In many traditions, the number 22 (twenty-two) is associated with creativity. 22 is is the number of letters of the alphabet that we find in the Pentateuch, the alphabet of creation. In the Kabbalah there are 22 paths among the sephirot, the emanations through which The Infinite is revealed, and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms. 22 is also the measure of a circumference of a circle whose diameter is 7--and 7 is of course a sacred number: the number given to the time it took the Infinite to create the Universe. In astrology, sometimes 22 is equated with contrary essences: with the desire to stay rooted to the ground, within the known, and the desire to soar into the air, toward the unknown--the infinite!
Books, of course, are embodied pairs: one page always faces another; for the front cover, there is a back; every leaf has two pages; every fold in the sheet,a multiple of 2 leaves. Therefore books are multiples of 2 x 2, or 22. The number 22 even resembles 2 compositors standing over 2 California job cases or 2 hooks to hold paper. 22 also may suggest 2 people reading, either standing shoulder to shoulder or in a line. 22 also suggests a writer bent over a desk, writing, as she imagines the reader bent over her book, reading, the reader reading over her shoulder--or possibly, the writer reading over her own shoulder, and thus a tradition of writing and creation constantly reaching out in 2 directions: 2 the future, and 2 the past.
So ... with reference (or not) to the various symbolisms inevitably associated with the number 22, "From Here to There: Concept and Technique in Artists Books; The 22nd annual New Jersey Book Arts Symposium" will look at different ways artists have devised for negotiating the productive tensions of concept and technique within the creation of artists' books.