Publishing Class II

26 September 2011–25 June 2012 / Casco HQ

Publishing Class is a two year programme designed for the Dutch Art Institute MFA ArtEZ by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, delving into the act of publishing in critical art practice, both as a way to make things public – forming the publicness – and as a form of dissemination beyond time and space constraints. The first year of the programme was facilitated by monthly guests and explored diverse aspects of publishing and its social and political urgency whilst exercising them through a collective monthly artistic journal Spencer’s Island, made by the students themselves.  

The second phase of Publishing Class shifts into individual publishing, as yet implementing different forms of collaboration. The “class” is divided into three groups to operate as small editorial cooperatives. Each group is guided by and works closely with artists Mattin, Falke Pisano and Wendelien van Oldenborgh, respectively. Students from the Werkplaats Typografie also collaborate, further developing the “art and design” relationship beyond any established manner. Three public lectures are scheduled on Thursdays: 20 October 2011, 12 January 2012 and 22 March 2012. These dates also serve as “book launch” occasions. The class concludes with its own launching event in July 2012 and travels to the coming NY Art Book Fair. Publishing Class is curated by Binna Choi and coordinated by Yolande van der Heide. 

PUBLIC LECTURE #1 

20 OCTOBER 2011, 20:00, Dutch Art Institute, Kortestraat 27, Arnhem 
Dutch launch of Casco Issues XII: Generous Structures 
Designers Are From Venus, Editors Are From Mars 
Lecture and discussion by Sam de Groot, moderated by the Generous Structures editors Binna Choi and Axel Wieder 

Casco Issues is a magazine published by Casco, which explores recurring issues that emerge from its programme. It centers on artists’ and designers’ writings and other unconventional forms of publishing. The current edition focuses on “playfulness” as a value in critical cultural practice. As a playful inquiry, it positions alternative notions of playing against the grain of neoliberal ideologies of “lifelong learning” and “work as play.” 

This evening opens up the retrospective dialogue between editor and designer often taking place behind doors and invites designer Sam de Groot, who collaborated with Julia Born and Laurenz Brunner for the design of Generous Structures, to speak about their design considerations and engage in dialogue with co-editors Axel Wieder and Binna Choi with his other design examples. 

Sam de Groot: “As designers I think we’re often shooting a bit in the dark. We’re convinced that certain formal decisions have very specific implications/effects on the content, but there is a lot of guessing and assuming involved and in the end there is usually not too much time for critical dissection of these assumptions, during or after the process.” 

Sam de Groot (Amsterdam, 1985) works as a freelance graphic designer, publishes books of fiction under the TRUE TRUE TRUE imprint and makes hip-hop beats. Since 2011 he teaches graphic design and typography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. 

PUBLIC LECTURE #2 

12 JANUARY 2012, 20:00, Dutch Art Institute, Kortestraat 27, Arnhem 
Noise & Capitalism: Funeral & Zombification with Mattin and Anthony Iles 

“The anti-self destroys its own position by nullifying the attributes of accumulation that shape our subjectivity today such as confidence, contacts, recognition and attention. Being no one, being nowhere, being nobody, definitely not an artist, certainly not an audience, producing nothing that separates us from our objective condition, having nothing to exchange because there is nothing countable for someone to frame.” 

– Mattin (2011) Managerial Authorship: Appropriating Living Labour, in Casco Issues XII: Generous Structures 

This evening inaugurates the first of a series of workshops that reflects on and “digs the grave” for Noise & Capitalism (2009), a publication edited by Mattin and Anthony Iles. More than two years after its publication, what is the relevance for the book’s attempt to understand the practices of noise and improvisation in relation to capitalism? So many world-changing events have taken place in the intervening years, how has capitalism and the struggles within it changed and how does this reorient us critically to the object of this book? The editors propose an open process of reflection for the publication in a joint effort to rework, rethink and identify its problems. This process is guided by a performance that introduces the book’s content and paves the way for “collective study” between the authors and the audience; a proposed collaborative exercise against the grain of self promotion often found in the “book launch” form. Furthermore, this evening aims to blur the boundaries between “author” and “audience;” to block the valorisation of either authoritative or distinguished subjectivities, and to experiment and put into question how we may invalidate such “subjects” accumulated “capital” by releasing unquantifiable and non-exchangeable “product.” 

Noise & Capitalism is a collection of essays by various musicians, academics, activists, which reflects on the artist-audience binary, specifically how “noise,” “improvised” or “free” music offers resistance and tensions that may, at worst, provide instruments for capitalism but also, at best, point to modes of “subjectlessness.” Noise & Capitalism is available for barter or free download at the audio lab division of Arteleku.

Anthony Iles is a writer of criticism, fiction and theory, based in London. He is assistant editor of Mute, an online and quarterly print magazine, editor of the books, with Mattin, Noise & Capitalism (2009), with Stefan Szczelkun, Agit Disco, (2011) and co-author, with Josephine Berry Slater, No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City, (2010) and a contributor, with Marina Vishmidt, to the book Communization and its Discontents (2011). 

Mattin is an artist who works with noise and improvisation, often in collaboration with others. His work seeks to address the social and economic structures of experimental music production through live performance, recordings and writing. He has produced records, performs internationally and runs two labels: w.m.o/r and Free Software Series and the chaotic net-label desetxea. Together with Anthony Iles, Mattin was editor of the book Noise & Capitalism (2009). 

PUBLIC LECTURE #3 

21 March 2012, 20:00, Dutch Art Institute, Kortestraat 27, Arnhem 
From Figures of Speech to The Body in Crisis with Falke Pisano 

Presenting the third and final lecture, Falke Pisano closes the Publishing Class’ “book launch” oriented lecture series by sharing and extracting from a liminal passage in her practice marking the development from Figures of Speech to her body of work concerned with the “body in crisis as an ongoing event,” most recently culminated in the performance The Body in Crisis (Housing, Treating and Depicting) at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Her reflexive inquiry is underlined and opened up against the backdrop of writer Italo Calvino’s literary principles to propose how practice, in flux, meets self-education. Falke explains: 

“Thinking of Italo Calvino’s Six memos for next millennium, where he describes the qualities of literature that he would like to take to the 3rd millennium (Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity and Consistency), I will address five notions that I have come to consider vital in my practice: Differentiation, Formulation – Formalization, Projection, Suspension of Productivity and Transparency. I will use these notions to speak about how a transition in a practice can take place, the development of different methodologies, the layering of a practice and self-education.”

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