The Seventh Annual NY Art Book Fair was held two weeks ago at MoMA PS 1, and I'm sorry that I missed it. Organized by Printed Matter, the fair had more than 200 local and international exhibitors and also included screenings, lectures, musical performances, and book signings.
ABAA member Adam Davis of Division Leap (Portland, OR) was exhibiting at the fair for his fourth consecutive year. Division Leap, which just moved to a great new location last month, specializes in zines, artists' books, the Mimeograph Revolution, radical Americana, and a host of other printed miscellany.
Adam spoke with Capital New York about technological advances and the future of the book, a topic that is on everyone's mind. He made the following thoughtful and astute observation:
I think that the changes in technology—lifting the burden of having it be a purely informational transfer—will lead to people paying attention to what is really important about books and what it is you can't get from . The aura, the presence of it, the feeling that you're actually holding a work from an artist. That's really apparent with handmade books or books that the artist made themselves. You pick it up, you get a shock, you feel what's going on here in a way that you don't reading about on a website. I'm incredibly optimistic about the future of independent publishing. I'm a cheerleader in the face of gloom and doom.
I couldn't agree more. I can only surmise, as many others have, that as we become increasingly accustomed to and dependent on digital platforms, there will also be a heightened appreciation of the physicality of books. We thrilled to have a number of intelligent, enthusiastic cheerleaders like Adam in the ABAA ranks.