In this article, the British artist Tom Sowden looks at some of the ways in which other artists are publishing their books digitally. From hypertext works to ebooks to blogging; artists are beginning to utilize purely digital publishing tools as a method of producing artists’ books. Their reasons for doing so range from the ease of distribution to a larger audience, to creating a completely new reading experience, to making comments on the move from physical to digital, or at times in order to minimise production costs. Taking a small selection of works that he
considers to be important in the lexicon of digital artists’ books, Sowden assesses how artists are using the technology available, what they are doing with it, and
whether he considers it successful. Not an exhaustive list, but some key works that are conceptually sound, while demonstrating the myriad ways in which digital technologies
can be utilised. By its very nature the digital world is continually adapting, changing and improving, so these works
are only a snapshot of what has happened in the recent past and what is happening now.
Written from the viewpoint of a practising artist who makes books, the interest in how digital publications can influence artist’s book practice is approached from different angles. It is a keen observation of his peers’ production methods and how new technologies have developed their practice and its content. It is also a survey of
how widely these publishing methods are being utilised and offered by artists. It is also Sowden watching how things develop and how new technologies could possibly influence his practice.