Altered Books to Zines: Making Worlds
I was invited by Christine Adame, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design & Foundations, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX, to present alongside Meredith Cawley and Billi London-Gray at the American Printing History Association‘s 2023 Conference: The Printed Weird on a panel entitled “Altered Books to Zines: Making Worlds.” The conference takes place October 12-14 at the Ransom Center, University of Texas in Austin, TX.
Rip, tear, sew, glue, fold, scan, print–if you can do some of these, you can self-publish. The accessibility of self-publishing technology in contemporary life means art books and print ephemera can express infinite individual subjectivities, without censorship from the status quo. This panel is about the world building that emerges from making books and print ephemera by hand. Altered books become sculptural book-objects with embodied meaning out of their controlled destruction. Designing paper dolls contextualizes cultural micro-trends and niche interests, utilizing modern digital publishing and fabrication technology to bring this ephemera to a contemporary audience. Repurposing “trash” into book materials builds one of a kind playgrounds for creative exploration, negating the need to buy a sketchbook ever again. Making zines hones practices of attention and enables the democratic spread of information. With these various forms of making, panelists share self-publishing methodologies that create foundations for the singular, complex, and oddball narratives we all want to share.
Christine Adame (she/her)
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design & Foundations, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX
Christine Adame is an intermedia artist and Assistant Professor of Foundations and Graphic Design at Texas Woman’s University. Her artwork relates to heritage, especially as informed by her mestiza identity. Her work resembles artifacts built from layered processes—including drawing, fibers, digital fabrication, and printmaking. Christine earned her B.S. in Architectural Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.F.A. in Intermedia Studio from The University of Texas at Arlington. She has exhibited in Texas, the Midwest, and Japan and has led digital fabrication workshops nationally and internationally.
Meredith Cawley (she/her)
Lecturer in Foundations, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Meredith Cawley received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Houston and B.F.A. from Sam Houston State University. Currently at the University of North Texas, Cawley teaches Foundations classes in the College of Visual Arts and Design. Her ten years as an outreach educator at the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History inspire, inform, and drive her practice. Her current line of inquiry focuses on how cultural opinions represent, shape, and affect the bear. This research leads to installations, zines, and sculptures of pseudo-anthropological and fantastical narratives reflecting on humanity’s relationship to the natural world.
Billi London-Gray (she/they)
Visiting Assistant Professor in Foundations, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Billi London-Gray is an intermedia artist who examines how we succeed and fail at living out ideals of equality. They make installations, videos, sculptures, books, zines, buttons, mail art, sound compositions, social exchanges, photos, drawings, walks, forts, and Kid-Billi forms of play. London-Gray has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. They are a recipient of the McDowell Center Innovative Project Award for Visual Artists. They hold a B.A. in theology from Criswell College, an M.A. in liberal arts from St. John’s College, and an M.F.A. in intermedia studio from The University of Texas at Arlington.
Hannah March Sanders (she/her)
Professor, Area Head Printmaking & Fibers, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MOHannah March Sanders received her BFA at Tulane University and an MFA from Louisiana State University. Along with her partner, Blake, Hannah operates Orange Barrel Industries, an artist collaborative, who last summer was awarded a Windgate Distinguished Fellowship for Innovation in Craft to attend Hambidge Center Residency in GA. She is currently Area Head of Printmaking & Fibers, and an Associate Professor at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. Recently, she was featured in the 5 Global Print for the Douro Biennial in Portugal and the International Academic Printmaking Alliance’s 3rd Printmaking Biennale in Beijing, China.