e-flux book co-op
e-flux book co-op at the New York Art Book Fair
September 30–October 3, 2011
Preview: Thursday, September 29, 6–9 pm
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
Long Island City, NY
Costly and often monopolistic approaches to the distribution of art books has resulted in a situation where it has become common for not only the author, but also the publisher to receive little to no revenue for a book’s sales. As a possible alternative, e-flux is pleased to present the book co-op: a mobile bookstore of over 600 titles on contemporary art, theory, and criticism from over 100 international art centers, artist-run spaces, and independent publishers. Housed in a refurbished aluminum Airstream trailer, this temporary model for more equitable distribution in art publishing will display and sell books on behalf of the co-operative’s member institutions.
The book co-op trailer will live in the PS1 courtyard throughout the duration of the 2011 New York Art Book Fair, after which it will embark on an international tour of contemporary art venues.
Join us at PS1 on Saturday October 1, 12 noon for the New York launch of Are You Working Too Much? Post-Fordism, Precarity, and the Labor of Art, the fourth in the e-flux journal reader series published by Sternberg Press. To mark this occasion, W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) will present a live reading followed by a self reflexive Q+A; and Liam GIllick will read from Construction of One: A Manuscript (2011), an unpublished text on the progressive working practices deployed by Volvo factories in the early 1970s.
98weeks : Architectural Association / Bedford Press : Arsenal Gallery : Artspace : AS220 : BAK, basis voor actuele kunst : Ballroom Marfa : BAS : Bergen Kunsthall : Berliner Künstlerprogramm / DAAD : Bielefelder Kunstverein : Brumaria : CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo : CASCO—Office for Art, Design and Theory : Casino Luxembourg—Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg : CDA-Projects : Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) : Cultural Center of Belgrade : DeLVe, Institute for Duration, Location and Variables : Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane : EACC—Espai d’Art contempoarani de Castello : Eastside Projects : Fillip / Motto : Fondazione March : Fondazione Nicola Trussardi : Foreman Art Gallery of Bishopʼs University : Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic : Gallery Nova / WHW : Grazer Kunstverein : IASPIS : ICA Sofia : Ikon Gallery : Independent Curators International (ICI) : Index, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation : Kadist / Kadist Paris : Kim? : Kölnischer Kunstverein : Kumu Art Museum : Kunsthalle Basel : Kunsthalle Bern : Kunsthaus Bregenz : Kunsthaus Graz : Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein : Kunstnernes Hus : Kunstverein Hamburg : LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries : Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers : M HKA : MACBA : MAMbo-Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna : Master in Visual Arts, Faculdade Santa Marcelina : Maumaus, Escola de Artes Visuais : Milton Keynes Gallery : Moderna Galerija Ljubljana : MUMA, Monash University Museum of Art : Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia : Museum of Contemporary Art Serralves : NKV, Nassauischer Kunstverein : MNAC, National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest : NBK, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein : Nottingham Contemporary : OMMU : Pavilion : Pavilion Unicredit : Pori Art Museum : Portikus / Städelschule : Postgraduate Program in Curating, Zürich University of the Arts / Whitespace : Press to exit project space : Project Arts Centre : Publication Studio : Rakett : READ Books, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art and Design : REDCAT : Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten : SALT : Salzburger Kunstverein : Sarai-CSDS : Serpentine Gallery : Shedhalle : split/fountain : Sternberg Press : Stroom den Haag : The Books : The New Gallery : The Power Plant : The Renaissance Society : Traffic : Van Abbemuseum : Vitamin Creative Space : Walker Arts Center : White Flag Projects : Wysing Arts Center : Zachęta National Gallery of Art and others.
For further information please write to Laura (at) e-flux. com
41 Essex Street
NY, NY 10002
T +212 619 33 56
- book co-op at the NYABF
E-flux Talks About the book co-op at the New York Art Book Fair
E-flux’s book co-op is a mobile home for publications from over two hundred art institutions across the world. It will be presented at the New York Art Book Fair, which opens today and runs through the weekend at MoMA PS1. I aksed e-flux for more information about the project:
Costly and often monopolistic approaches to the distribution of art books has resulted in a situation where it has become common for not only the author, but also the publisher to receive little to no revenue for a book’s sales. The book co-op was initiated as a way to bring together and give greater access to an array of contemporary art publications being produced by museums, foundations, residency programs, artist-run spaces, and universities all over the world. It was formed to offer these publishers the opportunity to make their titles public without having to follow the traditional routes provided by distributors, and to experiment with publishers to create a platform where the responsibilities of distribution and access are shared.
The members of the book co-op represent a good majority of the e-flux journal network, a group of over 200 varied contemporary art institutions who print and locally distribute the e-flux journal. When forming the project earlier this year we invited all journal network members to participate. New members of the book co-op have been added to the initial group since announcing the project’s presence at the NYABF last week, which is great.
We first presented the book co-op at Art Basel this summer as part of the Kopfbau, a larger e-flux project which saw us occupy an old Art Basel office slated for demolition. We took a few of the offices, demolished a couple of walls to make a large rectangular room with wall to wall, almost floor to ceiling books on two sides. Each member of the co-op had a few shelves for their books. We made some chairs from the materials found in the building for visitors to use and browse books. So the room became a pop-up library or meeting place; sometimes it was busy with a book launch event, the next it was quiet with people taking a break from the fair while browsing a few titles. People were really curious about what was going on so we did a lot of talking about the project and they often stayed to browse for quite a while. It was great to see people pull books from the shelves and say look, this is the book by this artist I was telling you about, or the exhibition we saw in so and so, or wow, I’ve been looking for this for ages but haven’t been able to find it anywhere; making connections that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
How does the co-op work? It’s really simple. Each member sends us a selection of around 5–8 titles and we sell them on their behalf at the price requested. We return sales less a tiny amount, which the book co-op retains for operational costs. So there’s a lot of trust involved, especially so when we first began developing the project.
The co-op is a perpetually roving project, but it may eventually find its way back to New York after it’s been on a world tour. After the fair it’s going to stay in New York until the beginning of next year, when it will begin the tour, starting on the East Coast of the US. We’ll keep you posted on the schedule!
Ten Things Not to Miss at this Weekend’s NY Art Book Fair 2011
MoMA PS1 is looking especially sharp this weekend as the hungry masses—the kind voracious for aesthetically refined and cutting-edge printed material—descend on the museum to find exactly what they’re looking for and much, much more. The New York Art Book Fair (through Sunday) consists of over 200 stands representing international art book publishers, periodicals, zines, and the like. All of this in addition to myriad speakers, book signings, and events makes for a satiating—and splendidly overwhelming—weekend in Long Island City. Visit and browse away, by all means, but here are ten things to keep an eye out for…
Stationed inside a refurbished aluminum airstream trailer in the museum courtyard is the e-flux book coop, which contains over 600 book titles from a cooperative of over 100 art institutions around the world. The tiny space contains a wealth of titles you’re unlikely to found elsewhere, and proceeds go directly the institutions and authors.
Tauba Auerbach, who showed a mesmerizing series of “fold paintings” at the 2010 Whitney Biennial, is the keynote speaker at this year’s NY Art Book Fair conference. She’ll be speaking about herforays into art bookmaking on Saturday at 2pm. Some of her books can be found at Paula Cooper Gallery‘s stand.
Printed Matter, the Chelsea art book mecca and organizer of the fair, is showing an exhibition of artists’ photography books. The exhibition takes a chronological look at photography as a strategy in the art book. You’ll find editions from Sol LeWitt and Ed Ruscha, amongst others.
With the Piracy Project Book Room, London-based publishers AND fill a room with books from around the world that are pirated—either through unlicensed reprinting or full-on interference with content—in explorations of creativity and originality that “sit not in the borrowed material itself, but in the way it is handled.”
The Werkplaatz Typografie, a visual arts masters program in the Netherlands, presents for the first time the Mary Shelley Facsimile Library in which students show books that they’ve bootlegged in a manner consistent with their research and practice. WT is located in a cozy corner room filled with delightfully kitschy furniture and decoration borrowed from a Bed-Stuy apartment. To add to this pleasant domesticity, refreshments are served.
Brooklyn-based artist David Horvitz will be hosting a sneaky little talk called “Confessions of a Book Thief” Sunday at 6pm. BYOB and your thoughts on making away with free books (all irony intended).
Canadian photographer Ryan Foerster is hosting a Zine Swap all weekend in the museum courtyard. There’s sure to be fertile selection of raw artist material. Bring a zine to exchange.
In the third floor hallway there are a ton of previous editions of Showpaper—the bi-weekly art poster that lists all-ages shows in New York—available for the taking. They’ll also be throwing an hour-long concert featuring five bands at 3pm on Sunday.
Because a $200 annual subscription to The Thing is out of reach for most, it’s worth checking out their stand at the fair. The quarterly periodical mails out functional objects conceived of by creatives. The last issue was by James Franco, and one by Dave Eggers is slated for later this year.
Roe Etheridge will be signing the monograph from his recent show Le Luxe while Joel Sternfeld signs copies of his new book First Pictures, tonight at 6pm. This is an impressive pairing of photographers, and they’ll be sitting at the same table. Of course, this is only small sampling of the panoply of stands and events at this weekend’s NY Art Book Fair, a sensory overload for those keen on their visual sense.
Highlights From The NY Art Book Fair
It’s decided: artists’ books are the way to go. Opening night, the New York Art Book Fair preview at PS1 was abuzz with bespectacled young and old art professionals and literary types, wandering through sprawling tables and crowded halls. With the mass of cheap zines requited to an outdoor tent in front of the museum, I was bankrupt before I even entered the building. I’ll be returning to see more of the fair — it’s impossible to see all of it in only a couple of hours –but here are few last minute highlights for those attending today.
E-flux has parked a winnebago in front of PS1/MoMA’s steps. Inside, their book co-op hosts a large collection of art books from independent sellers, artist-run spaces, and international art sellers. In the tent directly behind the e-flux think tank, are very wide range of zines . These include, from adjective/noun, a literary zine made by a senior at Brown, Cinders, a gallery in Brooklyn that shows, among other things, handmade books and our favorite well-established gay magazine, Butt. A sentiment often voiced inside this space ran something to the effect of, “Make books! You can actually sell these things!”
Semina — first floor conference room
Wallace Berman’s collective publication “Semina”, displayed on walls and in glass cases, marks what is perhaps the beginning of zine culture. A collection of images and words submitted by a tight-knit group of artists defined the publication, each arranged so as the viewer could rearrange as he/she pleased. The magazine ran from 1955-1964, and while hard to read beneath the display, it isa fitting prelude to the zine boom outside. There’s a great piece on Semina Culture here.
Sharing the conference room with “Semina” are Andrea Francke and Eva Weinmayrr of “The Piracy Project.” The project put out an open call for artists to send pirated books, and the altered publications were placed on the shelves of the library. This is related to book pirating in Peru, where chapters and endings may be altered to texts without the readers’ knowledge. For example, artist Simon Morris randomly rearranged the words in one of Freud’s texts in a piece titled “Re-writing Freud” and reprinted it with the original cover (a sample sentence reads “distortion of Now of own the Love confusion.”) The project became an investigation into copyright issues, which are obviously, very relevant to zine culture and photography.
Andrew Roth, Inc. – third floor, Room M
The punk room on the third floor of PS1 is a wall of fanzines, mapping out the progression of D.I.Y. culture over the course of ten years. Toby Mott of Andrew Roth, Inc. calls them “artifacts” and displays them as such. Each rest in plastic sleeves that hang over the words “WE ARE THE WRITING ON THE WALL.” The corresponding book is concise and elegant; it is simply a chronological collection of fanzine cover images that map a steady aesthetic transformation and cultural change. It’s hard not to wonder if the zine is inherently short-lived, given this post-mortem display of punk fanzine culture and Wallace Berman’s now defunct “Semina” highlighted earlier in this post.
I’m going back to see Little Big Man again, just beyond the punk room, in Room N, on the third floor. They publish photography books which use sequential images to tell a narrative particular to a book format. Surf Riot is a lush, large series of photos in which the artist used only one roll of film to document a riot. The lighting and composition of each photo amounts to a cinematic experience. Sensitivity to such viewing, which can only happen through publishing, was a particularly compelling element throughout the fair.
Today I am excited to see The Martha Wilson Source Book on the third floor at the Independent Curators Int’l (ICI) table, followed by her panel talk scheduled for Sunday at 1 P.M. in the Conference Room. The pioneering feminist artist will be discussing her performances, video, and photo-text compositions, and the book documents decades of her art-related research.
Going Through the Stacks at the 2011 New York Art Book Fair
Now in its sixth year, the New York Art Book Fair, which takes place at MoMA’s hipper sister in Queens, PS1, from September 30 to October 2, features more than 200 exhibitors from Ireland to South Korea. Presented by Printed Matter, the fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, contemporary art catalogues and monographs, art periodicals and artist ‘zines. Exhibitors include international presses, booksellers, antiquarian dealers, artists and independent publishers from around the world. As a person susceptible to panic attacks, it is sensory overload city.How did I make sense of this mass convergence of printed matter?
The simple answer is I didn’t. There is just too much stuff crammed into too little space. Yesterday, as I waded through the dense maze of booksellers, I thought of a crowded subway platform in the dead of summer. The air is hot, muggy and gross. Feet get trampled. Asses get pinched. And the crowd shuffles back-and-forth like the zombies from George A. Romero’s classic film Night of the Living Dead. I saw just as many sodden armpits as books. Frankly, the endurance and wherewithal of the vendors surprise me. If I had to be sequestered in a cramped windowless room for three-days, I’d lose my mind.
Despite this minor unpleasantness, I enjoyed the fair. It offers lots of eye candy, and I have a sweet tooth. Many exhibitors transform a section of wall or scrap of floor space into engaging temporary exhibitions, which feature paintings, drawings, photographs and neon signage. Below are some of my favorites.
The Schoolyard is a gigantic pop up tent crammed with international artists and zinesters.Butt Magazine has a table in the tent. If you like pictures of naked male construction workers, day laborers, firemen or sanitation workers, this is the place for you. Scott Hug’s K48 is in the tent as well. K48 is publication-as-synthesis, embracing music, fashion, art and design. e-flux’s Book Coop, which is parked in the museum’s courtyard, is a mobile home for publications from over two hundred institutions across the world. If you can’t find it, look for the New Jersey license plate. Established in January 1999 in New York, e-flux is an international network which reaches more than 50,000 visual art professionals on a daily basis through its website, e-mail list and special projects.
We Are The Writing On The Wall is located on the third floor as part of the book fair’s exhibition program. It is a special exhibition of a hundred vintage British Punk fanzines. Expect to find images of Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, UK Subs, Wire and The Exploited and more.
Francis Van Maele has run REDFOXPRESS in the west of Ireland since 2000. In his silkscreen studio he prints limited hand printed editions. He makes his own artist books and publishes a very successful collection of visual poetry and flux named “C’est mon dada.” He has a lovely arrangement of Polaroid photographs pinned to the wall behind his stand.
John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is an art gallery and rare bookshop. The gallery exhibits work by a variety of contemporary masters, such as David Levinthal, Brigid Berlin, Peter Dayton, and Mary Ellen Mark. The bookshop emphasizes materials related to 20th century avant-garde movements, from Bauhaus to Punk.
Founded in 2010 by artist Paul Chan, Badlands Unlimited publishes and distributes eBooks, paper books and artworks in digital and print forms. For this fair, Badlands premiered Poemsby Yvonne Rainer, a collection of never-before-published poetry by one of America’s greatest living artists.
EAI (Electronic Arts Intermix) presents 40 Artists/40 Works/40 years, a screening in the Basement Vault. Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Iintermix (EAI) is the leaning nonprofit resource for video art. Expect to find rare concert footage of D.C.’s Minor Threat.
Motto started in 2007 as a distribution company for Switzerland, specializing mostly in magazines and fanzines. mono.kultur concept is as beautiful as it is simple: one issue contains one interviewer with one artist, no more no less.
Bongout is Berlin-based independent artist-run space and art publishing company. Artist duo Anna Hellsgard and Christian Gfeller operation a design studio, a retail store, and a silkscreen atelier. One of my favorite books on sale featured hand-painted movie posters from Ghana.
Since 2007, Lubok Verlag has published orginal graphic books and linocuts by international contemporary artist. Printed in large editions from the original plate on old letterpress machines, Lubok books try to make graphic art available at affordable prices. If you have time, I implore you to revisit James Turrell’s site-specific installation “Meeting.” The work is composed of a square room with a rectangular opening cut directly into the ceiling. As I sat in the room, I watched the clouds overhead unfurl, dissolve, break apart and tumble across the afternoon sky. Like a Quaker meeting room, the chaos of the outside world recedes into the distance as the power of G-d is revealed. And then a baby enters the room to destroy the silence.
The New York Art Book Fair took place at PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens) from September 30 to October 2.