Pandemic books week 5: AIDS Conspiracy Theories

We’re now in the fifth week of our pandemic book project. To recap, what we’re doing is producing a public domain, open-copyright, or bootleg edition we haven’t done before and don’t plan to do again in a short run each week, selling it for $10 +shipping, and after paying our costs sending whatever money is left over to an organization that serves vulnerable people in our city.

This week we are examining the social and political role of misinformation during a pandemic, and the terrible consequences, by reprinting a 2000s pamphlet, AIDS Conspiracy Theories by David Gilbert, with commentary by Albert “Nuh” Washington. The book investigates the nature and probable origin of conspiracy theories about HIV and AIDS, and the consequences of those theories namely poorer health outcomes and a higher death rate in Africa and among incarcerated Black people in the United States, and among vulnerable populations in general. Although by this time HIV had been conclusively established as the cause of AIDS, conspiracy theories persisted, often promoted by well-funded “fringe” groups like the Lyndon Larouche organization, with real consequences for public health.

We’re looking forward to an analysis of shadowy actors behind the current COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and the consequences of those theories, when one is published. Until then, there’s this.

We still have a few copies of books from some of the previous weeks of this project. We’re also experiencing the same mail delays as everyone else, but we’re doing our best to fill these orders and get them shipped as quickly as possible. Any small profit left over after shipping costs and supplies will be donated: so far we have made small donations to Carnegie Community Action Project, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Downtown Eastside Womens Centre, and PACE Society. These aren’t big amounts, but this is a way for us to use artistic labour to help meet urgent needs in the community.

Softcover, 4.5×7″, 68 pages, manila cover, black page edge, $10 plus shipping.

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This week’s book is “Saving the World from Democracy”, documents from the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

A book with bright read covers laying on a surface of vibrant green grass. The cover reads in part "'Saving the World from Democracy', The Winnipeg General Sympathetic Strike"This week’s short-run book is a facsimile of Saving the World from Democracy, a publication made by the joint Defense Committee of several labour organizations just one year after the brutal suppression of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. The book contains eyewitness accounts, court transcripts, speeches, and newspaper articles that retell the formation of a coalition of activists, rank and file workers, unemployed soldiers returning from the First World War, and others. Among their demands are many that resonate today.

This is the fourth week of this project, and we’re really happy with the response. We’re making short runs of books that are public domain, open copyright, public property, or possibly just bootlegs. These are books we haven’t made before and don’t plan to make again — once the run sells out, that’s it. Any money left over after paying our costs is going to one of several organizations serving vulnerable people on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. We have been pleased to send small amounts so far to Carnegie Community Action Project, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.

Two notes this week: Canada Post is dealing with abnormally high volumes right now, so shipments are taking longer than normal. Don’t worry, books are on the way (some of last week’s have not been delivered yet). The second note is a content warning: a few of the speeches and newspaper articles quoted in the text of Saving the World from Democracy contain racist language or ideas. While it would perhaps be easy to excuse this by saying “those were different times”, it is important to remember that these words and ideas were part of, or an expression of, an explicitly racist set of social relations whose legacy is still evident today. Thankfully these instances in the book are few; in more than equal incidence the book critiques the xenophobic rhetoric employed against labour organizers and grassroots workers as “aliens”, although this critique is not extended to represent BIPOC workers.

Softcover, 5×8″, 280 pages, red cover, $10 plus shipping.

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The Moccasin Maker by Tekahionwake E. Pauline Johnson

A book with burgundy-coloured cover, titled "The Moccasin Maker" by author E. Pauline Johnson, laying on a mottled stone surfaceThis week’s book is a collection of short prose by Tekahionwake, better known by her English name, E. Pauline Johnson. She is best known for her poetry, and for retelling and publishing a collection of Skwxwu7mesh stories as the book Tales of Vancouver. We have made copies of a 1913 edition of The Moccasin Maker, in burgundy covers, and with black edging.

Tekahionwake was born on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario to an English immigrant mother and Mohawk hereditary chief father. During her lifetime, in spite of frequent publications in Canadian and American magazines, she was arguably better known as a stage performer. Her performances often took place in two act that referenced the duality of her cultural heritage: a first act introducing herself as Tekhionwake (the name of her great-grandfather, who later took the English name Jacob Johnson), and a second act in the persona of a Victorian English woman. She died in Vancouver in 1913, and was buried in Stanley Park.

This week we will donate whatever money is left over after expenses to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. These aren’t huge amounts we’re sending these organizations, but hopefully it all helps. Last week we were able to send a donation to the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House to help their delivery of nutritious meals in the neighbourhood; the week before that we sent a small donation to the Carnegie Community Action Project. There are still a few copies available of last week’s book too! All of these books are very limited runs — once they’re gone, we don’t plan to make them again.

Softcover, 5×7.25″, 248 pages,burgundy cover with coloured page edges, $10 plus shipping.

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Fairy Tales by Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur (update: sold out!)

Last week we said we would be making a short run every week of a title we haven’t made before, and possibly won’t again. We have taken some ends of materials left over from other work to make this week’s selection, Fairy Tales from the French by the Comtesse de Ségur, a copy of an 1859 edition translated by Mrs. Coleman Chapman “and her Daughters”. The Comtesse de Ségur was the daughter of a Russian exile family, and part of the resurgent French aristocracy during France’s Restoration. This volume is a long cycle of episodic stories featuring the same characters, in particular the unfortunate Princess Blondine, who is deceived and manipulated by magicians and evil fairies, but helped and supported by other fairies and enchanted creatures.

This is a very short run with lovely slate-coloured covers. Any small profits from sales of this run of books will go to one of the organizations providing urgently-needed services to vulnerable people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Last week, we donated $30 to the Carnegie Community Action Project from the sales of Frescoes, etc.: Dramatic Sketches by Ouida.

Softcover, 300 pages, 4.5×6.5″, slate grey 80# covers.

Sold out

This week: Frescoes by Ouida (update: sold out!)

books with covers made of rough chipboard paper, showing cover title "FRESCOES etc. Dramatic Sketched by OUIDA" with the work "pseud." written in cursive next to the name "OUDIA". On one of the books can be seen a glimpse of a vibrant pink paper inside the front cover before the book's actual pages.We’re beginning book production again, at reduced speed like everything else these days. We will be in the studio once a week to make a short run of a book from a public domain work, government document, or bootleg file. All of these will be books we haven’t made before and are probably not likely to make again — once they’re gone (at a very reasonable price plus shipping), they’re gone. Whatever small amount of money is left over after production and shipping will go to frontline groups serving vulnerable people in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Frescoes, Etc.: Dramatic Sketches is a collection of short plays by Ouida (Marie Louise de la Ramé), a prolific English novelist of the late 19th century. She was immensely popular in her time, and perhaps as well known for her lavish lifestyle and cultivation of celebrity as for her writing, both of which were considered scandalous and even dangerous by guardians of public morality. Her best-known novels, A Dog of Flanders and Under Two Flags, have each had multiple film adaptations.

Frescoes includes the play Afternoon, in which an aristocrat discovers that the woman he loves and plans to marry is in fact someone he had treated cruelly many years before, and is confronted for his behaviour. Softcover, 318 pages, 5×7″, 16pt chipboard covers. We made six copies, $10 each plus shipping.

Sold out.

#MMIWG report available soon

We produced a few copies of the Executive Summary of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls this past weekend. We’ll be working out a different way to distribute them than we did with the Truth and Reconciliation report, as we had some problems responding to all of the requests for that one. Watch our instagram and facebook accounts, or this site, for updates.

The 2nd Scorpion and Felix Prize

Publication Studio Vancouver is pleased to announce a call for submissions for the second The Scorpion and Felix Prize, a book prize for emerging artists. One artist will be selected by a jury to receive an honorarium of $500 and to have their book published by PSV.

Submissions are due on February 1, 2019

Submissions are open to all emerging artists who have demonstrated an interest in publication as an artistic practice through their work.

Preference will be given to artists who are willing to experiment with the book as a medium while keeping the conceptual and practical frameworks of PSV in mind. PSV will support the recipient to realize their book project by assisting with the logistical considerations for production. In addition to the production of the book, PSV is committed to offering organizational support for the project beyond the publication date. This will include a press announcement, a launch event, and inclusion in the Publication Studio distribution network.

Support from Publication Studio Vancouver

  • Cash prize of $500
  • Printing and design costs of production paid
  • 25 copies of the book for the artist
  • A launch event at PSV
  • Press announcement of publication via PSV’s social media
  • Inclusion in Publication Studio’s distribution network

How to Apply
Applications should be formatted as a single pdf containing all writing, accompanied by image files. Please do not embed images into the pdf (see below). Please include the following information:

  1. Contact Information
    Please include a page with your full name, address, telephone
    number, e-mail address and link to your website.
  2. Description of Project (maximum 500 words)
    Please describe the book you wish to make. Proposals need not be in fully realized form but should be coherent enough to demonstrate
    that the artist has thought through the book project carefully. Please reference any art historical influences and discuss any works that relate to your idea.
  3. Curriculum Vitae, 3 pages maximum
  4. Support Materials

Please include 10 images. They may either be packaged in a zip
folder file labeled with YOUR NAME or else included as a Dropbox link in the body of the pdf

  • size 1440 x 1080 pixels maximum in jpg format, 72 dpi
  • use the following naming convention LASTNAME01.jpg,
    LASTNAME02.jpg …
  • Include an annotated list that describes the images with the
    following information: title, date, medium, dimensions and brief
    description if necessary

All items should be sent as a zip file attachment or downloadable link in a single email to Publication Studio Vancouver, with the subject line BOOK AWARD (YOUR NAME). Emails should not exceed 20 MB.
E-mail: psvancouver@publicationstudio.biz

Unfortunately, due to the expected volume of submissions, we will not be able to acknowledge the receipt of applications, and will only be able to notify the selected applicant.

Timeline
All book proposals must be sent by February 1, 2019. Any applications sent after this date will not be considered. The selected applicant will be notified by March 1, 2019 with the expectation that work will commence in the spring 2019. The book will be published over the course of a year with an expected launch in the fall of 2019.

The Scorpion and Felix Prize is named after an unpublished comic novel written by Karl Marx in 1837 when he was 19 years old. The inaugural prize was given to Tracey Vath, with honourable mentions to Scott Elliot, Alina Senchenko and Bára Hladíková, Stacey Ho and Elisa Ferrari.

Publication Studio Vancouver publishes books on demand, creating original work with artists and writers we admire. PSV is part of a part of an international network of Publication Studios in other cities including PS Hudson (Troy, NY), PS London (UK), PS Glasgow, PS Rotterdam, PS Edmonton, PS Guelph, and PS Sao Paolo. Publication Studio is a laboratory for publication in its fullest sense -— not just the production of books, but the production of a public.

Dirty Money — BC corruption report pay-what-you can bound copies

Want to read the recent BC government report on money laundering, but you’re not crazy about scrolling through a 250-page PDF? Just like we did with the DTES Local Area Plan, Truth And Reconciliation Commission summary, and the Site C Inquiry, we’re making bound hardcopies for you to read.

At our summer residency we’ll be selling these on a pay-what-you-can basis ($15 suggested). That means you can visit us at the Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University (520 East 1st Avenue in Vancouver) and pick one up for pocket money.

Or, if you want to order single copies online, they’re $15 plus a nominal shipping fee. If you want to order a larger quantity for shipping, please email us at psvancouver@publicationstudio.biz and we’ll work out the shipping and printing cost.

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It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox — Summer 2018 residency at Emily Carr University

We’re back in operation again at It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox: Toward New Models of Artists’ Publishing at the Libby Leshgold Gallery. From now until September 16th 2018, we’ll be making books in the gallery (located at Emily Carr University, 520 East 1st Avenue) and participating in talks, panels and workshops. We also have some book launches coming up, starting with the launch of AK04, another zine+tape release from Agony Klub.

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It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox: Toward new models of artists’ publishing

Thursday, Jun 14, 2018 – 7:00 PM – Sunday, Sep 16, 2018 – 5:00 PM

Opening Reception | June 14, 7pm

Join us this summer at the Libby Leshgold Gallery for It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox, an exhibition devoted to exploring publication as an artistic practice. This exhibition marks the first iteration of a new programming initiative, laying the groundwork for the future development of a Summer School for Artists’ Publishing. The Summer School will expand on READ Books’ mission to create a platform and social space for experimental practices in publication by bringing leading local and international artists and practitioners together to present exhibitions, seminars, and public events.

This summer, READ and Publication Studio Vancouver (PSV) will host a series of events including workshops, launch parties, panel discussions, and talks. Participants include: Danielle St. Amour of Art Metropole; Jacquelyn Ross of Blank Cheque Press; Casey Wei of agonyklub; Emma Metcalfe Hurst and Christian Vistan of SPIT; Jonathan Middleton of Distribution Office; Ryan Smith of Brick Press; Louisa Bailey of Publication Studio London; Kristy Trinier of Publication Studio Edmonton; and Patrick Kiley of Publication Studio Hudson. During this time, PSV will be making books in the gallery while interacting with artists, students, and members of the larger public. We will present a diverse range of artists’ publications drawn from Emily Carr University’s Ian Wallace Collection, the Banff Centre’s Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, and from private collections.

It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox is a quotation from John Baldessari’s artist book Ingres and Other Parables (1971). The book is comprised of short stories about the art world and our borrowed exhibition title is the punchline-like moral of “The Best Way to do Art”, a parable about an artist experiencing paintings by Cezanne in person for the first time after only having seen them reproduced in books. Although Baldessari’s sentence is from 1971, it touches on key ideas and issues that artists producing publications—be they digital or paper—continue to consider, work or even grapple with such as audience, circulation, and distribution. Lucy Lippard echoes Baldessari’s maxim in her assertion of primary information, that an artist book is an artwork as such (as opposed to a book about an artwork).

Publication Studio Vancouver has been publishing books and projects by artists and writers they admire since 2010. PSV is part of an international network of Publication Studios made up of studios in cities such as London (UK), Glasgow, Rotterdam, São Paolo, San Francisco, Hudson (NY), Hong Kong, Edmonton, and Guelph (ON). Publication Studio is a laboratory for publication in its fullest sense—not just the production of books, but the production of a public.

READ is an ongoing public program of the Libby Leshgold Gallery. It is a social space for the fostering, cultivation, and promotion of publication as an artistic practice and aims to further the discourse around and support the production of contemporary art and design. READ also serves as the bookstore for Emily Carr University and the wider community.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for announcements and event listings which will soon be posted.

The Libby Leshgold Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

 

Goodbye to Selectors’ Records

pulling the plug on a legendSelectors’ Records closed their doors today after a near three-year run. The brainchild of artist/musician Brady Cranfield and his musician brother Josh Rose, Selectors’ began as a record store and performance space dedicated to electronic, dub, and experimental music. Over time it grew into more of a social space with Publication Studio Vancouver moving in in the summer of 2016 and even a community centre, as at one time Brady moved some of the record bins to the side to make way for Jean Swanson’s 2017 city council campaign office! Yes OK, perhaps record and book sales weren’t as robust as was needed in order to make the steep Vancouver storefront rent, but how cool was it for an experimental record and book space to house the office for Swanson, a candidate with a long-standing commitment to social justice and to fighting homelessness and poverty in the Downtown East Side.

Selectors opened in June of 2015 with a party with DJs Local Artist, Bobby Draino, Robin Banks and Nervous Operator. Since then a long list of artists, musicians, DJs, writers, poets, politicians, and other thinkers presented and performed.

This long list includes: Joseph Gaard, Friendly Chemist, Max McFerren, Nicolas Guerrero, aka White Visitation, Luke Fowler, Sarah Davachi, Joshua Stevenson, Jean-Sébastien Truchy, Black Givre, Charles Barabé, Ross Birdwise, Hazy, S1UGS, Aileen Bryant, Bkiss, Stefan Maier, N.213, Magneticring, Aaron Dae, HRISTO, On High, Tomas Jirku, Chambers, J. Ryan, Marcus Price, Aileen Bryant, Joda Clément, Kevin Schmidt, Sam Beatch, Daniel Majer, Truncate, Derivatives, George Barrett, Crawling Human, forever&sunsmell, Phantom Head Trip, Rinaldo Walcott, Certain Creatures, Angus Tarnawsly, Nathaniel Young, Hom, Sarah Davachi, V.Vecker, Gretchen Snakes, Secret Pyramid, Bastet, Mark. R, Rettir Leinahtan, Crawling Human, burrow owl, Roger “Crooked Walker” Allen, Same Same, Dream Cars, R23X, Fader, Crooked Mouth, C.Diab, Juliane Okot Bitek, Jordan Abel, Cecily Nicholson, Old Girl, Stefana Fratila, Heavy Mellow, Datataste, NAP, Sara Gold, Alex Blumen, Abdallah Taher, Spectrum Interview, Death Drive, Goo, Desolating The Curse, Rusalka, Cost, Tertrad Veil, Terror Apart, Mass Marriage, Niki Ashton, Morgane Oger, Mood Tattooed, S.P. Davis, Serpentent, The Nausea, Gran Am, L.L., Neon Annex, Emma Tomic, Roarke Menzies, Samson Stilwell, Black Market, Hitori Tori, Nathan Marsh, Matt Horrigan & David Storen, Alanna Ho, Jordan Strom, Casey Wei, Rae Armantrout, Anne Boyer, Caconrad, Mercedies Eng, Jasmine Gibson, Lief Hall, Gordon Ashworth, Primordial Wound, MK9, Molena, Patrick Cruz, Kimortal, Opponent Processes, Jean Swanson, Post_NFF, Eric Fraser, Teo Mattress, jijijijijjiij, Geoff Berner, Gram Partisans, Sean Hamilton, John Teske, Chris SW Anderson, Turning Torso, Ivory Towers, Lavender, Marc Kate, Derek Beaulieu, Judith Copithorne, Jamie Hilder, Shyla Seller, Clint Burnham, Chik White, Maskara, Eschatons, Joan Braune, Rob Heenan, John Lotman, Shane Breen, The Now Society Ensemble, Jo Burzynska, Alfred Jarry, Mr. Musebot, Lee Hutzulak, Brady Marks, Daniel Ruiz, Dave Leith, Sour Gout, Ross Birdwise, Dan Potter, Andrew Uma, Jeff Younger, Alexandra Spence, Absorb & Erin McSavvy, Len Paul, Post Drag, Sammy Chein, Tomas V, Michael Rohaly, Stefan Smulovitz, MegaSetMashUp and monthly programs such as Natural Selection with roots/rocksteady/reggae/dub historian Joda Clément and Synched Sundays dedicated to improvised experimental electronic music, organized by Metal Machine.

Selectors’ partnered with diverse groups and institutions such as Sacred Sound Club, Projection Room, UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues, Black Canadian Scholars Series, Music Waste, Quiet City, Institute for the Humanities at SFU, SFU Department of English, Unit/Pitt Projects, and the Western Front.

It is fitting that today, on their closing day, Selectors’ promoted the event Rally for the City We Need to the launch a new political platform, The City We Need, which is spearheaded by Swanson to fight developer-run political parties.

Congratulations and thanks to Brady and Josh. Vancouver will feel the loss of Selectors’, a unique social space that hosted and fostered music, art, poetry, publishing, politics, philosophy, and real-world organizing for change, and that also sold records and books.

Publication Studio Vancouver will carry on but will dearly miss being a part of Selectors’. We miss it already.