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UAL Research Online

Here are my Instructions

Johanknecht, Susan and Olsen, Redell (2004) Here are my Instructions. [Art/Design Item]

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

This project operates within the widest definition of book art, where the relationship between audience and work is ‘socio-poetic’. The intention was to initiate links between innovative work done in higher education institutions with a professional society operating in a public space, and develop my ongoing concerns with the installed/expanded book.

In 2003 I co-curated the collaborative project ‘Writing Instructions/Reading Walls’ with Dr. Redell Olsen, lecturer in English at Royal Holloway. Our intention was to explore verbal/visual crossovers in relation to a specific site – a wall in the Poetry Society café, Covent Garden. We invited nine artists/writers to consider text as a visual, performative entity and the page as an expanded architectural space. Each project involved the use of instructions in various ways – often as directions to us as curators on how to install, and in some cases on how to execute the actual piece of work itself. The book ‘Here are my instructions’ documents these installations but is also a response to our own engagement with the process. We wrote an introductory essay explaining this, and used photographic and material residue from the original works as visual sequences in the book.

Other Contributors:
OtherAlatalo, Sally
OtherAndersson, Asa
OtherBicknell, Les
OtherFisher, Allen
OtherHampson, Robert
OtherJaeger, Peter
OtherKivland, Sharon
OtherMcleer, Brigid
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: 23 October 2004
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:17
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2010 13:41
Item ID: 944
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/944

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