The 2013 ABotM
Marie-Noëlle Hébert
October, Vol.110 (Autumn, 2004), pp.51-79. The MIT Press Accessed:13/05/2014 12:18

The top of the ABotM. The AGYU Artists’ Book of the Moment for 2012.ABotM seal of approval

The book is a complete transcription of Claire Bishop’s “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics” article published in October in 2004.

In a time where many seek the shortest and simplest forms of information available, this book acts as a critique of the way we understand information and of how it should be made available, confronting us with a reality in which no meaning is accessible without careful investigation of every piece of information presented. It challenges the very notion of what a book should do, redefining its possible role as an originator of critical investigation, rather than being a simple vehicle to facilitate the act of reading. Moreover, it is a representation of the research process one would need to go through to fully understand the text; bringing together the various elements that were used or cited within the original essay to provide an overview of the complexity of the information presented. Readers are propelled into a journey of rediscovery of the way we read, and of the relative importance we give to the pieces of information that are presented to us as the traditional hierarchy of presentation is inverted and rapid understanding is negated. References and citations are brought to the forefront, while the author’s analysis is relegated to a secondary visual importance. Images are altered so that no artwork is visible, putting emphasis on the ideas behind them rather than on their aesthetic quality. As a result, the book acts as an incomplete recollection of pieces of information that need to be actively put together by the reader in order to have full access to the knowledge contained in the text.

This book is a fragment of a larger research project on the constructive potential of disruption within aesthetic practices. It is an investigation of the dialogic potential of aesthetics; of how the introduction of strange elements within the process of perception of a receiver can participate in challenging practice and cultural conventions to stimulate active spectatorship and disciplinary discourse.

Self published
8×10.25 inches, 152 pp, full-colour digital, perfectbound, 2013
Open edition
For more information please contact the artist at: mnhebert [at]

Marie-Noëlle Hébert is a Canadian graphic designer formally trained in photography and design. Originally from Montreal, she is currently based in Toronto. Her work includes books, posters, collage, and digital image modification. It focuses on the exploration of the potential dialogic function of graphic design and aesthetic practices. She is interested in uncovering how the language of graphic design can be used to stimulate disciplinary and socio-cultural discourse; how graphic design can break away from its own limitations and be used as a tool for investigation while still performing its traditional functions.