My main goal while here in Oslo is to grab a better sense of the Norwegian contemporary artist book culture. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring in some of their aesthetics that parallel what I would like to convey in my artist book for the Global Seed Vault. It's really important for me that I get a feeling for not only being a witness to the Vault, but also the sense of what it's like to be an artist in Norway.
Over the past five or six years in Oslo, as well as other cities in Norway, such as Bergen and Tromsø, the artist book culture has quickly accelerated and inspired a chain of small publishing houses and gallery spaces to welcome the growing pulse of talent. I had heard of this recent spike in Norwegian artist book culture through sources at one of the United Sates' biggest artist book and zine distributers, Printed Matter, so I knew this wasn't all just a bunch of talk!
All of these printing presses and design studios, a few of my favorites being Torpedo Press, Melk Galleri, and Hordaland Kunstsenter, are here to preserve and augment the artist-led mediation of visual art communication through bookmaking.
If I'm lucky, I'll be able to carry some of my favorite books all the way home without breaking the bank, or my back...