By Sarah Jamieson
VANCOUVER – Print is an intimate medium, which is why it continues to survive in a digital age that threatens to snuff it out. But, the most vital aspect to its existence is knowledge and engagement from the public. The Vancouver Art Book Fair, the longest-running event of its kind in Canada, aims to close this gap.
Established in 2012 as a satellite of Project Space — a collaboration space, gallery, and bookstore — the VABF invites the public into the world of artist publishing through shared experiences, practises, and intentions. The multi-day festival offers a diverse line-up of programs, performances, and projects from of local, national, and international publishers and artists. Vendors will display books, magazines, and prints, as well other forms of publication in digital format and installation.
From Massachusetts, Trevor Powers and Annie Sollinger will be onsite talk about Papersafe, a publication dedicated to analogue photography. Other features include Trade & Make, a trade show where people can create their own zines on the spot; a creative writing workshop led by Montreal’s Rebecca La Marre that utilizes ceramic tablets instead of paper; and a presentation by contributors to the arts periodical Pythagoras Records using sound, performance, text, and video.
Independent publishers also provide a stage for marginalized voices and artists, because it creates an intersection between the public and an underrepresented voice.
“The art book is not just a coffee table book or a photo book,” says VABF Fair and Development Coordinator Emma Walter. “There really is a huge amount of ways that a book can be an art project. And that’s the underlying theme of the fair.”
The Vancouver Art Book Fair runs from October 13 – 15 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.