Stephen Woodall will be speaking at Digital Transformation will take place at the Ballina Arts Centre, Mayo on the 19th and 20th of May. Tickets are available here.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

An artist’s book is perhaps the only work of art that must be handled to be experienced. I work in a museum with an impressive collection of 20th century books created or illustrated by major artists – Picasso, Braque, Goncharova, Miro, Duchamp, Bourgeois, etc. – often in collaboration with major poets and writers. For obvious reasons, however, these works are generally not accessible to public view beyond a single opening in a display case. My project creates online experiences of these books, including images of the books’ entire contents, essays on the work, animations, interactive features, and video interviews with scholars, critics, and artists.

What are your plans for the future?

To acquire funding to continue to move this work forward.

What will you be talking about at this event? 

The history of literary transmission: how the creation and reception of literature has changed over the millennia as technology has evolved from an oral tradition to the alphabet, to printing, to electronic media – a background for speculation on the technological future of the practice, considering “literature” and “literacy” in the broadest sense.

What inspired you to attend it?

Respect for the organizers and an opportunity to connect with artists and technologists in Ireland and the UK.

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

Personal and professional friends in technology and the arts, including Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive), Peter Brantley (Books in Browsers conference, digital publishing), Rick Prelinger (Prelinger Archive), Radek Skrivanek (Axis Point Studio), and many others. Also the usual range of websites, blogs, etc.

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

We will be launching a modest media campaign in mid-summer – otherwise, our project will be featured on the museum’s website – www.famsf.org

Stephen Woodall
Collections Specialist
Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books
Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts
Legion of Honor
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


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