Columbia College Chicago

Call For Proposals - DEADLINE HAS PASSED

Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book
CALL FOR COMMISSION PROPOSALS – Two $10,000 commissions will be awarded

Please read the entire Call for Commission Proposals below before beginning your application. You can also download it here.

The Center for Book and Paper Arts, a program of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago, recently received a $50,000 Arts in Media grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of a new electronic publishing initiative, Expanded Artists’ Books.  This grant will support an award of two $10,000 commissions for new artworks for the iPad. These will have physical counterparts that intersect, modulate, or inform the digital components of the artwork.

Artists’ books claim all aspects of the book (format, typography, structure, etc.) as potentially expressive. As immersive hybrid experiences for the reader/viewer, these works expand the limits of what we traditionally think of as a book. Simultaneously, we consider that tablet-based mobile platforms are emerging as a dynamic arena for investigation of the notion of the book.  Expanded Artists’ Books utilize the rich capabilities of the tablet platform to imagine new forms that a book might take, such as exploring how interactivity challenges the traditional closure of text or the performance of time. We are currently focused specifically on Apple’s iPad as a site for exploration of this conceptually rich territory.



In addition to the quality of the concept, the criteria for selection of proposals will include the artist's demonstrated facility with the digital tools (prior iPad development experience highly valued), the ability and willingness to work with technical assistance and collaboration, and demonstrated ability to carry a project through to timely completion.

All application materials will be submitted electronically. Materials will include:

The artist is expected to ensure that the iOS project properly functions on all iPad devices for at least three years following the publication date.

The $10,000 commission is an artist's fee.  There are no requirements placed on how the artist uses these funds, however, all costs related to the development of the digital project are the responsibility of the artist.  Within reasonable financial constraints, the CBPA will provide resources for the creation of the physical book component of the commission, both for materials and technical support. Once a project is accepted, we will coordinate with the artist to determine how best to accomplish the physical aspects of the project; please be aware that the precise outcome(s) for the physical book may need to be adjusted for financial and technical reasons. CBPA will fund a single visit (from a domestic location) to Chicago for consultation. 

Both the digital and physical components of the completed project will be published by Epicenter, an imprint of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. While the digital version will be distributed free of charge, the physical component of the project will be made available for sale, with proceeds going to the CBPA publication fund; specific edition size, number of copies reserved for the artist, etc. will be determined after the proposals are reviewed. The artist retains copyright to the work, but grants CBPA the non-exclusive right to archive and present the project in perpetuity. Additionally, the artist grants CBPA the right to develop a physical book artifact / edition that responds to, interacts with, or corresponds with the iPad.  This will be created in coordination with the artist.

The received-by deadline for applications is midnight, September 15th, 2012.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of the project principals; semi-finalists will be interviewed to determine project feasibility.  Proposals will then be forwarded to a jury of three experts from the fields of book art, media arts, and literary arts.  This jury will select the two winning proposals.

Commission announcements will be made in December, 2012.

COMMISSION PUBLICATION / Project Completion Deadline
By October 31, 2013, project must be ready for submission to Apple store, with an anticipated release date in April, 2014.

Download the application here. 

Please email with any questions. You may also refer to our FAQs

This program is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts: Arts in Media Grant, and other support entities.  The principles of the grant art are:  Paul Catanese, Michelle Citron, Clifton Meador and Steve Woodall. The project manager is Jessica Cochran. 



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