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JAB16 – JAB20 on this page, keep scrolling down.


JAB16, fall 2001, 32 pages, printed on the Heidelberg at Nexus Press, Atlanta by BF and Aaron Disner
JAB16 designed by Aaron Disner.
Cover designed by David Laufer.


Table of Contents

• Artist’s Pages
—Aaron Disner

• Low-Tech Media Chicanery as a Means of Cultural Resistance
—Mandy Mastrovita

• The State of Things: Free and in Flux Book Art in Germany at the Beginning of the 21st Century
—Uwe Warnke

• Zum Stand der Dinge: entkommen, d.h. in Bewegung. Die Situation der Buchkunst in Deutschland am Behinn des 21. Jhs
—Uwe Warnke

• Words on Shapes

Simple Harmonic Motions
by Hank Lazer & Ink-A! Press
—review by Charles Alexander

A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projections About the Book & Writing
edited by Jerome Rothenberg & Steven Clay
—review by Mitch Highfill

• Scott McCarney
—Jae Williams

Order – click here – six copies remain.

David Laufer

JAB16 cover, 2001


Ines von Ketelhodt and Peter Malutzki
Frankfurt Book Fair, 2000


A Book of the Book:

Some Works & Projections About the Book & Writing

Edited by Jerome Rothenberg & Steven Clay, 2000

book review by Mitch Highfill


Scott McCarney

Brooklyn Museum of Art

review by Jae Williams

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tlön 1sm.jpg

Zweite Enzyklopadie von Tlön, 1997

Ines von Ketelhodt and Peter Malutzki

from the essay by Uwe Warnke:

"The State of Things: Free and in Flux Book Art

in Germany at the Beginning of the 21st Century"


Ottfried Zielke, 1975


Uwe Warnke Verlag

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Christa Wolf

Der Schmerz, n.d.

John Gerard, papermaker

from the essay by Uwe Warnke:

"The State of Things: Free and in Flux Book Art

in Germany at the Beginning of the 21st Century"

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Thomas Günther

Edition Dschamp, n.d.

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Punk Vest, Party City

Athens, GA, 2000

fig. 12 charlie brown.jpg


You're Short, Bald, and Ugly, Charlie Brown

mini-comic one-shot, 1998

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Jamie Reid

God Save the Queen

flyer for Sex Pistols album, 1977

"Low-Tech Media Chicanery as a Means of Cultural Resistance"

Mandy Mastrovita


JAB17, spring 2002, 32 pages, offset printed in duotones and tritones on the Heidelberg at Nexus Press, Atlanta–BF.

JAB17 was conceived of as an artist book by Sean Biondollilo. I asked Sean if he would like to make (conceive and design) an artist book using the standard JAB design. He agreed.

He was living in upstate New York at the time but came down to Nexus Press in Atlanta and spent a month designing, stripping film, and making offset plates.


Sean's idea for the design of JAB17 came from a pamphlet about patriotism that she found on a bus. The audience for the pamphlet is adolescent American youngsters–always depicted as happy and clean-cut. The word "PATRIOTISM" is spelled out letter by letter on sequential pages. For instance the page with "P" comes first and includes a patriotic statement after the "P"–

"PROUD of the heritage that has been carved out of history and passed along for you to nourish and to protect."

An image of a smiling black child appropriated from the pamphlet appears on the recto–see illustration on the right. In order to give a fuller and more truthful history of America Seana has inserted a

"Drawing of Ku Klux Klansmen which appeared in an 1868 issue of Harper's magazine."


During breaks from the work Sean was always sketching her odd, darkly humorous drawings on the scraps of paper that can always be found lying around a printshop. I asked him if it was OK if I arranged the drawings into a little book to print and insert into the JAB17. He agreed. So the little book, PRANCE, became the first artist book inserted into a JAB—sewn into the gutter/spine.

Order – click here.


Seana Biondollilo

JAB17 front cover, 2002

"The American spirit has not been extinguished

it only dimmed while we were asleep."

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JAB17, back cover

"truth forever on the scaffold,

lies forever on the throne"

[James Russell Lowell–"Wrong" in the original instead of "lies."]


Sean Biondollilo

JAB17, page spread "P"

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Sean Biondollilo

JAB17, page spread "T" & "I"

with sewn-in PRANCE


Sean Biondollilo

JAB17, page spread "I" and "O"


Sean Biondollilo

working on JAB17, Nexus Press

Fall, 2001, photo–BF


JAB18, fall 2002,32 pages, was offset printed on the Heidleberg KORD at Nexus Press, Atlanta by BF. JAB18 was designed by Clifton Meador. The film was imageset on the SelectSet Avantra 25S donated by the Agfa Corporation at the Institute for Electronic Art at Alfred University, Alfred, NY.

Table of Contents

• Artist Pages: Toward a New Cemetery

(Cover, inside covers and page 32)

– Clifton Meador

• Autism, Physiognomy & Letter Forms:

The Faces of James Castle

– Tom Trusky

• Singular and Unique: A Publisher's Subjective Experience with the Untimely Art of the One-of-a-Kind Book

– Thomas Günther

Debtor's Prison by Lewis Warsh and Julie Harrison

– review by Joe Elliot

• Pocket Books

– overview by Clifton Meador

• Artist Pages: Georgie the Elder

– James Fossett

• New Titles from Nexus Press

Order – click here.


Clifton Meador

JAB18 front cover, 2002

Images on the right and below

are from the essay

"Autism, Physiognomy & Letter Forms:

The Faces of James Castle"

by Tom Trusky

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back cover

Proposal for the Flag of the United Islamic Republics of America

Proposal for the Flag of the United States of Iraq


James Castle, circa 1913

Taylor bookhead. Opening illustration of the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind "chapters" in Castle's autobiographical edition recovered from the Castle family icehouse circa 1970. Shown is W. E. Taylor, Director of the school. Pictured inside his head: presumably his wife, a teacher at the school (she holds a blackboard pointer) and their children or other staff.


James Castle, circa 1913

Liphead bookhead. One of a series of portraits of Gooding school classmates. Like those on "Mona Lisa," the lips that Castle draws are open to interpretation. Was this young man to be remembered for his ability to speak, read lips, or for his ability to buss [kiss]? Or did he just have well-endowed lips? (Castle invariably draws male and female student neckerchiefs upside down.


Photograph and drawing of James Castle.

Photograph by Nellie Castle of James Castle (1911) and Castle's re-drawing of his sister's photo (date unknown).

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Code books. Castle has devised more than a dozen codes all bearing the same–if any–message. Despite diverse letters, numbers, characters, and glyphs, code patterns are identical in all books, although approximately half are mirror sequences (reversed pattern) of the other.

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James Castle, Primer Portraits


Charles Bukowski, The Star: 3 Poems

One-of-a-kind book by Klaus Zylla

"Singular and Unique:

A Publisher's Subjective Experience with the Untimely Art of the One-of-a-Kind Book" essay by Thomas Günther


JAB19, spring 2003, 32 pages, offset printed on the Heidelberg KORD at Nexus Press, Atlanta, by BF.

JAB19 was guest-edited and designed by members of the Atlanta Poets Group (APG). Each poet wrote and designed their pages.



Sandy Baldwin

Mark Prejsnar

JS Van Buskirk

Zac Denton

Randy Prunty

James Sanders

Tedd Hulholland

Tracey Gagné

)ohn Lowther

Order – click here.

thanks to Jeff Rackley & all the folks at Eyedrum & REPUGNO for an 11th hour cover design

JAB 19 cover, 2003


Sandy Baldwin

Something about adjusting yourself

AKA gravity scamp

Le Printemps Umgebung Nos Temos Virtuoso

Mark Prejsnar

Christian Bök

Valuvëla, 1999



eyes need ears to hang on

or Trash, The Musical

JS Van Buskirk


Electrische Ontladingen

Zac Denton


JAB20, fall 2003, 40 pages, the cover was offset printed in duotones, on the Heidelberg KORD at Nexus Press by BF. The text block was offset printed in black plus CMYK (for the JAB covers) on the Heidelberg KORZ at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts, University of the Arts, Philadelphia by BF.

Ruth Laxson designed the cover, outside and inside. During Ruth's residency at Nexus Press while we were printing her artist book A Hundred Years of: LEX FLEX, I asked her if she would design the cover + inside cover for JAB20. She agreed. The year was 2003 – the texts and images on the cover allude to the rising tensions in the in the US and Middle East between radical jihadists and some in the US wanting revenge for the 9/11 attacks – eventually resulting in George Bush’s war in Iraq – we thought it really couldn’t happen, but it did. Ruth wrote on the back cover:

But the chieftains were restless. Fear of demon   difference.

The cover contains a subtle political statement and includes a black figure wearing a burqa while cars, implying oil, cruise along. Taken all together there is an allusion to the Middle East and our prejudices when confronted with difference. Also on the front cover is Ruth’s call to action and protest with one of her two letter words poems:   

it is up to us if we go on as it is

Table of Contents

• Last JAB, Book of Ruth, MCBA/Bolger Concept to Print Residency

– Brad Freeman

• Thinking About Ten Years of JAB

– Johanna Drucker

• A Centering of Sorts:

The Evolving Idea of Minnesota Center for Book Arts

– Mary Jo Pauly

• Alter-Aesthetics

– Betty Bright

• In the Context of Reading

– Susan Viguers

• Book Rats

– Brandon Cooper Black

• JAB Covers 1994 - 2003

• JAB INDEX (by issue & artist/author)

Order – click here.

   Ruth Laxson, A Hundred Years of: LEX FLEX

Ruth Laxson's artist book A Hundred Years of: LEX FLEX (2003) was the last book printed at Nexus Press before being closed by the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

LEX FLEX – the title suggests a lexicon that is flexible and refers to the mutability of language when new words come into our vocabulary. The conceptual starting point of the book is indicated in the title. It is a book about new words in the English language during the 20th century. Laxson also recounts important cultural, social, and political events that changed the course of history in small and large ways in a chronology tied to the sequence of pages.


1905 – Novocain introduced, Einstein posits relativity theory

1911 – Superconductivity was born

1913 – X-ray was discovered, Ozone layer discovered, Assembly line production of Model T Fords cut production [time] in half

1920 – Women of the USA win the right to vote

1924 – Galaxies outside Milky Way discovered

1925 – Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution

1928 – Penicillin discovered



Ruth Laxson

JAB20 cover–outside back & front


Ruth Laxson

Nexus Press, Atlanta, 2003

Examining a press sheet from her artist book

A Hundred Years of: LEX FLEX


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   MCBA/Bolger Concept to Print Residency

   from BF's essay in JAB20

In November, 2002 Mary Jo Pauly, Artistic Director of Minnesota Center for Book Arts, invited me to collaborate in an NEA-supported residency with another as-yet-to-be-chosen artist on a project to be printed in the summer of 2003 at the Bolger Concept to Print printing plant in Minneapolis. Mary Jo was looking for a way to expand MCBA's programming and publishing activities which in the past have used traditional technologies including printmaking, hand bookbinding, papermaking, and letterpress. This desire intersected with Dik Bolger's long standing idea of having and artist work directly on one of his state-of-the-art multi-color offset presses to produce original artwork. [Mary Jo had picked me because she knew I had been making artist books since 1980 using the offset process as a creative printmaking medium.]

As we talked over the ensuing months it became clear that Mary Jo desired a true collaboration–a new work that came about between the ideas and cooperation of two (or more) artists. Likewise, Dik wanted a print work that was in some ways created on the press–something that could not have been created without the use and distinctive signature of the offset press. He wanted the artists to come into his shop and experiment with the process as well as challenge his employees in a manner that would change the way they were thinking about how they worked. (Ultimately, I have my doubts that the latter desire was accomplished or not.) Like Mary Jo, Dik wanted the work to be new and he didn't want his pressmen to simply reproduce the CMYK files of pre-existing work. He wanted the artists to spend a month working and creating a new artwork at Bolger Concept to Print.

The next step was to select the other artist from the thirty or so who had responded to the call sent out by MCBA. Rosemary Furtak, librarian at the Walker Art Center, Mike Murray, Creative Director at Fallon-McGellicot in Minneapolis and myself were the jurors. The selection process was framed by the above conditions offered by Mary Jo and Dik. After a day of reading proposals and looking at slides we picked Anne George, a Minneapolis artist. She had been working on an ongoing project photographing artificial flowers–something that I found intriguing visually and in ther way that she thoughtfully explained it in her proposal. Anne clearly understood the collaborative process–that a new work was to be created by the efforts of two artists. The decisive moment for me as a juror occurred when Mary Jo (who was operating the slide projector) showed Anne's first slide and remarked that this was a mistake, that it couldn't be Anne's work. As she began to pull the slides out to see the artist's name Mary Jo said she was familiar with Anne's work and it was very different from the photograph shown in the slide. But the slide really was of Anne George's work. To me this was crucial–an artist in mid career who has substantially changed the look or direction of her artwork. It meant she was flexible and curious and willing to explore new ways of working–necessary components in the collaborative process.

The following are excerpts from the daily log I kept during the residency.

Monday, July 7

First face-to-face meeting with Anne George–after two phone meetings in which we had extensive discussions about our upcoming collaboration.

to be contd.,


BF, Dik Bolger, and Anne George

Bolger Concept to Print, Minneapolis, 2003

photo–Tricia Buckley

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Bill Haden, master printer

Bolger Concept to Print

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Heidelberg Speedmaster 6 color offset press

Bolger Concept to Print

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Mary Jo Pauly (Artistic Director, MCBA) contemplating printed sheets hot off the press.

Anne George documenting the press room.

Andy Schwarz, printer, Bolger Concept to Print

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