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In 2004 Johanna Drucker called for the artists book community to contribute to the development of a critical language to evaluate artists books. Drucker expressed concern that without a critical language the field of artists books might fail to mature into a recognised creative discipline. While the language is beginning to emerge, how to develop it without constraining the dynamic nature of the field remains a concern.

abbe, artists books brisbane event, responds to Druckers call by promoting discussion of a critical language  to sustain the growth and diversity of the field. The terms ‘post literacy’ and ‘the haptic’, adopted from fields that have established critical languages, were chosen to shape the proceedings at abbe in 2015. Selected papers from the conference will subsequently be published in an Australian volume of JAB The Journal of Artists’ Books. 

With participation from the editors of two prominent journals as well as leading Australian artists and scholars in the field, abbe 2015 will lay groundwork for the ongoing engagement of antipodean artists and scholars in the field of artists books.


This conference will interest those making, writing about, collecting and exhibiting artists books (in the broadest sense of the term). It will be supported by an artists book fair and exhibition(s) that will put on show the diverse range of books being made by contemporary antipodean artists, creative writers and more.

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