Tom Sowden was keynote speaker at the Beyond the Book conference, organised by Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Exeter University.
During this talk Sowden looked at how and why artists are using digital publishing tools to produce books. For the purposes of this essay he included works which may not have been specifically titled as books when they were produced, but have elements within them that appear to have their origins in books - or have, as the British artist Les Bicknell would define as having ‘bookness’. Meaning there is something in them that references or can be attributed to a book, it could be text, text with image, narrative, order, sequence, structure, collection or means of publication. This is not to try and term all of them as books, but rather show and suggest ways in which book artists can work if they want to publish books digitally
and engage with a new set of possibilities. Sowden also presented this essay from a practitioner’s point of view.