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About this event

The first of a 3-day series of events presenting research on small press publications, raising questions for contemporary and future publication through returning to early histories of word and image.

10.00 a.m. GMT: Welcome address by Prof. Sharon Morris, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL and Prof. Clare Lees, Director of the Institute of English Studies, SAS.

Session 1: 10.05a.m.-12.00p.m.: Small Press Artists' Books

Curated by Leila Kassir and Tansy Barton, Modern and Special Collections, Senate House Library and Clare Lees, SAS; chaired by Gustavo Grandal Montero

Theme: How the spineless format affects the relationship between creator and reader.


Sarah Bodman: Read To Me project, how we might interact with books through non-linear reading; appropriated texts from books repurposed as 3D artefacts; collaborative and participatory projects that explore books, reading and memory.

Karen Sandhu: (@k_ren_sandhu) A focus on artist Susan Hiller’s publication After the Freud Museum (London: Book Works, 2000) which began as an art installation at the Freud Museum, London. The concept of a ‘spineless’ artist’s book will be examined in the form of both archive and installation. Each section of Hiller’s installation can be viewed as a page from a book as it explores: narrative, text, image and visual spacing.

Gill Partington: books in boxes

Egidija Ciricaiterelevance theory and utterances

Session 2: 12:30-1:30: The Global Book

Co-curated and chaired by Dr Heather H. Yeung (University of Dundee): and Professor Tim Brennan Slade alumnus (Manchester School of Art).

Theme: Development of book production and circulation in relation to the history of globalization.

Speakers: Prof. Tom Mole, Durham University

Prof. Ashleigh Harris, Uppsala University

Dr Patrick Hart, COPiM project, and National Library of Scotland.

Rebekka Kiesewetter, COPiM project, Coventry University

Lunch break 1.30-2.30p.m.

Session 3: 2.30-4.30 p.m. Materials, materiality and process.

Co-curated and chaired by Prof. Sharon Morris and Lesley Sharpe, Slade School, and Liz Lawes, Art and Special Collections, UCL Library.

Theme: Material processes of making Egyptian ostraca, medieval manuscripts and contemporary printing.

Speakers: Dr. Anna Garnett, UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. Ostraca, clay and writing materials

Jo Volley Slade Pigment Timeline project with Dr. Ruth Siddall, earth scientist.

Sara Charles, SAS doctoral student, Materials and Making of medieval manuscripts.

Tabitha Tuckett, UCL, rare collections, and Cynthia Johnston, IES, will look at Hebrew and Jewish mss. in SHL and UCL collections.

Arnaud des Jardin, Artists’ Books and the Mouldy Modern

To find out more about the Spineless Wonders Project see the Slade research page.

Unless stated otherwise, all our events are free of charge and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend. Registration is required for all events. Please sign up using the booking form below.