A symposium with a talk by Paul Soulellis (Queer.Archive.Work and Rhode Island School of Design)
17:00-18:00pm BST June 11
Centre for Postdigital Cultures (online talk)
Registration (free): https://www.eventsforce.net/cugroup/293/home
This is the fourth in a series of symposia hosted by the Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) exploring contemporary approaches to experimental publishing. Over the course of the series, we will ask questions about the role and nature of experimentation in publishing, about ways in which experimental publishing has been formulated and performed in the past, and ways in which it shapes our publishing imaginaries at present. This series aims to conceptualise and map what experimental publishing is or can be and to explore what lies behind our aims and motivations to experiment through publishing. As such, it forms the first activity within the CPC’s new Post-Publishing programme, an initiative committed to exploring iterative and processual forms of publishing and their role in reconceptualising publishing as an integral part of the research and writing process, i.e. as that which inherently shapes it.
Paul Soulellis is an artist and educator based in Providence, RI. His practice includes teaching, writing, and experimental publishing, with a focus on queer methodologies and network culture. He is founder/director of Queer.Archive.Work, a non-profit community reading room, publishing studio, and project space, and Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Paul writes and speaks about art, design, and experimental publishing internationally, was a Design Insights speaker at the Walker Art Center in 2018, and was a featured speaker at the Eyeo Festival in 2019. Paul is also the founder of Library of the Printed Web, a physical archive devoted to web-to-print artists’ books, zines, and printout matter, now housed at MoMA Library in NYC. soulellis.com
Experimental publishing can be positioned as an intervention, a mode of critique, and a tool of speculation. It is a way of thinking about writing and publishing today that has at its centre a commitment to questioning and breaking down distinctions between practice and theory, criticality and creativity, and between the scholarly and the artistic.
In this series of events we propose to explore contemporary approaches to experimental publishing as:
- an ongoing critique of our current publishing systems and practices, deconstructing existing hegemonies and questioning the fixtures in publishing to which we have grown accustomed—from the book as a stable object to single authorship and copyright.
- an affirmative practice which offers means to re-perform our existing writerly, research, and publishing institutions and practices through publishing experiments.
- a speculative practice that makes possible an exploration of different futures for writing and research, and the emergence of new, potentially more inclusive forms, genres, and spaces of publishing, open to ambivalence and failure.
This take on experimentation can be understood as a heterogeneous, unpredictable, and uncontained process, one that leaves the critical potentiality of the book as a medium open to new intellectual, political, and economic contingencies.