Nathan Jones, Print Ready (Vancouver): Representing Zines
by Melanie Trojkovic
As a newcomer to Vancouver, I have slowly been exploring the distinctive art and publishing scenes that this colourful city has on offer. With the opportunity to interview Nathan Jones, artist, curator and principal coordinator of Dynamo Arts Association, I feel I have come that much closer to a clear understanding. In his discussion of Print Ready, an ongoing project aimed to exhibit zines and printed works, and the synchronicity of fellow independent publishers in Canada and beyond, Jones articulates the city’s creative climate at present. With his participation in the upcoming Vancouver Art/Book Fair as both an exhibitor and the curator of the exhibition Latent Aesthetic Dialogue, Nathan demonstrates his understanding of and commitment to the delights and contradictions of this city’s independent arts scene and alluring creative spirit.
PS: What are the ambitions of Print Ready? How did it come about?
Nathan Jones: Print Ready’s purpose is to provide an exhibition venue for the people making art zines and small editions of printed books in Vancouver, the lower mainland and the coast. At the time that we conceptualized Print Ready, both Michael Lachman and myself felt like there was a void for artists making art zines to present their work in this city. Several years ago I travelled to New York, Montreal and Toronto, and I saw all the great work happening in independent publishing. I felt that this medium was really underrepresented here. When I met and talked with Mike at Canzine, it really confirmed that there was a lot happening in this city that was still underrepresented in the way of self-publishing. He exposed me to a lot of artists doing really interesting work, and we suddenly realized we could put together a fairly sizeable show, using both our contacts, fairly easily.
Ted Feighan, Valley Cruise Press (Los Angeles):
The Valley was a Place We Could Smoke Blunts and Be Creative
Visit exhibitor Valley Cruise Press at the Vancouver Art/Book Fair, October 4 and 5 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
by Chelsea Rooney
Valley Cruise. The name conjures up estival images and verdant views. Washes over you a stain of indolence and laze. Smell the hot pavement. Let’s go for a cruise through the valley. Feel the sun burn your forearm as it rests on the windowsill of the car.
It sounds Angelino, and though the co-founder of Valley Cruise Press, artist Ted Feigan, now resides in Los Angeles, the name—and the press—were in fact conceived by him and artist Ally Quandt in Cleveland, Ohio. On a summer day in 2013. In a location where all creatives (outside temperance) have been coming up with hip and energetic ideas for generations: the patio of a bar in the summertime. Drink in the day.
The name was both conceived in and inspired by Cleveland. The valley of Valley Cruise Press refers to a lush forest where Feighan and Quandt spent the days of their youth. A string of Metroparks hugs the Rocky River whose mouth opens into Lake Erie. Like most Midwest cities built for production, Cleveland bore—bears—the brunt of deindustrialization and recession. “In a rust belt city like Cleveland, often times kids are in a position where they have to create their own inspiration and experiences because there aren’t a lot of places providing those opportunities.”
And deep in Cleveland’s preserved Emerald Necklace river valley, Feighan and Quandt found the natural hideaway they needed. “The Valley was a place where kids like us could go when we were growing up and smoke blunts and go spray painting or find a place to get together and be creative. It represents the motivation that we both have to make something that is completely our own, which is part of the mentality that encouraged us to create our own label.”
Viniita at the Ennis House, Los Angeles
Viniita Moran, Owl Cave Books (San Francisco)
by Ryan Ming
Artist and bookseller Viniita “Neet” Moran is the founder of Owl Cave Books, a bookshop and travelling library devoted to selling a curated selection of international contemporary art, cultural theory, artists’ ephemera and vintage books—a selection of which will be on view at the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book Fair. Taking its name from a location in the David Lynch TV series Twin Peaks, Owl Cave began in London in 2008 and is now based in San Francisco.
Project Space: How did Owl Cave Books get started back in London, UK, in 2008 and what are you doing now?
Viniita Moran: In 2008 I was invited by my friend Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (then known as Spartacus Chetwynd) to participate in her exhibition at GSK Contemporary at the Royal Academy of Arts. During this time I was also the Bookshop Manager at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, so my working life was complete immersion in contemporary art and theory books. I decided to do a feminist book swap and performance based on The Stepford Wives. Over the course of the three events, so many people came up to me excited about my selection of books and wanting to know what other book-related events I was organizing, and it really grew out of that. It was my way to explore book- and publishing-related ideas that I didn’t see happening other places.
Owl Cave is a travelling bookshop and library, focusing on event-specific and collaborative incarnations. We have never had a permanent retail space; instead, we work with artists, exhibitions and spaces for specific collaborations and then move on to the next project. These can include temporary shops, pop-up libraries, publications and events. We also have an online store and blog, which acts as a kind of archive of the publications we have sold.
In 2010 we relocated to San Francisco, where we have had a number of exciting collaborations with Bay Area artists and spaces, including a residency at artist-run space 667 Shotwell, and a year-long storefront collaboration with Little Paper Planes, which was our longest retail space to date. We’re currently organizing our next collaboration and focusing on building the feminist library. And of course getting ready for the Vancouver Art/Book Fair!
Ryan Smith wearing a shop apron from the now defunct Ho Sun Hing Printing that was located in Chinatown for 104 years
Ryan Smith, Brick Press (Vancouver): Do it Yourself
by Ryan Ming
Ryan Smith, Founder and Operator of Brick Press, presents on do-it-yourself publishing practices that are based on salvaging equipment from closing print shops at 1pm on Sunday, October 5 as part of the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book Fair. Two years ago, in the summer of 2012, I met Smith at his installation project Ryry’s Bodega. In this very small space Smith combined the consumerist sensibilities and aesthetics of an urban convenience store, replete with buckets of Costco candy, disposable lighters, zines and a functioning Risograph printer that he used to produce all manner of printed materials from live music event handbills to whatever passing customers requested a facsimile of. Fast forward two years , and I caught up with Smith to learn more about his practice of sourcing affordable print production/binding machinery and his publishing operation Brick Press.
Project Space: How did you come up with the name Brick Press?
Ryan Smith: I came up with the name Brick Press in 2012. I’d already amassed a small collection of printing equipment and needed a name to publish work under. At that time I was manning my conceptual installation Ryry’s Bodega—an appropriation of a convenience/copy shop. I also was (and still am) working at Foundation restaurant and that’s where I came up with the idea for the name Brick Press. I re-appropriated my logo from the bottom of a veggie bacon box—it is the packaging company’s logo, a stack of cardboard boxes. It also looks like a 3D brick cube. I also associate bricks with graffiti—something I spent many years doing.
Rachel Gontijo Araujo, A Bolha Editora (Rio de Janeiro):
Fortunately Language, Like Fucking, is Not Pure
On Saturday, October 5 at 2pm, as part of the 2014 Vancouver Art/Book Fair, Rachel Gontijo Araujo speaks about working in collaboration with artists and makers from Brazil and around the world in an effort to break open dialogues of what we read, how we read and how books reach us in places where distribution has been historically limited.
by Chelsea Rooney
Think of a bubble. Blown long and large from an oversized wand. Expansion and float. Soap sheen, iridescence. Bob, bob, bob. Pop. Silent to our ears. But it must make some sound. How does the image make you feel? Is there innocence? Elation? Nostalgia? Or something more sinister. For charm of a powerful trouble, like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
For Brazilian writer and artist Rachel Gontijo Araujo, and American writer and artist Stephanie Sauer, cofounders of A Bolha Editora, the bubbles they blew from their wands—a bit of fun Americana whilst completing their MFAs at the Art Institute of Chicago—represent that special indifference to expectation one must possess in order to make art. A Bolha Editora translates into Just a Bubble Press, and Gontijo Araujo envisioned her publishing as “playful and agile, not interested in maintaining the commodity-driven nature of commercial publishing… Bubbles may be small and unassuming, but they have the capacity to create much unease and excitement, as well as cause movement.”
The Part of No Part Catalogue Launch and Reading
Thursday, July 17 at 7pm
221A, 100-221 E Georgia Street, Vancouver
Sun Araw with special guest
Je Suis Petit Chevalier (Felicia Atkinson of Shelter Press)
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 8pm
Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Art/Book Fair 2014
Saturday & Sunday, October 4 & 5, 12-5pm
Vancouver Art Gallery Annex, 750 Hornby St., Vancouver
We are thrilled to announce our line-up for the third annual Vancouver Art/Book Fair, which is now up on our website.
This year, Project Space members will gain exclusive first access to the fair at our Members Only Preview on October 3 from 6 to 8pm. Members will also be eligible to receive limited-edition tote bags, postcards and artist editions featuring work by artists participating in VA/BF. Keep in touch for details and the announcement of the launch of our membership campaign. After the Preview, everyone is invited to join us at the VA/BF Reception at UNIT/PITT Projects, which will take place later that evening at 9pm.
We are also facilitating a parallel series of events, Artists’ Books Week (formerly “Weekend”) from September 29 to October 5, during which Project Space Press will co-host a reading with Real Vancouver Writers Series and Landfill Editions where we will launch Un/inhabited, a new artist book by First Nations poet Jordan Abel that features a text by Kathleen Ritter and design by Tania Willard (co-published with Talonbooks). There is still time to register your artist publishing event as part of Artists’ Books Week (for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Culture Industry and the Propaganda Factory
by Dan Starling
by Stéphane Bernard
Dan Starling is both an international multidisciplinary artist and a sessional faculty member at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. In October of 2012, he began a research residency at Malaspina Printmakers that culminated in the exhibition Dan Starling, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory & the Return of the Repressed that took place from January 4 to February 3, 2013. The show included a series of artist books that progressively reinterpreted Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and a run of 55 successive etchings, hung in a continuous frieze, that adapted the original illustrations for our contemporary context.
Most recently, Starling has made the longlist in the West Coast/Yukon category of the coveted Sobey Art Award and he has released an edition titled The Culture Industry and the Propaganda Factory through New Documents in Los Angeles, which launched on Sunday, July 6.
Project Space: Having both seen your original show at Malaspina Printmakers and read your new book, I am wondering: how does writing relate to your wider artistic practice?
Dan Starling: Through the course of my practice, I’ve used the process of writing in two ways. For a long time now, I have related to writing artistically, in the sense that I have used books as a medium in itself. The book as an object can be engaged with visually by altering it, changing its configuration, by deleting words or by replacing a fictional character with an alternate, historical figure.
Where Does it Hurt?
Cathy Busby, David MacWilliam, Rachelle Sawatsky, Krista Belle Stewart
Curated by Jonah Gray
June 7 to July 26, 2014
Artspeak, 233 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC
by Mel Trojkovic
Where Does It Hurt?, which takes its name from Cathy Busby’s 1996 solo show at The Banff Centre’s satellite gallery in Calgary, is currently on view at Gastown’s Artspeak Gallery, reinvigorating Busby’s exploration of therapeutic analogies in relation to art and artistic encounters. Curated by Jonah Gray, the presented works, by four artists in total, address not only the established methodologies of art as treatment, but playfully allude to the broadly understood (misunderstood?) role and sensitive intersection of art and therapeutic intention.