Big Rock Candy Mountain
Hannah Jickling, Helen Reed & Vanessa Kwan (Vancouver)
Big Rock Candy Mountain is a flavour incubator and tastemaking think tank with elementary school students in East Vancouver. The project takes its name from a folk song that has been revised and rewritten countless times over the past hundred years to reflect a comic utopia, where we hear a “…buzzin’ of the bees in the peppermint trees, ’round the soda water fountains.”
BRCM is a world where adults and rationality no longer define the rules and limits of what is possible. Here, the school is privileged as a kind of (candy) factory, engaged in a wide range of productive capacities and processes. Focusing on serial output, BRCM explores chocolate bar production as form of publishing and the circulation of weird confections as untapped components of public practice.
Hannah Jickling experiments with the possibilities of form, participation and meaning-making across disciplines and publics. She frequently collaborates with Helen Reed, whose artistic practice explores her interest in participatory culture, affinity groups and fantasy-based subcultures. Vanessa Kwan is an artist and curator whose current projects include Jickling and Reeds’ public artwork, Big Rock Candy Mountain, situated at Queen Alexandra Elementary School (produced by Other Sights).
Slow & Steady
Eunice Luk, Slow Editions (Yokohama/Toronto)
Artist Eunice Luk founded Slow Editions in 2014 as a publishing platform to collaborate, produce and distribute compelling printed matter.
Working under the basis of slow, each publication is deliberately thought out, designed and often produced by hand. Much of Slow Editions’ oeuvre carefully considers form as an integral part of communicating the contents. Luk discusses her unique way of publishing and modes of production through examples of artist books and multiples.
Eunice Luk is a visual artist from Toronto who is currently based in Yokohama, Japan. Luk has recently exhibited at Printed Matter (New York City), Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff), Koganecho (Yokohama), Art Metropole (Toronto) and Narwhal Projects (Toronto).
Nicole Killian (Richmond, Virginia)
Nicole Killian’s work uses graphic design, publishing, video, objects and installation to investigate how the structures of the internet, mobile messaging and shared online platforms affect contemporary interaction and shape cultural identity from a queer, feminist perspective.
She is interested in the repetition, looping and dissemination of content. In Folder Boulders, she presents on the modes in which she hunts and gathers—ranging from using text from her Twitter language archive to playing with ways that desktop and cloud folders can be opened, closed and shared—and discusses how these modes of research affect both her making and writing as an artist and designer.
Nicole Killian has lectured at Royal College of Art (London), North Carolina State University, ATypi Dublin, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, Maryland Institute College of the Arts, Pratt Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Minneapolis College of Art + Design and the American Comparative Literature Association, where she presented ongoing research, ☾ Sailor Moon☆Glitter Text+Graphic Design ✔.
Her writing was published in the third edition of Terry Barrett’s Criticizing Art, and she frequently contributes to online quarterly WOW HUH. Her essay, “The Aesthetics of Index,” was included in Issue 2 of The Enemy. Her forthcoming essay, “The Emotional Potential of Girls Presented on the Internet as Object,” will be published by Exempt Works in the book Modern Behaviours for Fall 2016. She is currently working on a new essay, “The Transgressive Girl,” for the Journal of Feminist Scholarship to be published in 2017. She is co-editor and designer of ISSUES with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener and is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
A New Paper Economy
Dan Rule & Justine Ellis, Perimeter Books (Melbourne)
In A New Paper Economy, Dan Rule and Justine Ellis introduce the activities of Perimeter Books, Perimeter Editions and Perimeter Distribution—the couple’s integrated model for artist book publishing, bookselling, artist-led projects, community engagement and book-trade distribution.
All the while prefacing some of their most recent publishing projects, the Perimeter team explores the creative and philosophical underpinnings of their endeavours, in addition to hinting at the pragmatic and economic realities of independent publishing in the contemporary context. At its core, the presentation forwards Perimeter’s ideas on publishing as allegory for a creative, independent and international way of life.
Perimeter Books is a specialized bookstore and platform for various art publishing endeavours in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 2011 by Dan Rule and Justine Ellis, Perimeter launched its in-house publishing imprint Perimeter Editions in August 2012 and Perimeter Distribution in April 2013, via which it represents some of the world’s leading art, photography and architecture publishers. Spanning retail, curatorial projects, publishing and a specialized distribution network, Perimeter receives no government funding, no private backing and revels in the luxury of staying small. This completely independent entity has nonetheless become fully self-sufficient and simultaneously acts as both a cultural platform and a small economic engine of its own making.
People of the Book
Ric Kasini Kadour, Kasini House (Montreal)
Courtney Love once said that being a rock star is like being a cult leader—you really have to be in your own religion. In People of the Book, Ric Kasini Kadour shares lessons learned at his creative production company Kasini House through both its successes and its spectacular failures. He also explains how to recruit people to the cult of art books by using performative acts and social practice and why he believes that print publishing will continue to be an important island in the sea of contemporary art.
Montreal-based Kasini House is a creative production company that seeks to make contemporary art and cultural work. Over the past 15 years, it has produced art events, run galleries and art spaces, sold art and art products, and published books, zines and magazines. Kasini House is interested in the challenge of making contemporary art matter to an inclusive audience.
Ric Kasini Kadour is a cultural worker. He is interested in the role of art in the community and how art can impact communities. His practice includes art making, community organizing, writing and publishing. He is the editor and publisher of Kolaj Magazine and Vermont Art Guide, two quarterly, printed art magazines. Since 2006, he has co-produced Burlington and Vermont’s monthly event, First Friday Art. His INSTANT ARTSHOP project took a self-contained kiosk stocked with art products to public spaces (Amish farmers markets, for example) where contemporary art rarely goes. His zines include Art Is Food, How to Price Your Art and Everything That Is Wrong With You & How To Fix It. His newest zine, I’m Calling You Today To… will be released at the 2016 Vancouver Art Book Fair.
Cristian Hernandez, Juli Majer & Tylor Macmillan, DDOOGG (Vancouver)
Cristian Hernandez, Juli Majer and Tylor Macmillan of the Vancouver-based art collective and publisher DDOOGG contextualize their motivations and activity to date, before introducing performances by Chandra Melting Tallow and Aaron Read. New books by the aforementioned artists, published by DDOOGG on the occasion of VA/BF 2016, coincide with the performative dimensions of their respective practices and will be available at the event.
DDOOGG is the manifestation of DOG as the creator. It runs a modular online vitrine and a small Vancouver-based press that publishes comic anthologies, zines and a quarterly journal for freakers. DDOOGG is Cristian Hernandez, Juli Majer and Tylor Macmillan.
Chandra Melting Tallow is a musician and visual artist of mixed ancestry from the Siksika Nation. Her visual art practice explores the relationship between the physical and spiritual realms, and the effects of colonial and intergenerational trauma. Her work has been exhibited in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Istanbul. She is also the driving force behind the music project Mourning Coup.
Aaron Read is an illustrator, musician and comedian working out of Vancouver. He uses felt markers, whiteout, gouache and pen to construct an often decaying but vibrant world in which figuration is used to explore themes of tragedy, mercy, humour and embarrassment.
The Amateur Printer
Alex Durlak, Perish Publishing (Toronto)
Perish Publishing’s Alex Durlak presents the latest version of The Amateur Printer, an ongoing series of printed matter inspired by an essay of the same name from 1949 by Peter Beilenson, the printer, designer and founder of Peter Pauper Press.
The presentation includes a partial reading from the essay and a renewed call for the duties of stylistic experimentation and the exploration of pleasure in print among commercial book printers.
Perish Publishing is a small press based in Toronto. Its focus is on artists’ books by practicing contemporary artists whose content is original to the publication. It seeks to work with Canadian and international artists from all practices and stages of their careers. All of Perish’s books are printed in-house at its print shop Standard Form, which allows it to take on ambitious and experimental print processes. While Perish uses the traditional titles of publisher and editor, its staff members are best defined as curators who liaise with artists to create original works of art in book form.
Cole Pauls (Vancouver)
Tahltan First Nation artist Cole Pauls cross-examines traditional Indigenous art and storytelling with comic books and sequential illustration by highlighting contemporary First Nations comic artists and their work.
While comparing traditional Indigenous regalia and artwork to comic storytelling, Pauls relates the transcription of oral histories though traditional carvings, regalia and paintings to the storytelling that is now being written though Indigenous comics.
David Roeder, Good Press (Glasgow)
Since 2011, Good Press in Glasgow has been a central point for the discussion, production and sale of independent artists’ publishing. Operating out of a small yet dedicated storefront, it continues to support DIY activity through its publishing practice, events and exhibitions, in an approachable and non-hierarchical manner.
One quarter of Good Press, David Roeder, highlights projects of note as well as the highs and lows of its five-year history and the ever important artists and visitors that continue to collaborate and keep Good Press alive.
David Roeder is a Glasgow-based artist born in Eden, Germany in 1987. He studied at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig and the Glasgow School of Art, and his practice incorporates multilayered paintings alongside written, sound and video pieces. He works at Good Press Gallery, runs the independent publishing house Verdrusz Books and plays music with Mordwaffe and Pig’s Nest.
Photobooks & Films
Coley Brown, Silent Sound (Los Angeles)
Coley Brown presents three new photography books published by his press, Silent Sound: Brown’s own Deeper Than Night, a dreamlike exploration of forms within nature when swallowed by darkness; Time of Nothing, Jim Mangan’s vibrant abstractions of extreme landscapes in and around Utah, amplified by aerial perspectives and their inherent colours; and Olaf Breuning, a self-titled compilation of Olaf Breuning’s sharp, slapstick and often sinister earlier works.
The discussion includes screenings of multiple videos that were filmed by each artist in conjunction with their photo series, providing a dynamic window into the bodies of work within the publications.
Silent Sound was started in late 2014 by artist Coley Brown in Los Angeles. Its aim is to release experimental books and projects from both established and emerging contemporary artists and photographers from around the world. Current and previous collaborations include projects by Olaf
Breuning, Peter Sutherland, Jim Mangan, B Thom Stevenson, Corey Olsen and Coley Brown.