Living in the Material World: CODEX V International Book Fair and Symposium Return to Bay Area

-More than 200 book artists, presses, publishers to exhibit at fifth installment of the largest gathering of its kind

-Fair runs from Feb. 8-11 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA.; CODEX Symposium to coincide with biennial event

-Symposium speakers to include Roberto Trujillo, Head of Special Collections, Stanford University; Alberto Manguel, historian, novelist, and essayist; and Carolee Campbell of Ninja Press

BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 2005, Peter Rutledge Koch, an internationally-renowned fine arts printer and poet, and noted paper conservator Susan Filter, had the lofty notion to create a forum for the growing number of small presses and artists who craft books using centuries-old techniques of letterpress printing, fine materials, and arresting design.

Amid a tsunami of books made of bits and bytes, Koch maintains that a well-crafted object "offers a visceral connection to author, bookmaker and artist. These books will move gracefully down through the centuries in a way that a trade paperback or a .pdf can never do." 

Working out of their studio in an industrial area of Berkeley, Koch and Filter founded the CODEX Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Ten years later, their quixotic goal to create a marketplace and "intellectual ferment" for book artists has been made manifest in the form of the most prominent book fair of its kind in the world.

Launched in 2007 on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley and initially attracting 120 exhibitors, the CODEX now expects up to 4,000 visitors February 8-11 at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA. Held biennially, it is ranked as one of the top three book fairs internationally.

The CODEX Fair and Symposium have become the locus for what Koch labels "a movement that strives to fulfill a renewed interest in physically-embodied art in an age of pixelated everything." Young collectors from Wall Street, the Silicon Valley and elsewhere have helped fuel the market for fine books, which can command prices up to $100,000. Cast-iron presses, once relegated to basements and junk heaps, are now prized possessions for a new crop of craftsmen, seduced by the notion of a book as both a container of ideas, as well as an idea in and of itself.

Indeed, the gathering has transcended a traditional trade fair to become, as Koch notes, "a unique happening in which the collector is allowed a personal encounter with the artist. It generates a kind of energy that both collectors and artists crave." 

Coinciding with the Richmond fair is the renowned two-day CODEX Symposium that takes place at the Anna Head Alumnae Hall in Berkeley on the mornings before the fair on Feb. 9 and 10. The symposium, which features keynote speakers and book artists, is sold out every year.

The CODEX gathering is now credited with jump-starting renewed global interest in artisanal books and for bolstering the visibility of the community of artists who make them.

"There has never been a better time for innovative books than today," Koch affirms.

The Book Fair is open to the public. For more information on CODEX V go to Media outreach for the fair is supported in part by the Avatar Alliance Foundation.

The CODEX Book Fair and Symposium are part of Rare Book Week West, which is a collection of fine art & rare book events taking place throughout the Bay Area from Feb. 5-13, 2015. For more information go to:

CONTACT: Vicki Von, 925-381-1599 



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