Michalis Pichler (Ed.)

Publishing Manifestos

Manifestos by artists, authors, editors, publishers, designers, zinesters explore publishing as artistic practice.

Independent publishing, art publishing, publishing as artistic practice, publishing counterculture, and the zine, DIY, and POD scenes have proliferated over the last two decades. So too have art book fairs, an increasingly important venue—or even medium—for art. Art publishing experienced a similar boom in the 1960s and 1970s, in response to the culture’s “linguistic turn.” Today, art publishing confronts the internet and the avalanche of language and images that it enables. The printed book offers artists both visibility and tangibility. Publishing Manifestos gathers texts by artists, authors, editors, publishers, designers, zinesters, and activists to explore this rapidly expanding terrain for art practice.
The book begins in the last century, with texts by Gertrude Stein, El Lissitsky, Oswald de Andrade, and Jorge-Luis Borges. But the bulk of the contributions are from the twenty-first century, with an emphasis on diversity, including contributions from Tauba Auerbach, Mariana Castillo Deball, Ntone Edjabe, Girls Like Us, Karl Holmqvist, Temporary Services, and zubaan. Some contributors take on new forms of production and distribution; others examine the political potential of publishing and the power of collectivity inherent in bookmaking. They explore among other topics, artists’ books, appropriation, conceptual writing, non-Western communities, queer identities, and post-digital publishing. Many texts are reproduced in facsimile—including a handwritten “speculative, future-forward newspaper” from South Africa. Some are proclamatory mission statements, others are polemical self-positioning; some are playful, others explicitly push the boundaries. All help lay the conceptual foundations of a growing field of practice and theory.

Contributors: AND Publishing, Rasheed Araeen, Archive Books, Art-Rite, Tauba Auerbach, Michael Baers, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Ricardo Basbaum, Derek Beaulieu, Bernadette Corporation, Riccardo Boglione, Bombay Underground, Jorge Luis Borges, bpnichol, Kate Briggs, Broken Dimanche Press, Urvashi Butalia, Ulises Carrión, Mariana Castillo Deball, Paul Chan, chimurenga, Arpita Das, Oswald de Andrade, Anita Di Bianco, Constant Dullaart, Craig Dworkin, Ntone Edjabe, Zenon Fajfer, Robert Fitterman, Marina Fokidis, Genereal Idea, Annette Gilbert, Girls Like Us, Gloria Glitzer, Marianne Groulez, Alex Hamburger, Karl Holmqvist, Lisa Holzer, Mahmood Jamal, Tom Jennings, Ray Johnson, David Jourdan, Sharon Kivland, Kione Kochi, Kwani?, Bruce LaBruce, Tan Lin, El Lissitzky, Alessandro Ludovico, Sara MacKillop, Steve McCaffery, Jonathan Monk, Simon Morris, Mosireen, León Muñoz Santini, Takashi Murakami, Deke Nihilson, Aurélie Noury, Johnny Noxzema, Clive Phillpot, Michalis Pichler, Vanessa Place, Seth Price, Queeres Verlegen, Riot Grrrl, Allen Ruppersberg, Joachim Schmid, Oliver Sieber, Carlos Román Soto, Paul Soulellis, Matthew Stadler, Gertrude Stein, Paul Stephens, Hito Steyerl, Mladen Stilinović, Katja Stuke, Temporary Sevices, Nick Thurston, TIQQUN, Elisabeth Tonnard, V. Vale, Erik van der Weijde, Eleanor Vonne Brown, Binyavanga Wainaina, Eric Watier, Lawrence Weiner, Eva Weinmayr, Jan Wenzel, Stephen Willats, Gil J Wolman, zubaan.

A vibrant artistic and political publishing sphere has been developing since the turn of the millennium. This long-desired reader, compiled by one of the best insiders of the independent art publishing scene, is not only a valuable document but is itself a manifesto, a call to action to the publishing, artistic, and literary world: it is vital to cocreate the future of publishing.

— Annette Gilbert, editor of Publishing as Artistic Practice

Here, finally, is the manifesto that we’ve been waiting for. Michalis Pichler’s provocative question to innovative artbook and zine publishers about their felt need to make books generates an array of important responses, including a very interesting reflection on the personal and political implications of self-publishing. Along the way, the volume provides a useful overview of some of the most vital independent artists operating today.

— Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity

Wow—this dense anthology is a mega- and meta-artist’s book in its own right; indispensable reading for radical artists’ publishing practice. It’s all in here: hard work  commingled with fun play!

— Max Schumann, director of Printed Matter, Inc.


— Lawrence Weiner, artist