Spheres Projects are close creative collaborations between an artist and the editor, graphic designer and curator Philippe Karrer.

Spheres Projects
Since the 1960s, at the latest, the function of the book in the field of fine art – previously thought of as an accompanying catalogue or documentation to an exhibition – has changed. Books such as “The Xerox Book” (1968) went beyond pure documentation, beyond the current understanding of the exhibition space, and expanded the concept of art. The book was thus able to establish itself as a portable and ephemeral exhibition space with its own narrative possibilities. Participating artists are Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Lawrence Weiner (imagine how great if Lee Lozano would have been part of this). Often credited for defining the modern artist’s book are Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha and Swiss artist Warja Lavater.

The book – as an analog medium – is in a constant state of upheaval. Recently, electronic media have changed the book landscape, raised new questions about publication, and fundamentally questioned the necessity of printing. Questions about the urgency of an exhibition space in relation to the digitality (immateriality) of contemporary artistic positions are also constantly being explored anew (Think of NFT). The printed book not only attempts to counter the fast pace (of the Internet) with its analogy, but also emphasizes tendencies towards increasingly ephemeral curatorial practices. At the same time, the art book moves away from the mass medium to an auratic object – often in smaller editions.

The collaborations that Philippe Karrer starts with the artists through “Spheres Projects” are reflexive processes whose carrier is the (ultimately printed) book. In the past Philippe Karrer has curated artist books with the artists Melanie Bonajo, Rafaël Rozendaal, Nick van Woert, Austin Lee, Yung Jake, Polly Brown, Julie Curtiss, Dorian Sari, Patrick Goddard and Adam Green. Other national and international positions such as Jürg Lehni (CH), Joël Vacheron (CH), Lauren Groff (USA), Darren Bader (USA), Nick Mulgrew (ZA) and Carmen Maria Machado (USA) have completed certain collaborations.

Spheres Projects provides an opportunity for curatorial practice to take on new forms and for the book no longer to be “merely” thought of as a container of information. Curating, which is traditionally linked to a museum context, should expand into new spheres. In addition, the still untapped potential of the “outdated” book printing is also evident.

For enquiries about workshops, lectures and commissions, please email Philippe Karrer at [email protected].