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UAL Research Online

Modern (Laundry) Production

Johanknecht, Susan (2002) Modern (Laundry) Production. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Johanknecht, Susan

This artist's book carries on my interest in innovative writing practices which use existing ‘working’ languages. This text was derived from laundry management trade books of the 1940’s describing processes and machinery which structured ‘operators’ lives. The imagery is based on early 20th century time and motion studies which divided up and recorded ‘cycles’ of work with the view to standardization and increased production - prefiguring 21st century panoptical efficiency and ‘transparency’ – a visual documentation of work, where the body and machine become linked as cyborgs. The concertina structure smoothly turns from front to back, guiding the reader into performing their own repetitive loop.

Official Website: http://www.pauperspublications.com
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Susan Johanknecht

Research Interests

Artists' books, Book Art, Contemporary poetics, Small press publishing


Studied English Literature at the University of Vermont, Burlington, USA (1973-77) and Fine Art and Printmaking at the Central School of Art (1981-86). Lectured extensively on Printmaking and Book Arts in the UK since 1985, including at Oxford Brookes University and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, joined Camberwell College of Art in 1997.
Work in collections include the New York Library; V&A Museum, London; Tate Gallery Library, London; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; University Library of Heidelberg; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum van het Boek, Netherlands; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington.

She has most recently co-curated - and exhibited in - 'Cunning Chapters: A Collaborative Artists' Book', on show at the British Library, London until January 2008.

Current Research

"My research focuses on the development and production of artists' books under the imprint of Gefn Press. The press has published thirty books to date and will have a retrospective exhibition at the University of Vermont, Burlington, USA in 2006/07. Projects from the last decade have explored relationships between digital sequences, photo-animations outputted onto CD-ROM or DVD and the physical book. Discussing this work in 'Literary Value / Cultural Power: Verbal Arts in the Twenty-first Century' (Manchester University Press), Lynette Hunter describes the pieces as 'synergetic texts'.
I am interested in the artists' book as a site for collaborative practice, and in 1997-2000 co-curated the artists' book millennium project 'Volumes (of vulnerability)' with Dr. Katharine Meynell of Middlesex University, which included the work of twenty artists and toured internationally. We are currently developing a new collaborative venture entitled 'Cunning Chapters' which will re-examine the category of artists' books in light of recent cultural and technological shifts, producing a series of chapters where issues of aesthetics and 'well-madeness' are exposed and analysed.

Another recent collaborative project was co-editing the book 'Here are my Instructions' (2004) with Dr. Redell Olsen of Royal Holloway, University of London in response to the 'writing instructions / reading walls' series of installations we curated at the Poetry Society, London in 2003. I am continuing to consider physicality and poetics through my investigation of letterpress printing and writing practice (recent poems are published in HOW(2), internet journal of Contemporary and Innovative Writing by Women hosted by Bucknell University, and PORES, avant-gardist journal of poetic research hosted by Birkbeck College).
The latest Gefn Press publication 'Subsequent Drainage on Folding Rocks' incorporates a hypertext CD into a printed booklet looking at landscape as a site of natural and industrially initiated change."

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 18 January 2002
Related Exhibitions: Paupers New Publications, Standpoint Gallery, London
Locations / Venues:
From Date
To Date
Standpoint Gallery, London
19 January 2002
17 February 2002
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:17
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2010 13:54
Item ID: 943
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/943

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