Meet the Publisher - *[asterisk]

A Q&A interview with Lasse Krog Møller, founder of *[asterisk], the Århus-based publisher of art-based and art-related books, as well as other printed matter.

MC Coble & Louise Wolthers, Things Change Anyway, 2023

Courtesy of MC Coble & Louise Wolthers and *[asterisk]

What made you first want to start publishing books?

The idea of distributing artworks through books was a starting point - thinking of the book as a medium that can make art more accessible and affordable for people. And for the artist it is an attempt or a possibility to escape the traditional structures of the art market.

How important are ideas of collecting to the publishing industry?

It is not the primary thing. Books are for use. Some people collect books, and others let them float out in the world after use.

Lasse Krog Møller, Atlas of the Sea, 2021

Courtesy of Lasse Krog Møller and *[asterisk]

Are all books art objects? When does book making become an art form?

It can be difficult to define exactly what characterises an artist book, apart from the fact that it is first and foremost a work of art in the form of a book.

Perhaps one can say, with the judge of the American Supreme Court Potter Stewart, who in 1964 – in the attempt to define what could be characterised as pornographic material, and therefore illegal – simply stated: "I know it when I see it".

Do you think that books belong in museums? If so why, if not why not?

Museums collect art in various media, so obviously artists' books also belong in their collections. Sometimes institutions are quite slow to discover and acknowledge new media. History punishes those who come too late.

Lasse Krog Møller, Hver bog sin læser- myopiske fragmenter, 2022

Courtesy of Lasse Krog Møller and *[asterisk]

Have there been particular books that had a big impact on you in terms of the way you approach book-making/publishing?

The appearance of affordable “mass production” of printed material in the 1960’s seems to have given rise to a golden age of artists’ books, such as Ed Ruscha’s works.

Somehow the introduction of desktop publishing and digital prints in late the 1990’s and 2000s can probably also be seen as an important impact for a new wave of artists' books.

Do you collect books? What sort of books interest you most?

Collecting books is for book collectors, and I would not consider myself one, although I surround myself with books. I make books for the sake of circulation. Everyone can pile up stacks of books. And I do the same, also to keep myself orientated in the field.

Myne Søe-Pedersen, Blå kort- arkiv over forsvundne museumsgenstande (et uddrag), 2022

Courtesy of Myne Søe-Pedersen and *[asterisk]

"Books are for use. Some people collect books, and others let them float out in the world after use."

Lasse Krog Møller