One Thousand Books is a series of events whose ambition is to present and promote publishing and artists' bookmaking as an artistic practice.
In 2021 we host an art book festival that seeks to show artists' books and publishing-related practices and artworks to new audiences and book enthusiasts alike. From 20 August to 19 September, One Thousand Books will take place in the public space in Roskilde, Denmark, and kicks off with an art book fair inside a fully open and operating supermarket. Besides the book fair, guests can attend art walks, print workshops and take in newly commissioned artworks around the city of Roskilde and in the surrounding national park, Skjoldungernes Land.
The overarching theme across events will be Distribution as we look to examine the circumstances and challenges of independent publishing practices in a post-pandemic yet still globalised world. To consider the complexity and potential of publishing in art, we have to question the boundaries and restrictions of the printed object. Let's discuss publishing and distribution as a method to disseminate and make public concepts, thoughts, and ideas that would suffer from restriction to physical production and circulation of books alone. Might we look to nature for inspiration—what can we learn from pollinating bees, mycelium networks and migrating birds? Participating artists are invited to respond to the above as it relates to their creative practice conceptually as well as their jobs as working artists on a very mundane level.
One Thousand Books is conceived from a belief that publishing is a multifaceted contemporary artistic discipline that deserves as much space and attention as more traditional and broadly shown art genres, such as painting, sculpture, performance, etc.
1960s conceptual artists embraced a Do-It-Yourself approach to publishing and bookmaking. They enjoyed the autonomy and control that came through bi-passing art galleries and museums as venues for their output. When self-publishing, you were direct-to-consumer at a much lower price. Sixty years later, this still rings true. The post-digital scare of the early 2010s, that print is dead, has been thoroughly put to shame, and artists of today, more than ever, utilise, challenge and hack, both analogue and digital tools to make book works and self-publish. For the last decade, micro-publishers and book fairs have sprouted at an astounding rate, and many art schools now have dedicated publishing labs and workshops. The momentum that publishing as an artistic prac-tice is currently enjoying demonstrates how this counter-culture art-genre fits so well the precari-ous circumstances facing the (non-canonised) artist in the late-capitalist landscape.
There is a need to keep production costs low, be community- and DIY-founded, be subversive, and reach a global audience. At One Thousand Books, we agree with American artist Pat Steir when she says,
I like artists’ books because they are:
8. universal 1)
One Thousand Books aims to showcase art publishing as an accessible, democratic and yet complex creative practice and serve as a networking platform where actors in the field of bookmaking can connect and share ideas and perspectives on current issues in the frame of editing, printing, dis-seminating and exhibiting books.
So far, there have been four iterations of the One Thousand Books, each investigating different, more specific aspects of the independent and self-publishing scene: In 2013 and 2014, in the shape of a book fair, One Thousand Books took place inside a functioning REMA1000 supermarket, a discount grocery franchise, from which our moniker was inspired. The fairs sought to point to the relationship between art and consumerism while also presenting the exhibiting imprints and artists to an unexpecting, new audience.
In 2016, One Thousand Books moved to three of Copenhagen’s premier public art spaces and in-cluded an exhibition, a seminar and a series of networking events to try to answer the research question, how does one exhibit books? Thirteen publishers invited an artist, with whom they had previously made a book, to collaborate on showcasing the book work in a new, spatial iteration.
In 2018, One Thousand Books took the form of a survey-publication and a launch perfor-mance. Danske kunstnerbøger efter finanskrisen, sorteret efter titel-længde is an in-Danish tabloid-format list, effectively, of all the artists’ publications produced in Denmark, or by Danish artists, from 2011 to 2018. In addition to information like artist, publisher, date etc., data, such as paper type, method of printing, binding, and project financing, are listed. The project’s ambition serves as an inspiration, resource, and tool for book lovers, artists, and researchers alike.
1) Pat Steir, as part of “IDEA POLL Statements on artists’ books by fifty artists and art professionals connected with the medium,” published in Art-Rite #14, ed. Walter Robinson, Edit deAK (New York: Art-Rite, 1976), 6–15. © Walter Robinson
We are generously supported by:
Slots- og Kulturstyrelsen
Det Obelske Familiefond
All publishers and artists for your generosity
Stenka Hellfach / Somewhere for the artistic support
Camilla van Deurs Formann Jensen for trusting in us
Nanna Stjernholm for the curatorial support
Magnus Lind Nielsen for your help
Mads Nersting for letting us use your supermarket
Barbara Hilton for your communication skills
Kristian Johansen for making the website
Nanna Balslev Strøjer, Magnus Kaslov and Anette Øster
Eks-Skolens Trykkeri, Stine Goltermann Fenger
Karen Grønneberg, Sara Lubich
One Thousand Books is a project by artists Johan Rosenmunthe and Flemming Ove Bech. Together they also run Lodret Vandret, a collaborative platform for independent publishing and exhibition-making based in Copenhagen and Berlin.
+45 2262 7560
Lindenovsgade 9, 5.th
2100 Copenhagen, Denmark