Ian Boyden > Lectures

Below is a list of some of my lectures with a brief synopsis of their content.  Please contact me if you are interested in inviting me to give a lecture to your organization.


From Dust to Rust: Reading an Iron Meteorite
This lecture examines the implications of making a book out of an iron meteorite.  In it I explore iron in many ways: from its elemental production in supergiant stars to its function in our blood; from its use as tools to its celebration as a religious object.  Along the way I present many surprising and marvelous photographs of meteorites, images from various observatories, as well as images of my own meteorite books.



Carbon Trap
This is a lecture about the use of amorphous carbon as a pigment for ink.  It traces carbon's journey from its nucleosythesis in stars to its eventual arrival at my studio.   I look at ways humans have captured carbon over the centuries, how amorphous carbons have been used as pigments, and how processes and sources shape our understanding of the color black.



Ian Boyden's Collaborative Books
This lecture introduces several of the books I have made over the years and published under the imprint of Crab Quill Press.  It gives an introduction to the making of an artist book, as well as to the various artists and writers I collaborate with. 




Why a Book?
This lecture examines the question of why it is we make and preserve books.  In particular I pay attention to what is at stake in these acts.  I look at many examples of books from around the world and meditate on patterns that can be found among several different traditions.  I end the lecture by closely examining one of my own books titled The Oystercatcher and the Pearl Feather.


Nepholithos: The Relationship of Cloud and Stone
This lecture looks at the relationship between cloud and stone in the imagination.  The lecture weaves images of magnificent stones with stories of Chinese immortals and petromaniacs as well as various poems.




The way can be found in bricks and shards: the calligraphy of Hua Rende
This lecture introduces the art of the Chinese calligrapher Hua Rende.  Hua Rende is recognized as one of the leading contemporary calligraphers in China.  His calligraphy sheds light on wonderful stories, poems, and events of the Han dynasty.