Opening with a singing cat and dancing cacti marionettes manipulated by the puppeteers of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater signaled there was something exuberant, if not unusual, about the first Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair (PMVABF). Highlighting the wide-ranging and evolving field of artists’ publications, the Fair is traditionally held annually and in person in New York or Los Angeles with a bustling marketplace and a multitude of programming centered around zines, artists’ books, rare and out-of-print publications, and contemporary art editions. The PMVABF responded to the challenges of physically gathering this year by creating a virtual community space presenting traditional events like the artist marketplace, panels, performances, and added experiences afforded by the digital sphere including a community chatbox, collaborative drawings, and a virtual arcade.

Following the marionette show, the opening events reinforced an overarching theme of...

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