Utne Blogs > Arts and Culture

Art Books On Demand

 by Danielle Maestretti


Tags: Arts, art books, print publishing, independent books, photography, Tim Barber, TV Books, Tinyvices, Aperture, Danielle Maestretti,

TV Books: Sbooky BookyNew York-based photographer Tim Barber curates a stunning collection of art books at TV Books, a bold new on-demand publishing project that hints toward a sturdier future for print publishing—and art, for that matter. Barber, a New York-based photographer, designs the books, advertises them on the site, and prints copies via the self-publishing site Lulu as orders come in. About a week later, voila! The book shows up at your door. And art consumers know exactly what they’re getting: For each book on the site, there’s a super-short video in which someone’s hands (often Barber’s) flip through the monograph page by page.

Barber’s ingenious project eliminates the huge costs typically involved in print publishing: printing presses, distribution, storage space for finished copies, ink TV Books: Hello Thereand paper (which are especially pricey for high-end art books). He’s just giving artsy types exactly what they want, when they want it.

It’s as easy to lose hours of your day poking around the TV Books site, which currently exhibits 18 books, as it is to lose them at Tinyvices, the online art gallery Barber has run since 2005. The TV Books project is a natural extension of Tinyvices, he says: “I wanted to take that project and make something tangible, and I’ve always loved making books.” He’s also working with the nonprofit arts foundation Aperture, which will publish a series of monographs from Tinyvices photographers.