eShelf is a collection of artists’ online publishing activities and a series of events introducing digital publishing projects, initiatives and resources.
At eShelf, online publishing activities will be collected and compiled into an A – Z online index. There will also be a series of live events hosted at X Marks the Bökship, where publishers can introduce their projects to other publishers and individuals working across similar platforms.
The aims are to:
Introduce a selection of online independent publishing activities
Show examples of creative and experimental uses of online publishing
Bring together publishers working across similar digital platforms
Offer advice and resources available to artists and independent publishers
Tine Melzer, Language Games, project for VerySmallKitchen, 2011
For this event eShelf circulated the following set of questions, that also serve as a useful primer for interrogating a broad range of online projects:
What is the name of your online publication / activity? Can you give a brief description of it? How long has it been going for? How long are you planning to continue for? Why did you decide to go online? Did your project previously exist in another format or is it intended to in another format in the future? How often do you publish? Is it easier or harder than having a print based publication? Do you use eShops to help with your distribution? Do people want to pay for what you are doing? Who is your audience? Are you more aware of them being online? Is there an audience for print on demand publications? How do you promote yourself? Were you influenced by a similar publishing activity and who else is working in a similar way to you? What software / hardware do you use? Do you work with designers / programmers / tech kids to develop the project? What are the costs involved? What things need to be developed to make what you are doing easier? Do you look at other online publications? Can you suggest other projects for the eShelf?
In thinking through VerySmallKitchen in the context of eShelf I present four separate takes:
(1) a scrolling talk-back through recent posts; (2) a non-mesostic nonetheless; (3) a bibliography; (4) VerySmallKitchen as (fictional) character and container.
… the most straightforward way to get a sense of VerySmallKitchen – one consistent with its blog format – is to scroll back through its archives. So we start with this post from Ohad Ben Shimon, the last of a six month residency on the blog which has involved a series of writings, dialogues, images, and video works. Then we have this review of The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard. This new publication from the Library of America is the first time Brainard’s work has been easily available, and I wanted to insert this book into the kinds of contemporary practice on VerySmallKitchen. As well as a review making some of those connections explicit, I also re-printed Brainard’s Wednesday, July 7th 1971 (A Greyhound Bus Trip)…
…Then we get a series of posts which present texts written and first performed for the VerySmallKitchen Evergreen night here at X Marks the Bökship: Leaves, a chapbook by SJ Fowler, as well as texts by Claire Potter and seekers of lice, followed by some new writing by Cia Rinne, a Berlin based writer and artist. I originally contacted Cia after reading her interview with Steven Fowler in 3AM magazine, interested in her separate practices as a minimalist, visual, conceptual poet and as a campaigning documentary maker working with Roma gypsies. So these pieces, whilst belonging to the first practice, were selected after that editorial dialogue, thinking how those two practices connect as well as differ…
…After this we have some projects by Ariel Goldberg, a writer and performance artist in San Francisco, and EDITORIAL, a PDF chapbook by nick-e melville. This was another part of the Evergreen night, and also began as an installation for I AM NOT A POET, an event co-curated by VerySmallKitchen and Mirja Koponen in Edinburgh in August 2011. This is followed by a week long correspondence between Ariel Goldberg and Ohad Ben Shimon, which was published as another one of Ohad’s residency posts. So I think what emerges here is this sense of unfolding dialogues, connections, seeing where projects and discussions go, in different locations, media and over time…
… If we scroll down further we have a preview of an article by Roger Luckhurst from the new issue of Corridor8, which is now published in print. One of the key historical inspirations for VerySmallKitchen has been the editorial work of Richard Kostelanetz in anthologies such as Essaying Essays and Scenarios. So when the UK art periodicals Corridor8 and soanyway.org both published special issues showcasing current artists in relation to RK’s work, I wanted to distribute and promote that on VerySmallKitchen, as well as organise a discussion that took place on March 10 2012 at The Wild Pansy Press Portable Reading Room at the Leeds City Art Gallery, which this post was also an announcement for…
… then going back into March 2011 we have more of Ohad’s residency, which inparticular explored the diary form, self-images and representation of the artist’s lifestyle,
often writing as a further part of other exhibitions and residencies themselves concerned with a live recording of thought and response…
Neil Chapman, from Memo Seven, project for VerySmallKitchen, 2011
… moving on, here, is a gathering of materials around the typewriter in art practice . One of the forms of research the blog has encouraged has been these gatherings of sources, notes, and quotations. Alongside this project was a post on Marianne Holm Hansen’s FOR THE RECORD, a series of images and a dialogue that came out of a conversation in a coffee shop…
Finally, for this sampling, we have a set of materials around A PIGEON, A KITCHEN AND AN ANNEXE: SITES OF ALTERNATIVE PUBLISHING, a show VerySmallKitchen took part in at Five Years gallery curated by Ladies of the Press, which explored past, current and future VerySmallKitchen projects within the present of the exhibition.
This project by Lisa Jeschke and Lucy Beynon was part of the exhibition and is very conscious of its movement between installation, performance and web forms… and here, finally finally for now, is a dialogue with Marit Muenzberg on publishing, which we conducted alongside our jointly published hard copy book Uh Duh by Sarah Jacobs….
TAKE 2: A NON-MESOSTIC NONETHELESS
V:Finding it long and incomprehensible I delete an About statement on the VerySmallKitchen blog and replace it with “connections of reading, writing, language and art practice, inside and outside the VerySmallKitchen.”
E:This foregrounds senses of container and character, being both specific and open-ended, proposing a space whilst not fully aware of either its contents or its architecture.
R:The blog emerges through invitation and its consequences: (1) To people I have worked with, sometimes related to a previous event, and/or sustaining a dialogue begun elsewhere; (2) the invitation itself is the introduction.
Y:Or someone sends me work, and I am the respondent to an invitation. All this mediated through the limitations and possibilities of a wordpress template.
S:There’s something about art and writing, its display and publication, that I seem to find obfuscating. My notes for what I want VerySmallKitchen to do are full of phrases like “presents the work itself.”
M:The right relationship – delete “balance” – of work, ideas, process, context, scene, project, theory, conversation, space, again and again, away from noun in the direction of noun, then away…
A:Who doesn’t want to read work in this way. Who doesn’t want to show work in this way. Presenting avant-garde writing as web norm, like porn or trolls. An old friend gets back in touch and asks in an email:
Are you VerySmallKitchen? No idea what you’re talking about but it looks great.
L:VerySmallKitchen operates on my reading habits. It successfully cultivates a practice of reading widely and closely in specific fields, whilst removing the need to consume others cultural agendas as primary. Or: I read less mainstream art magazines lately.
L:VerySmallKitchen becomes a way of cultivating affinity, articulating specific models of practice that underly and connect related projects, such as AND Publishing, X Marks the Bökship, Intercapillary Space, and the Maintenant reading series and interview project…
I:Which (K) is an attempt to articulate how personal and emotional are our individual definitions and activities of “publishing.”
T:That, really, I am saying “football” and you are saying “oxyrynchus.” Although there are other times when I am saying “oxyrynchus” and you are saying “football.”
C:I’ve been excited to read a study of expanded paperbacks that, in The Medium is the Massage and I Seem To Be A Verb, found a dynamic, text-image, film inspired form for the ideas of Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller. I think a VerySmallKitchen should work in this way…
H:VerySmallKichen is also non-virtual exhibitions, readings, and discussions but the blog is where its mix of work and idea, of individual writer in relation to contemporary and historical contexts (including the blogs own resources and structures), can be most effectively attained.
E:For each short lived magazine or blog, there are others – such as Coracle – that become life long projects. To commit to a project is to move away from other models of doing things, towards a clearer sense of yourself as model and critique.
N:The VerySmallKitchen begins when a space of practice is sensed. This can be understood as a landscape or an architecture, but the only guide to that larger structure is individual writings and art works that demonstrate and propose.
TAKE 3: A BIBLIOGRAPHY
An Endless Supply, Curwen Sans type specimen (An Endless Supply, 2012).
Paul Buck, a public intimacy (a life through scrapbooks) (Book Works, 2011)
Bulletins of The Serving Library #2 (Dexter Sinister, Fall 2011).
Jeffrey T.Schnapp and Adam Michaels, The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan/ Agel/ Fiore and the Experimental Paperback (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).
Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age (Columbia University Press, 2011).
Pierre Joris ed and trans. Exile Is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader (Black Widow Press, 2012).
TAKE 4: CHARACTER AND CONTAINER
A number of writings, by myself and others, offer further perspective on VerySmallKitchen as (fictional) character and container, how this might unfold editorial method and the workings of invitation:
(1)SOME OF THE HARDEST PLACES TO MAKE BOTH EFFICIENT AND BEAUTIFUL, a project for the Swedish webzine Valeveil, which includes:
…talk about a trafﬁc ﬂow nightmare!
The fridge is big
and the stove is in the wrong place so you have …
…talk about a trafﬁc ﬂow nightmare!
Most of these kitchens
are not really small. … Ahh….. in my area,
really small kitchens!
my kitchen is very small, but that doesn’t mean …
very little kitchen best small kitchen very small
very small kitchen ideas
(B)A text by Ladies of the Press on the figural (jam-) notion of a Very Small Kitchen:
Necessity for selection, cannot have 100s of jars of jam if you have one shelf and one table, one chair one spoon, plate, cup and so on. This is what you might end up with if you use Haiku as inspiration for interior design. Economy of means. And intimacy. How many of us can actually fit into a very small kitchen at any one time? It says something about the type of relations that contingently have to happen in a very small kitchen. And activities. Like cooking, eating, and talking.
So far the eShelf alphabet is:
A new project is added each day.
NOTE: This post was written as an announcement for the night at X Marks the Bökship on 9th May 2012. It is also VerySmallKitchen’s preparation and script/score for the presentation itself, where, as with other eShelf projects, a talk is accompanied by the websites projection on the wall of the Bökship…
Now visit the eShelf.