Cabinet: Art–Book


Materiality in Book Art

Cabinet: Art–Book

Publication within my research project:
P/E Public & Equitable.
The Printed Book in the Cloudy Mirror of its Discourse
MaHKU, Utrecht Graduate School of Art and Design
pathway Editorial Design

Concept, editing and design
Kathrin Hero, 2016
All images © of included artists

“Electronic textuality could be brought into focus by comparing it to print, just as the conventions, materiality, and specificities of print could become more apparent by comparing them to electronic works.”
Katherine Hayles

(Hayles, N. Katherine, Writing Machines, Cambridge (Mass.) 2002.)

Next to the obvious factual changes in the publishing industry, the “future of books” is a topic of an ongoing theoretical and ideological debate with a long history. One range of arguments within that debate reflects on the material quality of printed books and the superiority and aesthetic values of their materiality.


As a spin-off project within my research, I looked into a field of art that explicitly deals with the material aspects of books, that uses books as paint or plaster: installation, sculpture, film, drawing, painting et cetera. Although art that uses books as physical objects isn’t necessarily about books, it uses their metaphorical and cultural meaning to create meaning.