Urgent Publishing After the Artist’s Book: Making Public in Movements Towards Liberation

logo: THe 2021 Contemprary Artists' Book Conference
Instagram post reading: Redistribute that wealth cabc
Redistribute that wealth
Institute for Expanded research
Institute for Expanded Research
Paul Soulellis wears a colorful baseball cap and clear rimmed glasses with a short red beard
Paul Soulellis

Event Info

Publishing has always been political, but has it ever felt as urgent as it does right now, in the global distress and intersecting crises of the past year? There’s a desperate need for new language to express publishing’s renewed urgency and importance. We need new forms of discourse to get at what it means to create and share content outside and against capitalism, at ever-rising levels of crisis. Existing models of independent and artistic publishing provide inadequate support for those engaged in the most radical and experimental modes of urgent sharing and making. We need to depart from the familiar language of graphic design, the history of artists’ books and book art, and the debilitating economics of art book fairs, the art world, and the academy. Instead, let’s locate urgent publishing in another place, in relation to collapse, failure, mutual aid, and collective care. This newly located understanding of urgent publishing resists definition; it may not look or feel like publishing at all. And while urgency is certainly central to this proposal, we will question whether the term publishing itself is even relevant. How do we characterize our current condition of collective making and sharing? What is urgent publishing today? Drawing upon decades of radical, anti-capitalist thinking and collective action, including specific moments of interference within the movements towards Black, feminist, and queer liberation, let’s turn away from old, legacy publishing models towards something new: an ethics, craft, and politics of urgent making.

Founded in 2008, CABC has been a long time programing partner of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs. This year CABC will be presented as part of Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair.

View the recording of this session here:

Link to the slides for this presentation: https://soulellis.com/writing/feb2021/

Risograph publication of Urgent Publishing After the Artist’s Book: Making Public in Movements Towards Liberation by Paul Soulellis, designed by Be Oakley for purchase via GenderFail

For more information about CABC and other conference sessions click here.

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