Q&A: Lauren Davis and Josh Peters, Glasgow Zine Fest and Little Brother (Glasgow)
by Becca Clark
Last Saturday saw the first ever Glasgow Zine Fest (GZF) take up residence for the day in The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow, Scotland. It was an overwhelmingly lovely experience for a zine lover and I had tremendous conversations with exhibitors. I was lucky enough to have a small chat with one of the organizers, Lauren Davis, at the event. Her enthusiasm for zines, the event, embroidered tote bags and teeny tiny advice booklets was contagious! I felt like I wanted to talk more with her, and her partner in zine-fest shenanigans, Josh Peter (the two also co-publish the zine Little Brother), so we had a small Skype chat over breakfast this morning.
LD: I’m really sorry I’m eating, guys. I think people eating on the phone is disgusting, but I’m super hungry! Which never happens in the morning… I’m following my heart.
JP: That’s good, take advantage of that.
PS: It’s healthy. Breakfast aside, how did GZF come about? Where did you spot the need for an event like this?
JP: A couple of months ago I went to an event in the Fruitmarket in Edinburgh, which was like a fair for self-publishing and artists’ books. I think there are a few things like that around here, but they tend to be more of the “self” or “small” specialist publishing house fairs. They won’t be huge publishers, but they’ll still be—for the most part—”proper” books: doing runs of 100 to a couple thousand. They’re definitely not like a little grungy zine fest that is open to absolutely anybody just making stuff and printing it off on their desktop computer printer. We really saw a need for something like that. We weren’t aware of anything, so we just went for it!
Safe Amplification Society’s Zine Library Soothes Social Anxiety
by Ryan Ming
In 2009 a group of musicians formed The Safe Amplification Society, a non-profit, volunteer-run community organization that produces legal and financially viable all-ages music and arts events in Vancouver. The issue of a dedicated all-ages venue has been long sought after, as many venues that hosted all-ages music events have shut down over the years—mostly due to bylaw infractions or lack of funds. Currently, Safe Amp operates out of Astorino’s Hall on Venables Street and Commercial Drive.
The organizers of the zine library component of Safe Amp—Board Member Marita Michaelis-Webb, Kaitlyn MacMillan and Chavi Alvarez— were on hand to discuss their latest project at the organization’s recent Zine Fair & Show Fundraiser.
Project Space: What inspired you to start a zine library component of Safe Amp?
Chavi Alvarez: We wanted to add more to the DIY component of Safe Amp and to the sharing and educating of people who come to our shows. Also, because it is a dry venue, people do tend to feel awkward sometimes between bands or before bands start because they’re used to drinking at shows. I have social anxiety and sometimes I feel awkward at shows even if I am drinking. Having a zine library in the corner that people can go to while they’re waiting for a friend or if they’re feeling awkward to read about stuff and calm down is good.
A Small Analysis of Why Art Schools Breed Zine Culture
by Becca Clark
Dundee, Scotland, has a rich history of publishing. The world-famous DC Thomson’s Beano and Dandy are an integral part of the city. Numerous zines were produced following the Northern Soul movement of the 70s and 80s, and Dundee United Football Club supporters created their own exalted The Final Hurdle fanzine. Adding to this mix is the city’s highly regarded art school, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. DJCAD is at the creative core of Dundee and has been a breeding ground for multiple zine projects over the years. What is it that makes art school the perfect environment for beginning and maintaining a zine publication?
ZINE FAIR + SHOW
in honour of Safe Amplification Society‘s zine library
Sunday, March 30, 7pm to 12am
Astorino’s, Venables @ Commercial, Vancouver
$5 Admission (or free if you can donate a zine to the library)
Q&A: Walter Scott, Wendy (Vancouver)
by Ryan Ming
My first encounter with Walter Scott‘s Wendy comics was at the Vancouver Art/Book Fair in October 2012. When I browsed through its pages I was both amused and surprised by how well I was able to relate to the collection of vignettes about its eponymous twenty-something heroine who lives in a large urban centre that could be anywhere in the Western world (though certain references allude that it may be Montreal, Quebec) and her ambitions to further her career in the world of contemporary art. The prologue finds Wendy to be extremely articulate and motivated. As we progress further we follow her as she balances her ambitions while navigating through underground music shows, drugs, alcohol, parties, friendships, scenesters, established colleagues and doomed romances. You can buy the Wendy comics online or read Scott’s web-only comics.
Project Space: For the uninitiated, who is Wendy?
Walter Scott: Wendy follows the fictional narrative of a young woman living in an urban centre, whose dreams of contemporary art stardom are perpetually derailed. Just like you and me.
Launch of The Wendy Critical Reader by Walter Scott
Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 7pm
Or Bookstore, 555 Hamilton St, Vancouver
Art Has Never Been So Public: We Think Alone and the directions of Net Art
by Chelsea Rooney
On July 1, 2013, I opened my inbox and read the personal emails of actresses Lena Dunham and Kirsten Dunst. Writers Sheila Heti and Etgar Keret. Geniuses Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The subject? Money. A week later, another batch of celebrity emails, this time on the topic of advice.
These emails, of course, weren’t addressed to me. They’d been addressed to mysterious initials, like “J” and “P” and “S.” They’d been chosen from the Sent folders (all emails composed prior to the project’s start date) of a few of Miranda July’s famous friends, and comprised the weekly installations of her sixteen-part email-art exhibit, We Think Alone.
July didn’t conceptualize this project (and 104,897 readers from 170 countries didn’t sign up as viewers) to receive a series of reminders that celebrities and geniuses are just like us. We’re pretty sophisticated, here. We already knew that.
Review: Gelatology by Studio Fludd
by Sarah Davidson
What do geology and dessert have in common? Very appealing textures, according to Gelatology, a collaborative book by Studio Fludd. Gelatology “explores visual and conceptual analogies between ice-cream and geology.” The book is a strange and tasty concoction, which samples from a couple of my favourite trends in art making, notably: paper-based art, collaborative collage, the natural world and hideous kitsch.
Gelatology borrows text from a geology text written in 1830, and was put together as a series of collages by Matteo Baratto, Caterina Gabelli, Sara Maragotto and Valeria Sanguin, the four designers behind Studio Fludd. To their surprise, it was selected by The Bologna Children’s Book Fair. This is mostly surprising because, unlike a normal children’s book, it lacks any real narrative.
The loose science analogy of Studio Fludd, more of a pretext really, reminded me of collages by the artist Carter. Carter uses marbled paper to a similar end. A write-up on the Saatchi Gallery website characterizes Carter’s untitled collage from 2005: “Collaged onto a marble textured base, Carter combines animal-mineral-vegetable in pseudo-scientific experimentation.”
Poetry Is Dead‘s Humour Issue Variety Show
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 7pm
Performance Works, 1218 Cartwright St, Vancouver
Tickets $20 (includes the new issue and a subscription)