Set Margins’ publications – Miss Read

Set Margins’ publications

Set Margins’ frames current impulses from the margin. As a critical and creative support structure, a platform for production, a network and publisher, Set Margins’ rethinks and evolves visual communication and forms of cooperation. Set Margins’ mobilizes community, articulates qualities to widen support, and steps up for liberties.
Who can afford to be critical?
Afonso Matos, Who can afford to be critical?, Set Margins' publications, 2022 © Book photography by Annette Behrens

‘Critical Designers’ produced by an increasing number of design schools are prompted to address social, political and environmental issues through their practices. Yet, who can afford to continue such effort after graduation?

​In a dynamic style holding multiple voices, Who Can Afford To Be Critical? discusses the limits that affordability, class and labour impose upon the educational promise of holding a ‘critical’ practice. Why do we tend to ignore the material and socioeconomic constraints that bind us as designers, claiming instead that we can be powerful agents of change? In fact, where does our agency lie?

Instead of focusing on the dream of ethical work under capitalism, could we, instead, focus first on designers’ own working conditions, targeting them as one immediate site for collective action? And can we engage politically with the world not necessarily as designers, but as workers, as activists, as citizens?

The Impossibillity of Silence
Ian Lynam, The Impossibillity of Silence, Set Margins' publications, 2023 © Book photography by Annette Behrens

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF SILENCE is a book for artists, designers and photographers interested in approaching writing about their vocation and culture. Drawing upon decades of experience as a writer, designer, artist and teacher, Ian Lynam offers up a plethora of inspirational and concrete approaches to writing about creative fields.

Can you feel it?
Freek Lomme, Can you feel it?, Set Margins' publications, 2022 © Book photography by Annette Behrens

Hands reaching and feeling, noses sniffing, eyes scrolling: the magic at book shops and at book fairs is also very much a tactile one. But what exactly is the tactile, in a world in which a rising technocracy exploits the designed environment we feel? Who authorizes and who writes, what tradition do we stand in and how can we touch base?

This reader explores how our interaction with printed matter affects us through theory, thoughts, and practices in the field of graphic design, materiality, philosophy, science and art. Although the core of this book rests upon theory and thoughts, with eight writings from scientists and philosophers to a paper-specialist and art writers, this book also compiles practice-based experiments by six international artists and includes animated introductions of printing techniques in the form of fictionalized characters.

Provocations on Media Architecture
Ian Callender , Annie Dell'Aria (Eds.), Provocations on Media Architecture, Set Margins' publications, 2023 © Book photography by Annette Behrens

media architecture/, the field where mia and public space meet, brings up many issues today.

How does media architecture distribute suspicion and trust?

What is a collage of media architecture?

How is media architecture vectored?

How can media architecture address privilege?

These questions -or more broadly, conceptual provocations- aim to challenge the binary of techno-optimism and technological agoraphobia, offering a platform upon which to construct new, critically- and contextually rooted theories upon which media architecture might grab hold.

Intentionally open-ended and dialogical, Provocations on Media Architecture brings together twenty-one thought leaders across architecture, visual arts, design, curation, academia, and public policy to address these ideas and themes. Authors respond with images and brief texts, incorporating the perspective of their own creative and scholarly practice. Entries range from descriptions of relevant artworks and design projects to reflections spawned from first-person encounters with media architecture in situ to scholarly analyses to AI-assisted theory. These themselves transfigure into a set of provocations, supplanting the original questions which inspired their construction, through which to encourage further theory and practice. Across the diverse and at times contradictory arguments and methods employed, new constellations and connections emerge.

Artist-Run Europe - Practice/Projects/Spaces
Gavin Murphy , Mark Cullen (Eds.), Artist-Run Europe - Practice/Projects/Spaces, Set Margins' publications, 2023 © Book photography by Annette Behrens

Since first being published in 2016, this groundbreaking study has become a key text on the subject, a practical tool for those running or wishing to set up artist-run spaces, and a source of research for artists, academics and students, seminars, symposia and publications. This 2nd edition includes an updated and expanded index of artist-run spaces, with the inclusion of 50 additional spaces, and featuring spaces from Ukraine for the first time.

Part how-to manual, part history, and part socio-political critique, Artist-Run Europe looks at the conditions, organisational models, and role of artist-led practice within contemporary art and society. The aim is to show how artist-run practice manifests itself, how artist-run spaces are a distinctive and central part of visual art culture, and how they present a complex, heterogeneous, and necessary set of alternatives to the art institution, museum and commercial gallery.

In a self-reflexive, critically questioning process, contributions discuss and analyse areas such as: What position do artist-run spaces occupy within the field of contemporary art today? Should they stand in opposition to or in parallel to other art-world structures? How is value ascribed to these often transitory practices, and is this value recognised within the field? How are these spaces organised? Can artist-run spaces develop and be sustained without the need to institutionalise? What do artist-run spaces add to the ecology of the civil society? What can we say about future (or hoped for) trajectories?

Includes texts by Jason E. Bowman, AA Bronson, Noelle Collins, Valerie Connor, Mark Cullen, Céline Kopp, Joanna Laws, Freek Lomme, Megs Morley, Gavin Murphy, Gavin Wade, and Katherine Waugh. With case studies of spaces and projects: Triangle France, Transmission Gallery, Pallas Projects/Studios, Eastside Projects, Catalyst Arts, Pink Cube, Secession, Dienstgebaeude, Supermarket, 126 Artist-led Gallery, and The Artist-led Archive; and an expansive and detailed index of artist-run spaces in Europe. and an expanded and updated 40-page index of artist-run spaces in Europe.