The Mobile artist’s book library is based on artistic
activity, love for public libraries and the desire to
make visible the hidden and forgotten textbased works
made by artists.
The word library is here meant an organized collection of
information made available, for reading and often but not
always for lending. The first libraries consisted of
The Mobile artist’s book library is not a permanent
collection of systematized and categorized books. MABL
books are not for lending but for availability. Many of
the books are borrowed for the different occasions,
directly from the creators/copyright persons or from
different publishers. A prerequisite is to keep the
permanent collection under development, keep it handy for
practical and financial reasons, which means not a
traditional growing archive.
Contemporary artist’s books are stretching from the book
as artistic craftsmanship and letterpress printed unique
objects or art objects in limited edition, from political
magazines and comics, printed books of poetry, sculptural
works and other visual representations, concrete poetry
and various magazines and fanzines to intangible art
events. And more.
Artist’s books are often unique, special, chosen, not so
easy to find outside the art context, which helps give
the book its special value. Of course, the intention for
an artist’s book project also may be to mass produce. The
question of distribution is a vital part of the concept
of the book. The textbased artwork is coordinated in the
process as a whole. Digital technology offers new and
different opportunities to both broaden, complicate,
limit and/or simplify the development.
A book may be the only permanence, the only visible
result from an artproject. An artist book is often the work itself, the whole work.
MABL work with textbased artworks, intangible and/or
timebased artworks and sound artworks.
about Artist’s books by Printed Matter Inc. Text from the website https://printedmatter.org
“Unlike an art book, catalog or monograph that tend to showcase artworks created in another medium, the term ‘artists’ books’ refers to publications that have been conceived as artworks in their own right. These ‘projects for the page’ are generally inexpensive, often produced in large or open editions, and are democratically available.
The book is a medium that allows an artist’s work to be accessible to a multitude of people in different locations at any given time. The more copies produced the more widely the work can be distributed; it is this potential to reach a larger audience that lends the book its social qualities and increases it’s political possibilities. In this way, the artists’ book can be an incredibly powerful communicative force.
The simplicity of a book that is small in scale, costs relatively little to produce, and is easily replicable allows the work to flow outside of mainstream channels and reach an audience without institutional or commercial consent. The artists’ book offers a criticism of and alternative to these systems by circumventing them.
While artists’ books can take many forms, there are a few elements that are common across the practice. Understanding a book as an artwork invites a reflection on the properties of the book form itself. Much like any act of reading, an artists’ book is a physical experience that allows a connection with the medium that – while social in its implications – is individual and personal. The artists’ book invites us to hold it and turn through its pages. Whether the contents are visually or linguistically based (often a mix of both), physically moving through an artwork implicates notions of sequence, repetition, juxtaposition, and duration. The interplay of text and images, as well as considerations of printing process and the design of the book, allows for many exciting possibilities within narrative, media, and meaning that are specific to the artists’ book alone.”