We got a chance to sit down and talk to Ryan Weber, School of Visual Arts alum and faculty. His new class, InFORMed by Story is a fascinating exploration of what makes a book. Here’s the class description:
As the world around us moves toward a screen-based society, it is easy to find ourselves growing more distant from the “tactile” page and finding traditional book forms to be, well, antiquated. And yet, this time-honored format is all, but vanishing; instead, there appears to be a resurgence of these playfully bound structures. Acting as artists, authors, designers, and publishers, creators of artist books have a greater amount of choices than ever before, but the questions that remain: “How do stories shape the books they reside in?” and “How do books infer their stories within them?” In this course students will answer the question of what a book is, and explore the different shapes, sizes, and functions inherent in book form. Focusing on creating original content that explores the concepts presented physically in the medium, as well as conceptually, an emphasis will be placed on acting as creator, author, designer, and publisher. Through the exploration of these many roles, students will question the parameters of book structure, the definition of a page, avenues in which to construct a narrative, the importance of form in the creative process, and ultimately what a “book” means to them.
Check out Ryan’s book work below while you listen in: (You may need to turn up your volume. We used Google Hangouts to record this episode for the first time — and last time ;-))
Ryan’s thesis film in our own program was titled JOURNAL No. 034 and it was a star of the thesis exhibition in the SVA Gallery. The book explored the mystique of a found object, in this case a journal, that tells a story of its own. The act of peeking into someone’s world (as they peek into someone else’s) is an illuminating and sometimes creepy experience. Here are some stills of the piece, which we’re assuming Ryan will make available for review by students 😉
MFA, School of Visual Arts
Group Exhibitions Include
Visual Arts Gallery; The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township; Crane Arts, Philadelphia.
Excuse Me, Ladies and Gentlemen; Survival Theories of a Counterpart Existence; Journal No. 034