The first artist talk I went too was Phil Zimmerman, whose focus of art is book arts. His talk was titled “Books as an Experience” where he talks about his career as a book artist. What I found humorous and eyebrow raising was the fact he does not like using the press and will hire people to deal with the technical aspects of using the printing machine. His various works include Nature of Horrors, Reaper, In Nature of, and Celsius 233.
I liked how his works focus on the world at large and the place of books in our world, from taking photographs from around the world to a piece about book burning. He takes time to make his books speak of a larger conversation. One of his more recent works Reaper (2015) really brings this home as it displays fold out pages that reveal an image from the view of an attack UAV aiming at two men as one has fallen and the other figure in the image keeps running. This is a simple yet powerful image that really speaks out against
He has also taken the time to work in supplementary materials as seen with his work Celsius 233, where video of Nazi book burnings is played as you read the associated book.
Phil Zimmerman was the first real book artist that I had the pleasure of seeing speak. His style is very structured and related to a narrative that sprawls out before you like a novel or a well written history book. As someone who has a deep connection with books, it is amazing to see him push books into this new direction, where the book is able to convey ideas with other means outside of words to start a conversation of real world issues.
Celsius 233 Suplimentary Video Link: https://vimeo.com/138036161
Nature Abhors (2003)