iBB Podcast #18 – Kaija Rantakari – Is there a Moment When a Book Isn’t a Book Anymore?

This was intended as another episode of our shorter Bookish Talk podcast. But in the end, we talked for an hour and discussed much more than was initially planned. And we are so happy we had this opportunity!

Kaija Rantakari is a poet, bookbinder, and book artist from Helsinki (Finland). In this episode of the iBookBinding’s Podcast, we discuss her artist’s books. And try to find that line when an object isn’t a book anymore. Is there a line of that sort, anyway?

Kaija shows us several of her bindings, and we discuss many other topics as well, from her studio in a writers’ residence in Helsinki to the consequences of a year in lockdown.



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00:00 – Beginning
00:57 – What is and what isn’t a book?
03:37 – States of a book / Book as a tactile object / Putting yourself into your book
06:11 – How did the global pandemic reflect on Kaija’s art
07:27 – Artist’s Book: The Tender Vessel
09:38#AreYouBookEnough challenge
11:08 – Does a book need text to be a book?
15:34 – Asking the reader to play along when a bookbinder tells them that’s a book
17:31 – Being a Finnish poet and trying to reach out to a wider audience
19:15 – Binding your own poetry: Koko meren laajuus (The whole extent of the sea)
25:00 – Parting with the artist’s books vs. selling the journals and sketchbooks
27:57 – Being trained as a traditional bookbinder. The divide between the traditional bookbinding and book arts
30:53 – Do you have any feedback on how people use the journals you make and sell online?
32:39 – The studio where Kaija works
35:10 – Kaija just published another book of poetry
38:04 – Artist’s Book: Untitled Stockings
46:02 – How do you read a book like that?
53:39 – Artist’s book: always not remembering
58:12 – Using mica in bookbinding
59:31 – The importance of a box as a continuation of a book
1:05:27 – When box becomes a book: fingerprints

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