What is the future of the book?

April 22, 2015, by

What could be more delightful than sipping on complimentary wine and munching on cheese and crackers in an elegant gallery? Well, how about pairing that pairing with a succinct and stimulating panel conversation about the future of books?

On Thursday, April 16, about 45 Houstonians gathered at  The Printing Museum to attend the most recent installment of Ligatures, presented by Gulf Coast. The series is aptly named—a ligature is a typographical element that combines two letters. Generally, it is redolent of threads that bind.

This event brought together four notable artists, critics, and creative writers to discuss the craft, historical artifact, and future of artist books. Raphael Rubinstein, professor of critical studies at the University of Houston School of Art, moderated the panel, which consisted of artists Suzanne Bloom and Chitra Ganesh, and poet Roberto Tejada. Each, in fact, have multi-hyphenated practices—muralist, graphic novelist, anthologist, educator, etc.

A roundtable of favorite books and seminal text-based works kicked off the discussion. Rubinstein cited An Anecdoted Topography of Chance, a catalog of descriptions of everyday item on the desk of Fluxus artist Daniel Spoerri from the 1960s, which he described as “a portrait of a moment in time.”    Continue reading