Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Laminated Scrapbook

Now it’s all packed down and put up. “Moving Thought” is musealized. A bulletin board photographic record of the tour is installed at the Contemporary Art Museum through May 25th, 2008. The books we selected are all back on the shelves.

That final cargo included selected published artists’ books selected from Printed Matter, New York, artists’ books already in the CAM bookstore, “crossover” artists’ books from the campus bookstore Barnes & Noble, and some zines.

The circuist of the book opened up during “Moving Thought,” as students involved in zine-making continued to circulate their work through subcultural channels, and others who were teaching asked their students to make handmade one-of-a-kind books. (One of these, I’m told, went on track to be published when a copy shop owner connected the art student with a publisher.) Hands-on workshops – in bookbinding and cyanotypy – took place at different bookmobile venues.

The larger aspects of the artists’ book expressed in “Moving Thought” lie in the relation of the project to contemporary creative work. What is the place, and what is the space of the book today? Handmade artists’ books are very private items. Published artists’ books are rare items on the market for which they were ostensibly created. Since they are often so arcane, and always published in very limited numbers (so there can be no restock on a popular item), almost no bookstores bother to carry more than a few of them. The zine is circulated almost exclusively within subcultural milieux (although some libraries have begun to collect them).

The pedagogical project of “Moving Thought” was a gestural extension of the space of the artists’ book from a tiny few enclaves to a nomadic store on wheels. The project also poses the larger question – as a significant portion of artistic production dematerializes into cyberspace, what is the role of real space in artistic exhibition and interchange?
– Alan W. Moore
Visiting Assistant Professor for Contemporary Art and Critical Theory, 2007-2008
University of South Florida, School of Fine Arts and Art History, College of Visual and Performing Arts

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Connecting with the Mobilivre

For our final gig -- at the 6th Annual Ybor Festival of the Moving Image -- we will be hosting Courtney Dailey, a founding member of the Mobilivre Bookmobile collective in a talk at USF Saturday, April 19th, at 12:30 p.m. (room FAH 290; free pizza after!). (As a foretaste, here is a brief interview with the touring team from projet Mobilivre, talking about life on the road in an Airstream, with its on-board curated exhibition of zines and handmade books, during its September 2005 University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa stop.) Courtney has also worked at the Space 1026 gallery and studio complex in Philadelphia.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Going Downtown

We are going to be here -- in the driveway at Daniel and Cleo's house, 1004 E Powhattan Ave., Seminole Heights neighborhood, Tampa on Saturday. We start the install at 6:30, stringing up the vampire kitty lights and laying out the books. This is a cool annual event in which people show movies on the sides of houses and wander about gawking at 'em. Hope it don't rain... If it does we'll huddle in the Airstream and read comics.

Only two after this:
• Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19th – Hillsborough Community College for the Ybor Festival of the Moving Image (cyanotype workshop; speaker Courtney Dailey from Mobilivre project)
• April 25th – “Laminate Your Scrapbook!” – “Moving Thought” trailer installed at Contemporary Art Museum, opens 7-9pm

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Are Rolling for Real…

The shakeout cruise of the “Moving Thought” bookmobile trailer has shook. Many of the ‘everythings that could possibly go wrong’ did, and we came through it -- we made the gig and did the show in every instance, all across Tampa Bay and beyond – in Sarasota, downtown Tampa Saturday night, and Safety Harbor. Through non-delivering suppliers, long hot drives on gusty roadways, indifferent passing crowds, drunken hordes, catastrophic loss of power, and extended flooding rain leading to near-submersion of the Airstream, the project was accomplished. Nothing after this will be difficult. This first weekend was sure to be the worst, and the worst now is done.

Of course that was only logistics, the behind-the-scenes struggles which are always swiftly forgotten. “Moving Thought” in Sarasota, Tampa and Safety Harbor was interesting and stimulating. You can see some pictures below… Drop in again for accounts of these experiences… And try and catch "Moving Thought" at an upcoming venue (listed below below).

Saturday, April 5, 2008

All Power to the Imagination! New College Sarasota



Pictures from the bookmaking workshop to come!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Friday Night Kickoff -- "We Are On Our Way!"

Friday night, March 28th, Moving Thought was ready for the public (sans interior/exterior lighting – but we fixed that after a bit of improvisation). I was there at 7:30pm with April and Kim for the first shift and I brought with me the inventory list of all the books that were now so carefully placed around the vintage Airstream. The bulk of these are from Printed Matter, as well as books from the Contemporary Art Museum and from Barnes & Noble. Friday night was USF’s annual Arthouse, so there were lots of people buzzing around from the CAM student awards show. I can report that the honor of first “official” visitors to Moving Thought went to a couple of middle-aged guys who were very enthusiastic about everything. They were mostly drawn to the book “Your Logo Here” a photo essay by Deanna Templeton about SoCal teens who get their bodies painted with various company logos as they skate bikini-clad through places like Venice Beach (I lived in VB but don’t remember seeing this phenomenon, so it must be pretty new). This led them into a conversation amongst themselves about various arts communities they knew of in California. Perhaps the two guys were interested in the book because the front displayed an attractive photo of one such bikini-clad Californian, but at least they were engaged and complimentary. I couldn’t help but notice that they used one artist book/magazine as a bit of a beer coaster, but it did have a picture of a corona on the cover. After they left, more visitors seemed to roll in and were eager to hear more about the project. Thanks to everyone for their hard work on Moving Thought thus far! -- M Slaughter
...that trailer really is shiny and i want one. i even saw a fancy guy in a suit . if you get a chance you have to come out and find us on our "world" tour.
-- shane hoffman

Arthouse/Moving Thought Testimonial

It has been a long day of editing, writing, mailing and other non-art related functions. Thankfully, a friend invited me to USF's annual Art House; an event where all the students open the classrooms and studios and show their art works. I was quite tired, but I did promise my friend that I would enjoy myself.
The festivities from CAM carried my eye beyond the perfectly manicured party foods to another impeccably green lawn nearby from which grew out what seemed to be a 20 foot head of Lincoln. Alas! An aged call from the political arena. I ventured out there to find that is was surrounded by shiny, lit up robots and more cardboard sculptures that had nothing to do with what one might expect of any sort of partisan party. Although there were mini-fireworks present in some ode to something.
I did tell my friend that I was going to enjoy myself that evening and I found entertainment in the green field of cardboard scarecrows. Since I was to enjoy myself, I was in luck to spot a silver air stream with party lights, lawn chairs set out in front of it and a table with many (still vertical) bottles dotting the silver trailer landscape. It seemed like the perfect place to explore after the CAM ceremony. My legs were tired and the chairs looked welcoming. Among the lawn furniture and people occupying them I saw what looked like a book shelf. When I peered into the trailer, there were more shelves with books and magazines inside. It was a curious assemblage of writings. I promised my friend that I would enjoy myself and it seemed like I just would. I picked up a couple of books and one zine from the collection and headed to one of the still empty chairs. Since I did not recognize any of the chatter around me, it was easy to focus on the writings at hand. I found the art zine to be of particular interest as it was geared towards more serious issues, but illustrated in a comic-book, lighthearted manner. To my surprise, I did not notice that nearly an hour went by and I was still sitting in the same spot with the same beer at my side. As cynical as I might have been about the surrounding events, this, what I found out was called the Book or the Thought Mobile, was actually one of my more enjoyable pieces of Art House. I must admit, I quite enjoyed myself." -Anonymous Testimonial