een Hand Gebonden Kunstenaarsboek '(The) Fairing(s)', the Artist's-Books Workshop,Vilnius 2009 a hand-bound Artist's-Book / le Livre d'Artist / ein handgebundenes Künstler Buch / Mahler Buch

1. A 'fairing' is a gift. More precisely: a 'fairing' is a present given at or brought from a fair. 2. A 'fairing' is a thin cake made of sugar and butter.

3. 'Fairing' is making the surface of an aeroplane smooth and streamlike. More generally it is used for the process of streamlining.

The never ending discourse of:


What is an Artist's-Book?
Where all sorts of twains can and indeed shall meet.

e-mail your ideas to:

Wendel Jacobs, one of the students of the Academy in Zwolle, The Netherlands, was kind enough to open this discourse with a first line:

"Books that are hardly to be (re)produced or fabricated, they are unique or indeed made in small editions, & of course, texts and visuals are handeled in a way that is appreciative of art."

My (Joseph John Visser) simplest statement would be:

"An artist's-book is a complete work of art ('Total-Kunstwerk'). More often than not it is made by an artist working in the fields of the arts and crafts related to the traditions of 'the book' and doing it from idea to total execution from experiences in these fields. With an emphasis on the artistic needs of the artist and the arts, it is somehow book-shaped."

Frans Baake (The Netherlands, 1958) published about 60 bookworks. You will find his works at:

Lightweeks away, - global drawings, - trance parante, - continents contents, - wait/weight, - never been there, - beautiful but boring/boring but beautiful, - re-start/rest-art
As in the works of most artists these books give their arguments by their sheer existence.
Then again in three lines here is his statement on his artist's-books and artist's-books in general:
"With a love for paradoxes these (those mentioned) titles might give you something to reflect on, and reason for thought."
"Going to remote areas in order to say: "it's there to be discovered; it's discovered to be there."
"Books are a platform on which expressions can be filled in that can't be worked out in another form: the strict necessity of the book."

André H. Ligthart Schenk has made the following comments
and informed about 'fairing' being part of the wooden boat building process; see
'Lofting is enlarging a boat's plan to full size'; one would pencil mark the lofting points and then 'FAIR' the curved lines for 3d. That is 'fairing'.
"Artist's-Books are books made by story-tellers, and read by those who are curious about other peoples stories. Stories report on the development of thoughts, or events. Artist's-Books are made by artists who choose this medium for its appropriateness to tell their story. The artist's-book has nothing to do with beauty. It is THE medium for artists to tell complex stories. (or is it?)"

Photograph (and boat):Andre Ligthart Schenk


Well ok, time for some wider ideas from Joseph Joh'n' Visser on the subject of the artist's-book:

An artist's-book is to serve the market with its newly developed ideas that in the first place developed them into what they are.
Artist's-book are not books made by an artist to please ideas that are already in a market.
An artist's-book is the outcome of a scientific, and artistic researche project.
An artist's-book does not tolerate the mediocrity of copying a known production process.
As opposed to the artist's-book a designer's-book takes all the 'useful and pleasing' elements from the outcome of the creative process of the artist's-book, and simplifies those alongside with marketing people into a production-line-object ready-made for a chosen and defined public.
Whereas an (industrial-)designer klings on to marketing, for a (fine-)artist the loneliness of authenticity is pivotal.

"It is alarming if two people agree for two days on two subjects".
is a sentence my mother came out of World War II with, and I thank her for that notion.

How on earth a marketing guru like Seth Godin (he's just one in a million as marketing guru's are) gets a sentence like: "Tribes: We need you to lead us." through his throat is a mystery to me.
As an artist, if anything, I am my own man, not to be taken by anyone's hand, and not to lead any group of uninteresting sods that cry out for a leader. If we are not sick and tired of leaders now, we should have our heads examined.
I fail to see how marketing guru's are not scorned and ridiculed when presenting the 'revolutionairy idea' of quality over quantity Godin came up with as if it were new. Bloggers agreed that 'such were true' on March 2007, would you believe that - what idiots are their followers if that were a thing to blog about in the first place? The blithering apes with their most distiguished leader S.G. then bellow on about authenticity as if it were the find of the century. Good lord, how much gain would that have brought to all those poor fine-artists that would not know their trade if it were not their authenticity shining through from the very core.

The problem for marketeers, and therefor the problem for the industrial designer is that they are by definition followers.
The world of scientific and fundamental researche is blocked to them as there lies the risk of the 'freightful unknown', and 'freightful unknown' has no appeal; certainly not to the money lenders they will always need, as to stand behind their product all alone is even more freightful than the freights that comes from being authentic, and as such just a bit at the side of the group.

I am glad an artist works exploring the arts in utter solitude, digging deeply into himself to find -with the tool that the developement of his artwork under his hands slowly builts as experience into his knowledge and general understanding- the hidden possibilities of his mind that have lacked activation and hungryly start exploring possible relationships with the factual world that the artwork has developed into till that moment, in order to follow the exploration and find a wider solitude to ramble into; thus building his inner self together with making the (outer) artwork in his solid equilibrium.

An artist's-book is an object that has been developed in such way, and works so in an audience.


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