Thursday, October 6, 2011

zines at Impact

It's taken me a bit to get back to write this up - I wanted to tell a little about the last day at Impact (as for me it was perhaps the most interesting)

I attended the panel discussion 'Reifying zines: a roundtable discussion of the relationship between ephemera and institutions'.... upon entering the room the Anna Poletti (chair for the discussion) handed everyone a special Impact zine created by Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison ... so even before anyone opened their mouths I figured this talk was off to a great start!



(you can see the whole zine beautifully here and read GH and LJ's Impact account here)


Despite making some of my own small 'zine-like' creatures in the past, I'm not all that versed in the ways of zines and zine culture, so I was interested, then intrigued by the round table discussion that followed. Teal Triggs spoke from her academic position of her take on zine culture (Triggs has published 'fanzines'  which we later quite abruptly discovered has not been embraced by all in the zine world...).

Sasha Grishin gave a marvelously entertaining account of how he's been secretly seduced by the zine (I've not heard Prof. Grishin speak before - he is highly entertaining, engaging and knowledgeable - a wonderful public speaker whose passion for his subject matter is clearly evident.... and talk about quotable quotes!) I loved when Grishin explained that 'zines gravitated toward me' but how he thought that having zines in a gallery/institution was akin to 'a crowd of eunuchs at an orgy'.... snort!) At the end of his account Grishin let us know how he has been subversively adding his personal zine collection to the National Library via the archiving of his personal papers (currently being undertaken for posterity by the Library). Onya SG!

And then it was time for the young guns.... John Stevens (archivist and zine advocate - State Library of Vic) and Luke Sinclair (zinester - and primary force behind Sticky Institute) ..... now I must say I got a tad distracted by what I'll call 'the-urban-young-guy-posturing-for-place' thang (and I'm no doubt now showing my ignorance, age and rural heritage) but I think I missed the thrust of both John and then Luke's chats as I increasingly felt alienated by what I increasingly perceived to be a cloistered zine community.  One thing I DID notice was the apparent dichotomy of opposing forces at play in zine-land  - as zinesters seemingly simultaneous craved and abhorred recognition, loved and loathed renumeration..... hmmmmmmmmm - these zine makers are picky little buggers!


At the end of the chat, now feeling like a distinct outsider, I headed downstairs to the very well attended mini zine fair...

I fell into a chat with one zine maker after another and (shock! horror!) actually really liked the guys and gals!

I bought home a few interesting creations...




 



I might not 'get' zine culture and thus feel
purposely excluded from zine-central.... 

but I do like some of the things the ARTISTS are making....





3 comments:

Abigail Thomas said...

oooo I like this, those ones you picked up are fab.

zines are complicated things.... at least to me; they make me uneasy. I do sometimes make artists' books where I use a photocopier and use staples to bind them; now I don't consider them zines, but I suppose some people would, just because of their structure. . . therefore I feel like the work is situated in a space between. its hard to find names, and navigate the zine world.

dinahmow said...

Yes, Abigail, the zine does seem to sit uncomfortably between classifications.
Some people think a zine is anything not made up of traditionally bound signatures!Confusing...

guylaine couture said...

for me, zines are fun to do. I like doing artist book, but I will always make zines.
people don't really no what they are but they enjoy looking at them and buy it. because it's fresh, fun and not very expensive. I see them as a «initiation to artist book» if I can say that...