July 15, 2020 - Open? - 2020 Russian Federation Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Voices (towards other institutions) #7 / Elise By Olsen
e-flux Architecture
July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020

Open? - 2020 Russian Federation Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Elise By Olsen, "Pocket Pamphlet". Design: Morteza Vaseghi.

Voices (towards other institutions) #7 / Elise By Olsen
Pocket Pamphlet

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“Publishing is by all means a form of architecture,” writes editor and publisher Elise By Olsen in the preface of her “Pocket Pamphlet”.

Open? - the 2020 Russian Federation Pavilion has invited By Olsen to contribute to “Voices (towards other institutions),” a collection of interdisciplinary contributions and perspectives into new ways of thinking about and building institutions.

By Olsen responded to the invitation by creating a foldable one-sheet, zine-friendly, pocket-sized publication, for which she invited six fellow contemporary publishers who are constantly challenging the traditional institution of publishing.

Featuring Cecilia Dean, co-founder of VISIONAIRE; Kirill Rozhentsov, editor-in-chief of syg.ma; Yusuf Hassan, publisher of BlackMass Publishing; Isabelle Graw, publisher of Texte zur Kunst; Paul Soulellis, founder & publisher of Queer.Archive and Olu Odukoya, publisher of Modern Matter & Kilimanjaro.

Created by Elise By Olsen and designed by Morteza Vaseghi as part of their joint venture ECUDORP.

Below are some extracts from Elise by Olsen’s "Pocket Pamphlet". To download the zine, click here.

From Elise By Olsen’s preface to the "Pocket Pamphlet":
“Paper publishing is in many ways the ultimate manifestation of many of the values arising amid this pandemic: attention, dedication and patience. What’s the enduring appeal or meaning of materiality, of the physical object, the time capsule, the artifact right now? Print media and the values it inhabits have been somewhat neglected in the context of the internet. Amid this ongoing viral pandemic, most of us have been completely immersed in the digital sphere and exposed to short-lived content, click-bait headlines and fast-food journalism on a scroll—formed by the ‘quantity over quality’ mentality that has imprinted the domain of digital media. As an antidote to this, printed matter is loaded with collectibility, stackability and longevity which allows us, as readers, to wrestle with our attention span, and for once fully retreat to something substantial.”

From the conversation between Elise By Olsen and Kirill Rozhentsov, the St.Petersburg-based editor-in-chief of the online platform syg.ma (400k views per month):
–“How do you understand the idea of publishing as architecture? As a publisher, do you see this framework that you exercise your creativity within as liberating, or as claustrophobic?”

–“This open structure of syg.ma can be understood as an architectural blueprint which lays out specific ways to create, distribute or consume content. I find the opposition between liberty and limitation highly problematic. I still call myself editor-in-chief although I don’t hold ultimate power over which article gets published. Me and my colleagues devise and put content in a system of filters that regulate distribution. I imagine syg.ma as a system in a metastable state which definitely requires a lot of engineering thinking.”

Elise By Olsen is a Norwegian editor and publisher working within the realms of art, fashion and media. She founded youth culture magazine Recens Paper at age 13, where she held the position of editor-in-chief until her resignation in 2017. In 2018, she debuted her new fashion commentary publication Wallet, for which she now serves as editor-in-chief. With an expansive list of various projects, she has collaborated with institutions and brands such as Prada, British Fashion Council, Google Arts & Culture, Business of Fashion, TEDx, Central Saint Martins, Gucci, Facebook/Instagram and Thaddaeus Ropac.

Open? - 2020 Russian Federation Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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