Adelman, Jessica Fenster-Sparber.

Radical Print: Samizdat & the Artist’s Book

With Ann Komaromi, Matthew Higgs, Michal Nanoru, Daphne Carr.

Focus on Latin America: Artists’ Books in Havana, Mexico City, and Caracas

Moderated by Sara Rubinow, with Steven Daiber, Sofía Olascoaga, Victor Sira.

Furthering the Critical Dialogue

Moderated by Tony White, with Larissa Leclair, Victor Sira, Krist Gruijthuijsen.

The Final Appearance: Artists’ Books Get into Print

Moderated by Stephen Bury, with Lucy Mulroney, David Senior, Leanne Shapton.

Pecha Kucha

Moderated by Tony White.


2010 CABC New York

2010 Keynote Panel:
Richard Hell, Christopher Wool, Josh Smith

Furthering the Critical Dialogue

Moderated by Tony White, with Tate Shaw, Karen Schiff, Susan Viguers, Kathleen Walkup.

Typography and Writing

Moderated by Jennifer Tobias, with Ellen Lupton, Will Holder.

Experimental Libraries and Reading Room Projects

With Wendy Yao, Andrew Beccone, Robin Cameron, Jason Polan, Tiffany Malakooti, Babok Radboy, Martha Wilson, Renaud Proch.

Pecha Kucha

Moderated by Tony White.


2008 CABC New York

2008 Keynote
Hans-Ulrich Obrist interviewing Joseph Grigely & Rirkrit Tiravanija

Printed Matter published this as a book in 2010 as It Has Only Just Begun, so they may have transcript and images.ns-Ulrich Obrist interviewing Joseph Grigely & Rirkrit Tiravanija

Historical Materials and Methods in Contemporary Artists’ Books

Geoffrey Batchen in Conversation with Susan Meiselas and Joachim Schmid.

Multiple Ideas: Artist-Produced Journals as Site for Collaboration and Distribution of Ideas

Moderated by David Senior, with Dexter Sinister, Matt Keegan, Emily Roysdon.Moderated by David Senior, with Dexter Sinister, Matt Keegan, Emily Roysdon.

Outside Looking In: The State of Artists’ Books Criticism

Moderated by Tony White, with Cornelia Lauf, Elisabeth Long, Buzz Spector.

Dummies for Photographers: The Effect of DIY Books on Photographic Practice

With Darius Himes, Victor Sira, Leigh Ledare, Yuichi Hibi, Esther Levine.

Cooking the Books: A Conversation with Non-Profit Art Publishers

Moderated by David Senior, with Alejandro Cesarco, Jason Fulford, Bill Burns, Luc Derycke, Jane Rolo.


CABC Sponsorship

The field of artist’s books is the fastest growing artistic discipline internationally. Only 60 years old, this field unites over 100,000 people nationally and even more across the globe, but we still need your help to grow! Supporting the field by investing in the critical dialogue about contemporary artist’s books builds public awareness for this art form. Your contribution will enable the Contemporary Artist’s Book Conference reach a larger audience therefore creating a stronger, more diverse community of artists, collectors, and scholars for the book as art.

Your sponsorship directly funds:

  1. Speaker honoraria
  2. Technical infrastructure for live streaming to an international audience
  3. PR and media outreach

Sponsors receive:

  1. Acknowledgement and a permanent direct weblink to their site (over 120k visitors annually)
  2. Verbal acknowledgement at the beginning of live streamed conference programs (6 programs planned for 2021 with an anticipated online attendance of 300-600 per session)
  3. Credit line acknowledging sponsor at the end of recorded sessions that will be permanently featured on our YouTube channel
  4. Brand category exclusivity.1. Acknowledgement and a permanent direct weblink to their site (over 120k visitors annually)
  5. Verbal acknowledgement at the beginning of live streamed conference programs (6 programs planned for 2021 with an anticipated online attendance of 300-600 per session)
  6. Credit line acknowledging sponsor at the end of recorded sessions that will be permanently featured on our YouTube channel
  7. Brand category exclusivity.

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