DATE: 2/26/2013 | BY ERIN DUNIGAN
On Tuesday February 12th we glimpsed the future. ARTBOOK|D.A.P., ARLIS / NY and The New York Public Library hosted a packed panel discussion on The Future of Art Book Publishing. An eager crowd, many in town for the annual College Art Association Conference, began gathering outside the NYPL's South Court Auditorium just after 5 PM. By 6 PM, the venue was over capacity and disappointed art book enthusiasts were turned away in throngs.
FROM LEFT: Margaret Chase, Paul Chan, Sharon Gallagher, Chul R. Kim and Arezoo Moseni.
The panel, which set out to investigate how diverse art book publishers approach their long-term viability in commercial and academic marketplaces, was led by the NYPL's Senior Art Librarian, Arezoo Moseni, and featured Margaret Chace, Associate Publisher, Skira/Rizzoli; Paul Chan, artist and founder of Badlands Unlimited; Sharon Gallagher, President and Publisher of ARTBOOK | D.A.P.; and Chul R. Kim, Associate Publisher, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Topics included the relationship between the growth of online stores to the shuttering of bookstores across the country; the pros and cons of the printed book versus the e-book; current advances in the academic community, including the Getty Online Scholarly Initiative; and what we might want future art books to look like.
In her presentation, Gallagher began by joking, "thank goodness this panel is called 'The FUTURE of Art Book Publishing' rather than 'The FATE of Art Book Publishing.'" She went on to stress that change is about "what kinds of ideas we want to turn out to be true," continuing, "while failure is always a possibility, we must embrace what we are willing to fail at in order to achieve change."
Although discussion of the economic collapse of 2008/9 and the failure of e-book publishing to embrace the specific production needs of art books (such as higher resolution images and digital rights management) frequently punctuated the conversation, the overall mood was one of excitement about the future, and openness to the innovative ways in which publishing will certainly evolve in order to meet the demands of both book makers and book users.Though Gallagher is widely considered an authority on the current state of digital art book publishing—and herself initiated our own ARTBOOK | DIGITAL division—she did stress the importance and inherent perfection of traditional, printed art books, asserting that printed art books would not disappear anytime soon. In one of her final comments of the evening, she captured the spirit of her own perspective and the larger conversation, proclaiming, "Yes, there will be a revolution!"
For complete audio of the evening's discussion, please visit the NYPL Audio & Video archive.
For more information about this panel or related upcoming events, please contact Erin Dunigan at email@example.com.