////////// application deadline has been extended to May 25th /////////


Over the last two decades, there have been a number of essays—and, ironically, books—that predict the demise of traditional books in the wake of digital media. Defining the term “book” loosely, as a vehicle for visual or verbal content that is organized into “sections,” this intensive ten‐day workshop will challenge overly simplistic, even fatalistic, ideas about the demise of physical books by stressing instead the ways novel renditions of physical and digital and hybrid “books” carry meaning. The objective is to encourage participants to explore unconventional forms that books may take and to create an artwork/designed object that challenges ideas of what books can be.

While the instructors will guide the direction of and lead discussions at the workshop, participants will be asked to contribute their particular knowledge and skill sets and contribute to the topic through presentations of their ideas and their creative work or research.

This workshop is part of the Open Book Project organized by Leslie Atzmon and Ryan Molloy.


Paul Elliman

Learning language from a wall

Paul Elliman is an artist based in London. Known for his work with a found typography of objects and industrial debris, he also follows the human voice through many of its social and technological guises, often imitating other languages and sounds of the city. As a commissioned artist for the New York biennial Performa 09 his project Sirens Taken for Wonders involved a series of siren-walks through the city on the hunt for emergency vehicle alerts. In 2012 a selection from his typographical archive of discarded letter-like machine parts and found objects was included in the exhibition Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language curated by Laura Hoptman at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Last year he published Untitled (September Magazine), a 600 page glossy magazine using found images to explore connections between language and gesture. Paul is a visiting critic at Yale School of Art, New Haven, where he has taught since 1997, and thesis supervisor for the Werkplaats Typografie, an international graduate programme in Arnhem, Netherlands. He is represented by Wallspace Gallery in New York.

top: Tripple page foldout Untitled
bottom (left): Untitled (September magazine)
bottom (right): My Typographies (I)

Max Goldfarb


Maximilian Goldfarb is an artist whose practice extends into many media; often producing situations in atypical spaces, with adjacent publications that organize ephemera into portable presentation; He is an instructor of courses in studio art, image construction, acoustic ecology and spatial design. Goldfarb has participated in exhibitions in venues including, SculptureCenter, NY; Stadsgalerij, NL; Western Front, BC; White Columns, NY; and the Neuberger Museum, NY, and has produced many transmission projects and radio programs for The Wave Farm. His project, Deep Cycle received support from the Harpo Foundation, and the Experimental Television Center. A recent fellow at the Macdowell Colony, he is the co-author of the book, Architectural Inventions, an archive of visionary drawings. Goldfarb received a Masters degree in Visual Studies from MIT, and is currently teaching his studio, Architectural Inventions at Bard College.

left: M49: Deep Cycle
right: Entervision photo credit: Beth Schneck

workshop coordinators

Leslie Atzmon

Leslie Atzmon is Professor of Graphic Design and Design History at Eastern Michigan University. She has both an M.F.A. in graphic design and a Ph.D. in design history. Atzmon does graphic design, animation, and artist's books, as well as scholarly work in design history. Her principal areas of research interest are turn-of-the-century fantasy imagery, book history, and the history of typography. She has published articles in the journals Design Issues and Visual Communication, and on the Eye magazine online version. Atzmon's most recent project is a collection of visual culture essays entitled Visual Rhetoric and the Eloquence of Design from Parlor Press. Atzmon has presented her work at conferences of the College Art Association, the Design History Society, the Modern Language Association, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the International Organization of Design Studies and Design History. Atzmon's animations and artist's books have been featured in a number of exhibitions.

Ryan Molloy

Ryan Molloy is a freelance designer, artist, educator, and inter-disciplinary designer. Prior to teaching at Eastern, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin's Design Division where he also received his M.F.A. in Design. Molloy has a B.Arch. degree as well, and he has worked as both an architect and a graphic designer. His design work received an Art Directors Club Young Guns 5 award. In 2006 he edited and published a small-run magazine entitled Redaction. Redaction won Best in Show in the juried exhibition Design Re:View 2007, a show sponsored by the Detroit chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In Fall 2008 his video work was featured in the prestigious OneDotZero film festival. In early 2009 he had a solo exhibition at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, MI, and he co-organized the exhibition "Dimension and Typography: A Survey of Letterforms in Space and Time" in Chicago, IL. In addition to exhibiting locally in Ann Arbor and Detroit, his work has also been exhibited at the Austin Museum of Digital Art, in the show "I Love Bytes" at Sheffield's Millennium Galleries in the U.K., and at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Dates & Deadlines

Key dates and deadlines:

  • Early Application deadline: April 30th, 2014
  • Extended Application deadline: May 25th, 2014
  • Acceptance notifications: no later than early June
  • Payment due: July 1, 2014
  • Participant Arrival: July 24-25, 2014
  • Workshop Dates: July 25-August 3, 2014
  • Departure: August 3, 2014


The cost of the workshop is $500.00.

The fee includes housing, dinners, and related workshop supplies.

For those interested, the workshop can be taken for 3 hours of college credit. Students pay tuition and fees, plus a $255 program fee for expenses. Non-EMU students seeking college credit must apply to the university as a continuing education student in order to get college-level credit. Non-EMU students should contact Sara Painter in Extended Programs, 734.487.9045 or spainter@emich.edu.

Supplies and Materials

Some supplies and materials specific to the workshop will be provided for all participants. It is recommended that all participants bring general art making supplies. Participants are also encouraged to bring any other materials and supplies they may find useful in tackling their projects.


Parsons Center

The Eastern Michigan University's Jean Noble Parsons Center has sleeping lodge units that include two beds, chairs, dressers, and closets. Guests should plan to bring their own sleeping bags, sheets, blankets, pillows and towels, as well as personal items like soap and shampoo.

Getting there

  • Flights are available to Traverse City from Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Delta Airlines, US Air, and United Airlines.
  • It takes five hours to drive from Ann Arbor to Lake Ann.
  • If there are enough participants arriving at Detroit Metro Airport, the organizers will assist in arranging transportation to the Parson's Center.


The Sleeping Lodge, which typically sleeps 12, is six units with two to three beds, closets, dressers and chairs in each unit. Each unit has a separate entrance with a view of the woods. Platform tent sites furnished with cots are also available. Restroom/washroom facilites, with men's and women's showers, are located in the Dining Hall. Participants must provide their own bedding and linens—sheets, pillows, towels, etc.

Meals and Dining

Dinner will be communal style, cooked by members of the workshop. Lunch and breakfast will be on your own, though some basic staples are provided. The Dining Hall is equipped with stove, microwave, refrigerator, dual ovens, dishwasher and icemaker. Nearby Traverse City and Lake Ann provide adequate access to groceries. Please notify the workshop coordinators of any specific dietary restrictions.

Application & Downloads

Past Workshops

Each year new guest artists and designers bring a unique experience. In 2011 the workshop was led by Denise Gonzales Crisp and Christopher Baker. 2012 was led by Danielle Aubert and Edwin Jager. 2013 was led by Jon Sueda and Everett Pelayo. Images from previous workshops can be seen below.

Comments and testimonials

"The diversity of art forms provides the openest attitude to me of what art/books could be. The process of thinking opens up possibilities to different solutions."

"Conceptual rigor and, conversely, serious play, were values upheld."

"The team at the workshop was very engaging, questions were asked regularly and new devices were developed in a very constructive manner."

"My favorite part of the workshop was the morning sessions. It was a time to try new things and get out of your normal thinking space."

The Open Book Project book

Additional work from previous workshops can be found in The Open Book Project book available at openbookproject.info. The book will be available for sale late May or early June 2014.


For more information contact:

Promotional materials designed by Courtney Morrow, Alison Figliomeni, Steven Schleuder, Carissa Wesson, Joseph Guenther, and Zane Bichler as part of Eastern Michigan University's Graphic Design Practicum studio.