Publishers, editors, artists and designers gathered in the garden at Hauser & Wirth Downtown LA for a series of talks on bookmaking and collaboration
From 11 – 13 August, in the mornings before the LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary, MOCA, Printed Matter and Hauser & Wirth Publishers co-presented ‘Mornings in the Garden’ at Hauser & Wirth’s Downtown LA gallery, with complimentary coffee and tea by Manuela. Featuring publishers, editors, artists and designers from Anteism Books, Hauser & Wirth Publishers, Inventory Press, Set Margins’ and Specific Ideas, this three-day series of public discussions focused on the process of bookmaking from a range of perspectives and personal connections and brought together hundreds of attendees who heard from thought leaders and creatives who spoke about their collaborations.
On Friday 11 August, the topic of collaboration was discussed between designers and editors, namely designer Garrick Gott and editors Karen Marta, and Jake Brodsky who spoke about their process when working on books related to artist’s archives, including Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ 2020 ‘Luchita Hurtado’—the first project the group worked on together. Marta and Gott had previously worked on several archive books, and Gott and Brodsky recently collaborated on Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ new book, ‘Ed Clark: The Big Sweep;’ the three discussed these projects, their connections, and the shared sensibility and collaborative approach needed to make books that feel both rigorous in their scholarship and intimately personal.
The next day, Saturday 12 August, artists and designers came together to discuss their working process. Artist Karen Lofgren and designer Willem Henri Lucas began the discussion, speaking about their work together—their second collaboration—on Lofgren’s book, ‘emBRUJAda: Charms for the Living,’ newly released by the Dutch publisher Set Margins’. Then, artist James Benning and designer Martin Beck spoke about ‘Over Time: James Benning, Sharon Lockhart,’ their new publication out with the California-based Inventory Press. After each pair presented their work, the panel opened up among all four participants to discuss their processes comparatively. In these personal collaborations, the artists and designers spoke at length about pushing each other to come up with innovative solutions for representing art and artistic practices that would not have otherwise been explored.
For the final panel, on Sunday 13 August, editor Venessa Appiah and type designer Juliette Duhe—both of the Montreal-based Anteism Books—discussed the application of generative AI to bookmaking, referencing publication prototypes made using AI prompts and a new app Anteism developed that uses the technology to develop summaries of captured documents. Then, artist Jason Huff and publisher Adam Swift Lucas of Kansas City–based Specific Ideas discussed Huff’s project ‘AutoSummarize’—designed and published by Lucas—which used Microsoft Word’s AutoSummarize feature on the 100 most downloaded open-source books, often to poetic effect. A key topic of this conversation, put succinctly by Appiah during the lively Q&A, was that AI technology ‘is a collaborator, not a person. You need to come in afterwards and correct it. I need the app, and the app needs me.’
About LA Art Book Fair Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair is a celebration and international gathering for artists’ book publishers to distribute their work, connect with broad audiences, and nurture new and longstanding relationships. The Fair features a wide range of artists and collectives, small presses, institutions, galleries, antiquarian booksellers, and distributors, as well as a full calendar of book launches, discussions, performances, and special projects that highlight interdisciplinary artists’ publishing practices.
About Printed Matter Founded in 1976, Printed Matter, Inc. is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination, understanding and appreciation of artists’ books and related publications.
About Hauser & Wirth Publishers In keeping with Hauser & Wirth’s artist-centric vision, the imprint Hauser & Wirth Publishers works to bring readers into the universe of artists and behind the scenes of their practices. Hauser & Wirth Publishers is thus a platform for celebrating the practice and voice of the artist through a range of activities: From publishing artists’ writings and exceptional exhibition-related books, to commissioning new scholarship to pursuing the highest levels of craft in design and bookmaking, it creates vital, lasting records of artists’ work and ideas, forging critical gateways to the cultural discourse these inspire.
Through its Oral History initiative, Hauser & Wirth Publishers is building an enduring record of artists’ voices for the enrichment of future generations. Additionally, it publishes Ursula, an award-winning magazine featuring essays, profiles, films, interviews, original portfolios and photography by some of the most thought-provoking writers and artists in the world.
All photos: Noé Montes