reading list of artist books

On September 27, 2013, I asked friends on Facebook: “What are your favorite books by artists that document their creative process and also serve as a kind of philosophy of their medium or way of working?” This is the crowdsourced list that emerged from that, including my contributions. Mind-blowing inspiration! And surely this is only the tip of the iceberg…

Anzaldúa, Gloria. “Speaking in Tongues,” in The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader.
Baruchello, Gianfranco, and Henry Martin. How to Imagine: A Narrative on Art and Agriculture.
Bottoms, Stephen, and Matthew Goulish. Small Acts of Repair: Performance, Ecology and Goat Island.
Bradbury, Ray. Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity.
Braxton, Anthony. Triaxium Writings.
Bresson, Robert. Notes on Cinematography.
Brown, Carolyn. Chance and Circumstance: Twenty Years with Cage and Cunningham.
Buckwalter, Melinda. Composing While Dancing: An Improviser’s Companion.
Burrows, Jonathan. A Choreographer’s Handbook.
Cage, John. Silence.
Chavez, Maria. Of Technique.
Dunn, David. Music, Language, and Environment.
Eno, Brian. A Year With Swollen Appendices.
Etchells, Tim. Certain Fragments: Texts and Writings on Performance.
Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones.
Goulish, Matthew. 39 Microlectures: In Proximity of Performance.
Harrison, Lou. Music Primer.
Kaprow, Allan. Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life.
King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
Klee, Paul. Pedagogical Sketchbook.
Lacy, Suzanne. Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics.
Le Caine, Hugh. Recherches aux Temps Perdu.
Lerman, Liz. Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer.
Lin, Maya. Boundaries.
Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches.
Louden, Sharon (ed.). Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists.
Oliveros, Pauline. Software for People: Collected Writings, 1963-80.
Oram, Daphne. An Individual Note of Music, Sound and Electronics.
Partch, Harry. Genesis of a Music.
Rethorst, Susan. A Choreographic Mind: Autobodygraphical Writings.
Rilke, R. M. Letters to a Young Poet.
Roussel, Raymond. How I Wrote Certain Of My Books.
Schaeffer, Pierre. Le solfège de l’objet sonore.
Smith, Patti. Just Kids.
Stiles, Kristine (ed.). Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings.
Tarkovsky, Andrey. Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema.
Tenney, James. Meta-Hodos and META Meta-Hodos.
Viola, Bill. Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House.
Weems, Carrie Mae. Speaking of Art. (DVD)
Zorn, John (ed.). Arcana (multiple vols.), including:
– Amacher, Maryanne. “Psychoacoustic phenomena in musical composition: some features of a ‘perceptual geography.'”
– Crispell, Marilyn. “Elements of Improvisation.”
– Frith, Fred. “Tapped Teeth: Try Different Speeds.”
– Mori, Ikue. “Soul Mechanical.”
– Smith, Wadada Leo. “Dreamtime: the music culture of communal played multiunit musical instruments.”
– Sonami, Laetitia; & many more …