Sometimes an artist is responsible for crafting every single aspect of the book itself-from hand-making the paper and hand-setting the type, to binding its pages manually. Other times, an artist might create an artists' book inside an existing sketchbook or even using a copy machine-these are often called "zines." Today, many artist books are created entirely using digital means, such as InDesign software and published using "print on demand" technology.
Artist books are "zones of activity" that exist at the intersection of many different disciplines, fields and ideas. What makes an artist book an artist book lies within the strengths of its concept as related to its formal attributes.
About Johanna Drucker
Johanna Drucker has been making artist's books and other visual projects, such as drawings and videos, for the last 40 years. While her artistic output is nothing short of prolific, she is perhaps better known in the field of art as a scholar: among books about art history, modernism, graphic design, poetics and digital humanities, she also (and this is a pretty big deal!) wrote the first seminal history of the artist's book, The Century of Artists' Books, which was first published in 1994. Therefore, her identity as an artist, evolved alongside her career as a scholar-she was theorizing and creating discourse around the very thing it was that she was interested in making.
About the San Francisco Center for the Book
The San Francisco Center for the Book fosters the joy of books and bookmaking, the history, artistry, and continuing presence of books in our culture and enduring importance as a medium of self-expression. We provide both a home for Bay Area book artists and a place where the wider community can discover book arts. Everyone is welcome here, experienced practitioners and newcomers alike. Over 300 workshops annually offer learning at all levels: from introductory to focused advanced courses spanning traditional bookbinding, cutting-edge printing techniques and experimental book forms. Exhibitions are designed to inform and inspire visitors. Free public programs include opening receptions for the exhibition program, poetry readings, book release parties for our publications, gallery talks, Open Houses and other community events like the annual Earth Day Extravaganza and Roadworks Street Fair.