How is the project operated?
We are a not-for profit, artist-run program that emphasizes removing ourselves curatorially and editorially as much as possible. We want to provide artists freedom within a specific set of parameters, specifically the book format; further, we’re producing a book that is generic while emphasizing non-design so as not to distract from the vision of the individual artists with whom we work. Still, it is essential that we also maintain a coherent overall structure for the project. It is publishing on a small scale. And our books are more closely aligned with a box of inkjet prints than the craft of artist’s books. I have to admit, that I’m more interested in cinema than alternative binding techniques.
How long has it been in existence?
We started the project in 2009. 2013 will be our last year of inkjet printing small editions. Our plan is to shift our operations to offset printing survey books. We want to keep the project shifting, changing. We don’t want things to get so precious that we can’t alter the formula. Imagine, for example, if McDonald’s changed the Big Mac special sauce every two years. It might not be good for business but it would be great for a surprise.
What was your motivation?
As artists ourselves the motivation was simply to provide an opportunity for our fellow artists to produce art in book form and potentially expand their audience. We wanted to take a gallery exhibition paradigm and apply it to artists books.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Two founders [Ruben Nusz and Scott Nedrelow] and an additional crew of four people. Shout out to Brittany Nelson, Alyson Coward, Eric Ruby, and Kelly Firelis.
How are programs funded?
We’re funded by sales of books and by our own checkbooks. It’s quite difficult to make money at this, especially when we’re releasing some work for free (our book with photographer JoAnn Verburg is available only on the ipad and there is no charge to download it).
Who is responsible for the programming?
Ruben Nusz and Scott Nedrelow. We’re just a couple of artists who love books.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
We release on average around 4 books a year.
What kind of events are usually organized?
The book is the event. All books are events. Every time I open a book I feel like its a mini-bar mitzvah.
How is your programming determined?
Our emphasis is on artists from Minneapolis but we’ve worked with artists from around the world (Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, New York, LA, etc…). It’s hard to say where our programming decisions come from. At one point an aspect of our criteria had to do with choosing artists that could fully capitalize on the inkjet printing technology that exists at the heart of our operation.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Yes. Always. But it takes us years to act on them. I’m a painter so I work at a glacial pace. This doesn’t always agree with some people. But I find hastiness breeds sloppiness (which runs in opposition to poetry).
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Artistically, we love other artists. This culture, this group, our brothers and sisters help us along in the struggle. Each artist we work with provides a potential path on how to make things, how to think and ultimately how to live in this world. As curators we are non-curators. We’re not smart enough curate. We’re more like voyeurs. Or maybe a sports analogy might be better, basketball: we’re more like mediocre point guards. We just give the rock to the guys or gals who know how to score points. Then we stand at the top of the key and watch in awe.
What’s working? What’s not working?
What’s working: the printers.
What’s not working? Some more money would be great.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We just want to be a part of the community here. Minneapolis is a great town full of fantastic institutions/non-profits. We’re just happy that we’re no longer sitting at the kiddie table.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
I try not to think about the future. If one extends the thought too far one falls off into the abyss. Better to focus on the here and now. Though, I’ll take this opportunity to say that we have books we’re releasing in 2013 with artists Tetsuya Yamada, Rodrigo Hernandez and Jessica Ashley Nelson.
Image courtesy of Location.