Rack

Found publications.

Found in New York 2

Apologies for the very long time between drinks – I’ve been living and breathing the next issue of Ampersand, and just got it to the printer, so I now have my life back. 

Here we go!

I waz ‘ere 2011. Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers in Willamsberg. I spent some $$$$. Here’s what I took home:

Space books!

1. The Thoughtful American
Created by Julian Duron and Swill Children, NYC | USD$15 

This is a catalogue for Julian Duron’s art, which is that faux-crappy-early-computer aesthetic that is in vogue at the moment. Printed on a RISO with an 80s colour palette, I bought it because I thought it was REAL. It’s not though. I enjoyed it but art school talk about “practice” makes my skin melt so it lost me a little.

What is more interesting about this find is Swill Children, the publisher/printer. From the looks of their site they are doing some really interesting print projects. I’d check em out.   

2. The Baffler
Edited by Thomas Frank and Chris Lehmann, Chicago | USD$12


The Baffler is a left-wing magazine of cultural, political, and business criticism that was founded in 1988 and published until the spring of 2007. It was revived in 2009, with the first issue of Volume 2 published in January 2010 (which is the issue I bought, above). It’s great – in the tradition of politico-literary journals, crossing boundaries somewhere between the Paris Review and New Statesman, with visual art.   

According to their website, they’ve just signed a five-year publishing deal with MIT Press (lucky bastards), and who knows with the extra support maybe they’ll get distribution out to Oz.

3. Crystal Friends
Created by Dave Ortega, Massachusetts | USD$10

The description of this on Ortega’s Magcloud page is very good: “Notes from the Die World, this mysterious place between life and death. Crystal Friends form out of Flaming Robots when exiting the ‘Die World’ where Princess Die reigns over the near-dead. This journal has the most thorough notes of this strange (al)chemical process to date.”

A nice art book of paintings and illustrations on cardboard tags.

4. Fire to the Prisons
Published by Fire to the Prisons, somewhere in the USA | USD$4 and often free 

Fire to the Prisons is an activist journal ‘agitating’, not ‘inciting’ violent revolutionary action, which is kind of like drinking a bottle of whiskey and going to Sexpo.

They cover things like Arab Spring, but their main thing is ‘prison’s aim of social control’, and most of the content is about what they refer to as ‘prisoner resistance’. Solidarity in the face of repression is all well and good, but it starts to get questionable with their ongoing ‘Chronology of Prisoner Resistance’ – a list of acts of violence by inmates against prison staff or the prison itself. Whatever the disturbances are, ‘each time the prison cannot proceed with routine operations it loses control of itself; each time the prison loses control, its inhabitants are able to act outside of its constraints, in accordance with their own interests’, and hence, are encouraged and celebrated in this list. Includes: ‘10/26/10 - Martinez, CA, USA – An inmate at the Contra Costa County Jail faked a seizure and hit a hurse over the head with a lamp. The nurse later died from her injuries.’, ‘11/08/10 – Pine Knot, KY, USA – Two guards were stabbed at USP-McCreary while conducting a routine cell search.’, alongside ‘11/11/10 – DeBary, FL, USA – A state prisoner doing roadside work rode away on a lawnmower.’ 

Lawnmower escapees and protestors aside, I’m not sure you can justify assaulting and killing prison staff as just ‘prisoner resistance’. Hmm. As far as lists go though, this one was fucking fascinating.

Amid its murky ethics and hyperbolic anarchist shouty quasi-journalism, there’s one really interesting section called ‘Solidarity’, which lists prisoners (who are often incarcerated for anarchist actions – animal liberation and domestic terrorism), gives updates on their cases and, interestingly, their postal addresses.

It’s a good one, a nice change from the self-indulgent art books that are the staple of my found publications diet.

5. Stonecutter
Edited by Katie Raissian, New York | USD$12

 

A very pretty, unobtrusive literary journal with a poetry focus, which is nice. Beautiful print quality, a couple of really interesting reviews, collage and a smattering of colour. I would recommend this to poets as a good one to submit work to.  

     

6. 19 Pictures 22 Recipes
By Paola Ferrario, New York | USD$15 

          

Surprisingly, the pictures in this little book by photographer Paola Ferrario are not her own – they are found photos from flea markets. This is a heartfelt chronicle of family recipes and prose on food and life.

7. Kaugummi Magazine, issue 4
Edited by Bartolomé Sanson, of Kaugammi Books, Rennes, France | UDS$10

 

Kaugummi is an extremely prolific independent publishing house that kicks some arse in curation choices and printing quality – I highly recommend checking them out (although their website tells me they have closed up in the current capacity). 

One of the many publications on their label (artist books mostly), this issue of the house magazine combines psychedelic illustrations, collage, painting, photographs to create a visual adventure. It’s brilliant.

8. Gratuitous Type
Published by Elana Schlenker, NYC | USD$15

An infrequent pamphlet of ‘typographical smut’ for font design enthusiasts, this is a great little compendium of current and older work from many different sources – film, books, and different artists from different countries. You won’t see any boobs but there is a centrefold that you’ll find sexy if you are into 60s Cuban posters.

Their website is also well worth checking out – there’s heaps of good new stuff to have a perve at if you are into design or independent publishing.

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CORRECTION FROM THE EDITOR – The picture of this bundle of mags at the top of this post includes ZG (the red vintage one) BUT it does not feature in the post. That’s because I realised that I bought it from Printed Matter Inc, featured in the next post, which is significant because they are the independent publishing Mecca, and I couldn’t be bothered making a new picture. More to come guys don’t get upset!

Bidoun Magazine Library – Found at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, London.

Found in New York 1

Found at Universal News, Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

I visited Universal News with a friend from New York who knows a lot about magazines, and who described the store as being ‘a place that could sell anything, it just so happens they sell magazines.’ What he meant was that it’s not your boutique print shop; its a whopper of newsagency that has an incredible range. White people wouldn’t pick it as being a favourite, but they (we – let’s face it) might be charmed by the authenticity of its dime-machine coffee and neon lighting. 

1. Huck
Edited by Andrea Kurland, London | USD$9.99

Huck is produced by people I respect very much, The Church of London – a creative agency from the eponymous city. They make Little White Lies, which I am a huge fan of as can be seen by my gushing if you scroll a bit further down. But this magazine presents some challenges to me. The publisher in me thinks it’s great, it clearly gets a lot of advertising and perhaps is a bit of a money maker for them. But the rest of me just wonders who is reading it. Is there a surfer/skater/snowboarder who also wants to read about Libya, who has an interest in the plight of street kids, who has a whimsical soft spot for the work of Miranda July? Or a hipster who wants to read about upcoming extreme athletes? I know how that sounds. It sounds like I’m being a judgmental fucking bitch. But I just don’t get it. Meanwhile, with pretty much every second page an ad, I’m wondering how many copies they do actually sell (ie. need to sell). But the folks that make it must have a better idea about this than ignorant me, because they started it forgodssakes. At some point someone has identified a legitimate need for this particular jigsaw puzzle. Apologies to all film buff, graffing, social working, half-pipe enthusiasts.

2. Brooklyn Magazine
Edited by Jonny Diamond, New York | USD$4.99

This is a magazine I do understand. I was staying in Brooklyn when I bought this and that is why I bought this. It’s a lovingly-made tribute to a place that the editor obviously adores, and I don’t blame you, Jonny Diamond. It’s full of restaurant reviews, local histories, on-the-street fashions, contentious issues concerning the people of the area. It definitely has a hipster vibe, which is something I have a lot of fun taking the piss out of at home in Sydney, but for some reason all those brogues and iced coffees and Provence or 50s diner-inspired expensive and delicious restaurants make sense in New York. I sound like a sycophant so I’ll leave that there. Anyway, this magazine is a light read but it’s got heart.

3. Pin-Up
Edited by Felix Burrichter, New York | USD$15

This is my pick of the trio by a long stretch. This is a great magazine. Content by people who know what they’re talking about, it seamlessly blends design worlds (architectural/graphic/art/lifestyle. ‘Architectural entertainment’ is an incredible moniker), and it is a great example of the new wave of print publications that are evolving the medium itself in the face of so many tolling bells for print publishing. Highly recommended.

Found in London 3

Found at Magma (again… yes I had a revisit. Sue me it’s not your cash I’m burning.)

1. Port
Edited by Dan Crowe, London | £6

There is a “magazines for men” trend at the moment, aimed at affluent metrosexuals. Dapper Dan, Fantastic Man, Man About Town. And Frankie publisher Morrison Media knows they’re onto a good thing with their boy-oriented Smith Journal launching in early September. They are fine, as in they don’t murder people, but they are also a bit sickening, all that advertorial about expensive watches next to a token article about Haiti then a fashion shoot with beardy Ray Bans models in the back streets of Williamsberg then a photo essay on organic architecture. It’s like these magazines and the converted warehouse shared new media studio offices that they are produced in will be the first things to go when the water runs out. They are the fat of the land.

Anyway, I bought Port to read the article about David Remnick. I really enjoyed it. But that was about it. I was initially pleased to see a short article on John Keats’ engagement ring but then I realised it was in aid of a Cartier ad. I felt a bit put off by that. And once you’ve lost me, you’ve lost me for good. That’s what I say to my family at Christmas and that’s what I’m saying to Port now.

But then I’m not a man. But I’m pretty sure if I was I would have the same opinion.

 

2. Lunar
Thomas Dowse, London | £6

Now you’re talking. This is great. It’s an artwork by one Thomas Dowse who appears to be a Royal College of Art student, perhaps this is his final work. Not sure. But it’s great. It’s big, A3, and on newsprint. It’s an illustrated story about a man who we come to realise is grieving for a lost child and emotionally isolated from his wife. He looks at the moon through a telescope and sees something terrifying – within the desolate plains of rocks and escarpments is the child, looking back at him.

Good job Thomas Dowse, this is lovely. 

(Yes those are my sneakers. I had to stand on the table to take this photo because it’s so bloody big.)

3. Little People in the City: The street art of Slinkachu
Published by Boxtree, London | £10.99

Click on the link in the heading of this and go straight to the blog, it is the only way to explain how amazing this is. Do it! Okay now you’re back, you know what I’m talking about. This is a beautiful book. I don’t usually buy stuff like this (it might be borderline counter/novelty item) but it really is a beauty. And funny and very clever.

4. In The Wilds: Drawings by Nigel Peake
Princeton Architectural Press, New York | £15

Another great artist book, really beautiful print quality and lovely watercolour drawings.

5. Peter Arkle News, Issue 57, February 2011: Six Days in Moscow
Peter Arkle, New York | £2

 

Peter Arkle, an illustrator, goes to Moscow! That’s the premise and it’s so great, a really fun… newspaper. Peter looks at things, attempts to communicate with people and eats strange food, and writes and illustrates about it. It’s very funny. I like I like.

Found in London 2

Found at Beach, Shoreditch.

A word about this little shop. It’s amazing. A gateway to some of the best stuff happening in small press in London. The gentlemen there have curated a stunning collection of artists’ books, zines, prints and magazines, and it is virtually impossible to decide what to leave behind.

So here are the ones that made it with me to the counter (in no particular order):

1. L_A_N
Edited by Veronica So, London | £15

This beautifully printed, tabloid-sized zine is hilarious, though I’m not totally sure if that’s its aim. If you’re a fan of Tim and Eric you will appreciate the 90s pixellated internet graphics and images of girls in John Lennon sunglasses with binary code projected onto their faces in a weird, computer screen blue. That illegible purple text you can see on the cover there says ‘Fashionable Futurist’ when you hold it horizontally up to your eye. So at least they’re up front about it. True hipster jizz.


2. Seeing Green – Aaron McLaughlin & Grace Miceli
Published by Fourteen-Nineteen Books, London | A steal at £5

A stunning zine of new photography and photo montage. It totally succeeds in offering that kind of fashionable thing at the moment – you know, hipster-matic, lots of flashes of sunlight in fields and woodland creatures – but without faux-naïvety and just shows strong, emotive work by two young and very talented artists.

The publishers themselves, Fourteen-Nineteen, I was told at Beach, are young and very talented themselves. That’s pretty clear – their website is well worth a geeze.

3. U Are a Chef – Øivin Horvei’s Sci-fi Cookbook
Published by Landfill Editions, London | Can’t remember how much this was.

This mag is very funny and silly and clever, so it had me at hello. The preface begins, “I am ANGELO, I like food. I am a chef and a collector. So are U.” Angelo is the rubbish-bag-headed African mask-faced fellow that appears as the zine’s covergirl, and the alter-ego of Norwegian artist Øivin Horvei. Within we follow Angelo around to his friends’ houses, where they cook for him, and find the recipes published with a picture of them together. It is beautifully printed on a Riso with lovely, gaudy colours.      

Landfill Editions are based in London, and seem to be, like Fourteen-Nineteen, producing some outstanding publications. 

4. Memoranda – Raffi Kalenderian
Published by Nieves, Zurich | £11

This little publication is an exhibition catalogue of one Raffi Kalenderian, a young American painter. It is beautiful – both the print quality and the works themselves.

The publisher, Nieves, looks like they’ve got a good thing going.

Found in London 1

Found at Magma, Covent Garden (in no particular order):

1. Little White Lies
Published by Little White Lies, London | Edited by Danny Miller | £3.95

An excellent independent film magazine. That’s independent magazine, not independent film. You get me. Really good production values and smart reviews. Each issue is themed by a current film, which is illustrated for the cover.

2. Boat Magazine
Published by Boat Studio Ltd, London | Edited by Erin Spens | £10

A great concept – an issue devoted entirely to a ‘forgotten city’. This one, their first, is set in Sarajevo (I assume they will look at a different one each issue). They have reprinted an excerpt from Dave Eggers’, How We Are Hungry, and put his name in a coverline which I thought was pretty cheeky. I’m not sure about this one. I haven’t read it properly yet which is often a tell-tale sign of something… NQR. It’s lovely to hold, though I think a bit over-designed, as magazines are tending to be at the moment. 

3. Lost in London
Published by Lost in London | Edited by Lucy Scott | £10

Again, a good concept – it’s devoted to ‘living simply in the city’, ie. city gardens, quiet nooks, secret places to swim. A little twee for me but I appreciate what they’re doing. Should be a hit with the Frankie set.

4. Elephant
Published by Frame Publishers, Amsterdam | Edited by Marc Valli | £14.99

This visual culture magazine has a huge following in the UK and in Australia, particularly among the design community (I’m looking at you Mikie Inglis) who find it deeply arousing – although they might not read it, they probably collect it. It also showcases some good new artists. It is edited by Marc Valli, who also owns Magma. How is it possible that this person can multi-task to this extent? He must have a robotic exo-skeleton.

5. Le Gun
Published by Le Gun, London | Edited by a team too long to type out but I’m sure they’re all very good people | £20

Okay I’m gonna say it, this is a bit of a favourite. It’s a large-format whopper of an immersive magazine experience. It contains mind-blowing illustration, with a thin (incomprehensible) narrative line going through; the whole thing reminded me a bit of ‘The Head’ or ‘The Maxx’ – those MTV cartoons on Eat Carpet in the mid-nineties. Anyway it is brillo.