Programmed Paper
An Exhibition by

Christina Corfield

on view March 10th, 2023 – April 14th, 2023

Opening reception Friday, March 10th

5-8 p.m.

Artist Talk 6 P.M.

This show is made possible by the New York State Council of the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the  New York State Legislature

WNY Book Arts Center is pleased to present Programmed Paper, an exhibition featuring work created by artist Christina Corfield as part of Book Arts’ 2023 Studio Artist Residency program. Corfield is an artist and media scholar whose work turns to older and more analog forms of media to push against the fetishizing of new technologies. Her media archeology projects present histories of media and technology that bring together and overlay old and new forms, asking us to think about the way those forms shape our thinking around the technologies we rely on every day. She is especially interested in how we build relationships to new technologies through our interactions with analog media, including paper.

In Programmed Paper, Corfield investigates the shaping and folding of paper as a form of programming, i.e., telling the paper what to do so it behaves in the way you want it to. During her residency at Book Arts, she is producing a series of “programmed” objects from paper which have been letter pressed with text and images using conductive ink to allude to computation.

Corfield’s series of paper Victorian peep boxes will also be exhibited as part of Programmed Paper. The peep box was a virtual reality technology from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that generated realistic optical effects. Normally used to promote the sentiments and values of nationalism and Imperialism through wondrous scenes of “exotic” faraway lands, spectacular tourist sites, and rousing feats of engineering, Corfield re-purposes the peep box to instead celebrate and visualize contemporary scenes of political resistance, civil disobedience, and pressing social and environmental issues, from the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis to the Standing Rock protests.

Programmed Paper suggests that older forms of media – particularly those we can make by hand ourselves – still hold the potential to powerfully transmit arresting images while symbolizing tactics of resistance to a culture more and more reliant on organizations that control the internet and those that control the hardware (and software) necessary to access it.

The Book Arts Studio Residency invites emerging artists to experiment with various printmaking processes in our community studio for a two month period, culminating in an exhibition of their artworks.  Find out more about the residency program.

Christina Corfield is a British-born multi-disciplinary artist and media scholar and is currently a Visiting Professor of Media Study at the University at Buffalo. Her scholarly and artistic work focuses on media history and the relationships between analog and digital media.  Her work has shown at media festivals, in galleries, universities, and at international conferences. She has had a solo show at Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA and has been part of group shows at the Bluecoat, Liverpool UK, MOCA North Miami, the Exploratorium in San Francisco and Telematic Gallery also in San Francisco, among others. She has also taken part in several residencies, including at the Kala Institute, Berkeley, CA, and Western New York Book Arts Center in Buffalo. Her writing has been published online and in scholarly journals including articles about her creative practice and research in Media Fields Journal, the Journal of Early Visual Media and book chapters on peep boxes in Provenance and Early Cinema published by University of Indiana Press, and experimental historiography in the soon to be published The Aestheticization of History and the Butterfly Effect, released by Vernon Press.



Saturday, March 18th, 10am-12:30pm – Exhibiting Artist Christina Corfield will give a brief presentation about peep boxes… then will lead participants through a series of simple prompts to create their own peep box or miniature theater. FIND OUT MORE & REGISTER HERE.

Exhibitions are supported by:

Book Arts is supported by: National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Children’s Foundation of Erie County, the County of Erie, M&T Bank Foundation, Western New York Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation, the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, Humanities NY