Thursday, January 20, 2011

CODEX Symposium San Francisco Center for the Book

For anyone who will be in San Francisco or motivated to visit between February 7 and February 9 check out the CODEX Symposium sponsored by the San Francisco Center for the Book at the Berkeley Art Museum Theatre. 

Sure, digital books are dominating the news today as the ease of digital access to reading materials continues to expand.  I love the idea of digital information transfer and believe that in many areas such as scholarly publishing, scientific, medical, technical, professional and educational markets, digital will quickly surpass traditional print materials.  This may be a worry to old school publishers who still believe it is better to manufacture a traditional book and sell 500 copies but the economics of digital dissemination will win out over time. 

The rise of the digital is not the end of books!  Digital information transfer will lead to a renaissance in book publishing and allow for fine press editions of the classics, the best of today's fiction and non-fiction authors, and books created by talented designers.  The next era for books will be an era where books will be cherished and displayed for both content and design.  A good place to learn about fine press publishing and the true art of the book is Codex.  I can't go this year but I will do everything I can to be there in 2013.  

A brief overview from the organization's website follows:

Monday, February 7 – Wednesday, February 9; 8:30 to 11:30 am. Berkeley Art Museum Theater

CODEX is gathering together a congress of the world’s finest private presses, book artisans, artists, curators, collectors and scholars in the spirit of an Old West rendezvous.

In keeping with the mission of the Codex Foundation, to preserve and promote the art and craft of the book, every two years, the foundation hosts, in conjunction with the book fair, a symposium.

CODEX'S mission is educational and, in the broadest possible context, to bring to public recognition the artisanship and the rich history of the civilizations of the book.

The art and craft of the book depends upon the knowledge of traditional forms, design, and hand-manufacture; as well as familiarity with the latest technologies, imaging sciences, and automated printing machines. The knowledge essential to the continued life of traditional forms of hand-manufacture and the transmission of that knowledge is seriously endangered in our age of electro-mechanical reproduction and digital information. Now, more than ever, the fine arts of the book need patronage and strategic support in order to thrive.

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