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UNC Libraries

The Pandemic

Although reading and writing are often considered solitary activities, artists’ books—particularly those that are craft-intensive—tend to be collaborative endeavors. The global COVID pandemic spurred book artists to figure out ways to create together over a distance, and to connect virtually to maintain community in a time of crisis.   

Book of Hours cover Book of Hours

Julie Chen & Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder
Book of Hours
[Berkeley, California]: Flying Fish Press; [San Antonio, Texas]: Coyote Bones Press, [2021]

Chen and Schroeder collaborated at a distance to create Book of Hours. “The format… is known as a blow book, a historical structure originally designed as a magic trick which allows the presenter to show completely different visual sequences of pages within the same book.” They use that structure to respond to 12 distinct themes such as ‘Questions we asked ourselves about time during the pandemic,’ and ‘One day from sunrise to sunset.’ (Quotations from the artists’ statement.)

UNC Library Catalog:

Mulitple authors
Zines from the Quarantine Public Library project

Quarantine Public Library is a collection of over 200 digital zines contributed by artists during the pandemic for free download and printing. “This collaborative project was dreamed up by Katie Garth and Tracy Honn in May 2020. We love artists’ books, zines, and libraries; art and poetry; words and pictures. We wanted to make something to share as many of us are staying at home, disconnected from art, books, and one another.” (Quotation from the QPL website.)