Conference Presenter Profile: Jennifer Baker

20 Dec 2011 10:32 AM | Anonymous
As the College Book Arts Association Conference in January nears, panelists and presenters are preparing their talks. One of the presenters in the Student Lightning Round panel is Jennifer Baker. Baker is currently working on her MFA at Washington University in St. Louis. Her artist book, December will be exhibited in Bibliotech at the San Francisco Public Library from January 5 - March 11, 2012. To see more of her work, please check out her website.

College Book Arts Association (CBAA):
Please tell us about your own personal work and how you became interested in making books.

Jennifer Baker (JB): I was trained as a painter, though I always worked rather sculpturally. My frustration at a painting's ability to envelop the viewer completely led me to explore more interactive media. Now my approach to artmaking centers on how the visual narrative of installation and the artist book operate in conjunction. Employing this strategy allows me to present narrative to be experienced publicly and privately, each offering different implications.

CBAA: Your presentation is titled,"Strategies of Visual Narrative." Could you provide a short description of what this means?

JB:I plan to discuss my methodology by describing two installations and the three artist books that accompany them, and by speaking to how the presentation of each form influences the content of the work.

CBAA: How does your presentation relate to your own work as a book artist?

JB: In the presentation I will be describing two recent projects in detail:

Lick is an installation that was created by installing a Stealth Cam, a tool associated with hunting, in my bedroom for five days. During the night, the motion activated camera took pictures of my nocturnal activity. Both the installation and the artist book, December , offer an uncensored, serial account of this period of time and invite the viewer to consider their role as both voyeur and viewed.

A second collaborative installation, Another Day , features the outcome of artists' engaging each other in everyday, banal performance of assignments for one week. Recorded sound, video, and the placement of my cell phone in the space (logged into social networking platforms and available for use) allowed the viewer an excerpt of experience defined by time and persona. This installation is accompanied by two artists books: Another Day acts as document of the installation in photographic form and offers the only source of the original text describing the artists' assignments to each other. Catagory 7 details the online exchange via Facebook and Twitter iPhone applications that is a mash-up of dialogue describing an apocolyptic science fiction movie and a listing of the symptoms of menopause.

CBAA: As an emerging artist, what are you most hoping to get out of the College Book Arts Association?

JB: I know book artists from across the country, but I don't get to see them or their work enough. I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces and hearing what other artists who use the book in their practice are up to. I haven't been to the Bay area in some time, and I am excited to visit the many local institutions that support book arts and get to know them better. Also, a job would be nice.

Jennifer's presentation will take place at Mills College on Friday, January 6, during the CBAA Conference. 
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