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Viewing single post of blog In Search of Silicon Valley

By chance, Cambridge(shire) artist and former podcast victim Karen Eng is over this week to photograph the Codex Artists’ Book Fair, so we agreed to meet up. Artists’ books are at the opposite end of the tech continuum and as such provide a nice counterpoint to my enquiries.

The fair was vast, situated in a former automobile construction hangar with around 150 stalls. I should like such events more than I do; I am not so much drawn to the materials and construction of a book, more to the ideas that books convey. So I sought out artists accordingly. First up was Abra Ancliffe, who had attempted to teach herself Icelandic by watching TV and transcribing the subtitles into a dictionary. I also spoke to Ximena Perez Grobet, who had made a memorial to events in 1968 Mexico in the style of On Kawara, who was there at the time. And finally, I talked to Robert Dawson about his ongoing project to photograph libraries in the US and abroad, and we discussed the future of libraries in the context of tech.

Thence to the North Beach area of San Francisco, home of Beat sensibilities and a fine Jack Kerouac museum. I could have happily bought most of the books in the City Lights bookstore.

Then to my final artist meeting, with Jonathon Keats, who describes himself rather perfectly as an experimental philosopher and conducts seemingly fantastical projects which nevertheless prod and probe and some important questions. He has copyrighted his own mind, attempted to genetically engineer God and created a honeybee ballet. Not surprisingly, our conversation overran and it was a late night home.