Monday, April 14, 2014

Printmaking as claiming space

Amze Emmons has posted a write-up over at Printeresting of the recent Queer Communities in Print portfolio exchange that was exhibited at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery in conjunction with the SGC International conference in San Francisco. Check out the photos! 

Participants included Felipe Baeza, Anima Metalica D.J., BOKA (April Katz and JoAnn Boehmer), Emmy Bright, Ian Cozzens, Jill Fitterer, Thea Gahr/Collectiva Cordyceps, Jennifer Hughes, Graham Kolbeins, Delia Kovac, Jaime Knight, Chucha Marquez, Dutes Miller & Stan Shellabarger, Heidi Ratanavanich & Eileen Shumate, Patrick Reed, Gavin Rouille, Nicholas Shick, Miriam Klein Stahl, Corinne Teed, Mary Tremonte, Lena Wolff, and Meg Turner. You can take a closer look at my piece, 'Socialites', here

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Lament (concerning dimensions)

What is A Lament? It's a unique-edition full-color flexagon zine housed in a Japanese portfolio. Digitally printed on Domestic Etching after a failed attempt at printing on cardstock, it uses collage, handwritten proclamations, and a Wizard-of-Oz color/b&w shift to explore the idea of how 'every other dimension is better than ours except for one.'

The portfolio, which includes a magnetic closure, is covered in black buckram with pastedowns featuring hand-watercoloring and pencil scrawls. The piece's zine-like composition and appearance of haphazard construction contrast with its overbuilt case. I basically wanted it to look like a pile of trash inside a professional shell. Although not practical, it could be editioned, which I might do in the future if there seems to be some unexpected surge of interest.

'How dining alone is a masculine act / and how Laura Riding said that "poet" is a lying word (it is a wall that closes & does not)'

'A weird, impenetrable jumble of morning glories & hedge bamboo. / Loss here is a desirable state.'


'A habitation let down from heaven on golden chains. / The sound of cicadas like a lemon being squeezed.'

A Lament was featured this last January as part of Peripheral Shifts, a UICB-focused group art show at Quad City Arts in Rock City, IL. I'm now trying to figure out how to settle its generic confusion—a non-editioned zine / an underwhelmingly crafted artist's book / a hexagonally-paneled comic / a poem interrupted by texture and color? And that ultimate question: how to make this something that's actually an accessible, readable thing here in this dimension, the one that's worst of all except one?

Monday, March 17, 2014

'Socialites' featured at matchbook

Check out 'Socialites'—the short story I just featured on a letterpress broadside—over at matchbook, a journal dedicated to brief narrative.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New broadside for Queer Communities in Print

I letterpress printed a broadside for the Queer Communities in Print portfolio exchange at the upcoming 2014 SGC International Conference in San Francisco. A limited number are available for purchase at Big Cartel, and you can view the prints made by all the exchange participants at an exhibit starting March 20 at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery

'Socialites' is a short story that revolves around an anachronistic trip to the Vatican by the publicly rich. The piece captures their humanoid sort of disconnect, their simultaneous ignorance and omnipotence, and the naive way in which they're debauched. There is an aesthetic tension between Xerox and fine press (partly because of a bad lockup after a long night at the press!), and between a Futurist/Constructivist geometry and the medieval feel of colors like brown, red, black, and white. Collaged strips of found paper invoke light: sun-bleached cardstock, the gray haze of the photocopier bed, and rows of embossed circles like dressing-room vanity lights. 'Socialites' will also be featured in my short story collection forthcoming from Brooklyn Arts Press.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Story of How All Animals Are Equal

Grist is offering their new issue for only $12 during their Hot Off the Press Sale. Order it at its discount price and read 'The Story of How All Animals Are Equal', a short fiction piece that will be featured in my collection forthcoming from Brooklyn Arts Press

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Think Kinko's

I participated in a panel last month that explored the intersection between zines and artist's books. The panel was titled Out of the Copy Machine, Into the Streets, and was included as part of the programming at the 2014 College Book Art Association Conference in Salt Lake City. I talked about the general bookishness of the work of Raymond Pettibon, and in particular, the sequencing of the drawings in his early zines. My co-presenters included Alexandra Janezic on the thematic overlap between riot grrrl zines and mass distributed women's comics, and Kalmia Strong on alternative printing techniques used in contemporary zines. The three of us collaborated on a zine where we each generated creative interpretations of our research, then mailed the zine (titled Think Kinko's) to the panel's attendees. My contribution—Pettibon-inspired, calligraphic illustrations—are below.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Writing for Visual & Material Genres

I'm really excited to teach a class at the UI Center for the Book this Spring: Creative Writing for Book Arts: Writing for Visual & Material Genres. The interdisciplinary class is for both writers and visual artists, and asks how material and visual forms present, comment on, and/or merge with textual content. In what ways do we balance readability and individual expression when writing and designing published forms? The class will emphasize tactility and mark making, looking at literature as a physical process, as well as a material product. It will explore a variety of book-related genres and media, including broadsides, chapbooks, concrete poetry, comics, zines, and artist’s books.

Above is a poster I letterpress printed to promote the class. I used craft foam, a scratch-negative photopolymer plate, a found copperplate block, and metal type (see the lockup below, thanks to Pamela Olson!).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nothing is hidden . . .

The Compound Gallery's second installment of their exhibition, The Art of Letterpress, opens this Saturday, Nov 9, and it includes a piece of mine. Inspired by the ornamental designs of Bruce Rogers, the piece includes a quote from the alchemist Paracelsus and features an image composed of found metal ornaments: a tree giving birth to a snake who passes an esoteric secret onto a slightly asymmetrical approaching snake. 

The piece is a variation on the page I printed for the forthcoming 2014 Ladies Typographic Union Calendar:

The LTU calendar is a collaborative project between over 15 letterpress artists, and it serves as an annual fundraiser for student-focused purchases at the UI Center for the Book. You can pre-order a copy by emailing ltucalendar at gmail dot com.

The Compound Gallery opening goes from 6-9 this Saturday, and features work from a wide range of artists including Amos Paul Kennedy Jr, Kevin Bradley (Church of Type), Lisa Rappoport (Littoral Press), and more. The gallery is in Oakland at 1167 65th Street.