CCA – Lessons from Bernard Rudofsky

I was in Montreal today and visited the CCA (Centre for Canadian Architecture) which has a show called Lessons from Bernard Rudofsky and one called Clip/Stamp/Fold 2: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X – 197X.

Lessons from Bernard Rudofsky is a thematic retrospective on the architectural critic (and architect) Rudofsky who wrote Architecture Without Architects and other books. The exhibit includes panels from the Architecture Without Architects show at the MoMA in 1964 showing organic architectural forms that evolved without modern architects to design them. He also tackled fashion (making money from a simple series of Bernardo sandals) and everyday life. He was in a tradition of anti-modernist thinking that influenced Christopher Alexander.

Image of cover of Architectural DesignClip/Stamp/Fold has its own web site here. It is an exhibit of the lively “little magazines” of architecture of the 1960s and 70s. The little magazines include student publications, underground magazines, and newsletters. What stands out is the graphic design of these magazines and the way they use the medium to communicate ideas that would never be built. Why, afterall, need architecture be only about what is/can be built?

Text in the Machine – Flckr Set

Image of PagesI recently was playing around with the pages of old books as matter and uploaded a photo essay to my Flickr account, see Text in the Machine. This started as a project for a JestShrift for a friend, but I thought I would document it after hearing Peter Stoicheff talk about Otto Ege’s “scattered leaves”.

The reactions I get to these images, especially Cutting Pages and Sawing off the spine, is a mixture of horror and nervous laughter. We feel books are sacred and should be cared for, not cut and ripped by saws. The image of sawing off the spine with a power tool teases this unexamined academic taboo.

Altered Books

From the Ivanhoe project I heard about this neat site on altered books. The idea is:

Cut the bindings off of books found at a used book store. Find poems in the pages by the process of obliteration. Put pages in the mail and send them all around the world. Lather, rinse, repeat. This site is a chronicle of a very specific set of collaborations between the artists listed below working on the titles listed below.

They have a number of images of altered pages that are reminiscent of Tom Phillips: A Humument.

Wayzgoose 2005: Book Arts in Grimsby

letters.jpg Thanks to a note from Paul Lisson who commented on an earlier post on Letterpress in Hamilton, I went to the 2005 Wayzgoose in the town of Grimsby, Ontario. Delightful event that has been happening for decades. I picked up the 2005 Anthology that has sampling of print signatures of artists and printers. I also met book artists and printers from the area like Will Rueter of Aliquando Press in Dundas. Anyway, I assume it was Rueter.
Continue reading Wayzgoose 2005: Book Arts in Grimsby