Project 1 * AND Publishing
AND is a collaborative publishing activity, co-founded in 2010 at Byam Shaw School of Art in North London. Without an official mandate, but supported by colleagues and occasional university research funding (Micro-Budget Books) AND operated as a kind of indy university press exploring the immediacy and new economic models of production and distribution of POD. AND's purpose in the context of the academic institution was to conceive publishing as an experimental artistic as well as a pedagogical tool of experimentation and articulation and to institute a critical approach to publishing at the art school that worked equally with students, staff, and alumni confounding the prevailing hierarchies and roles (student, alumni, teacher, professor, etc.).
After several years working in the context of the university, due to the merger with Central Saint Martins - AND was deemed "a free-floating anomaly" that was positively acknowledged as generative but had no place in the streamlined newly merged institution – AND moved into a collectively-financed studio and worked independently with institutions, collectives and individuals on a broad range of publishing projects. AND also set up an open distribution platform for POD publications (AND Public) and runs publishing classes (The Showroom) and workshops, education programs at art institutions, give talks and runs classes at various universities.
Over time and through the multiplicity of members that, themselves, form part of a diverse network of critical, feminist, de-colonial publishing activities and campaigns, AND's practice accumulated a broad range of investments, activities and directions. (Feminist publishing practice, radical pedagogy, informal support structures, studio collective, providing resources, and advice, as well as access to skills, means of production and distribution, re-distributing budgets, commissioning work, and (re-), publishing material which is difficult to find.)
This contingent and accumulative approach, indicated by the long list of "ands" on the website does not aim to produce one position or focused brand, or unified face is grounded in multiplicity. This specific dynamic of different constellations, collaborations, concerns, and tactics that are defined by the conjunction "and" instead of "or", deliberately evades a clearcut framing. It is a practice that keeps creating spaces, both spatial (the studio) and metaphorically (friendships, alliances, collaborations) where the quality of being and working together is not (or to a lesser extent) impaired by allocated roles, questions of authorship, or cultural capital. (It is however affected by precarity, a topic that I will unpack in the chapter analysis.) Based on the internal accumulative logic of AND, I will not attempt to pin it down further for the purpose of this Ph.D. submission, and only point to its function as the overarching framework and context for the four practice projects that are described in the following chapters.
- Support included colleagues' offer to share office and equipment, invitations to teach publishing classes, and develop publishing projects with students, facilitating work-based learning internships with AND. The management quickly realized the critical and socially generative potential of AND's activity and provided small research funds (Micro-Budget Books) and semi-official support.
- Since POD does not require upfront funding since, due to digital print, the print run can be very small down to one copy. Publications can be printed when you needed them, or an order is placed. POD of course existed since the invention of the photocopy machine and AND made extensively use of the printers at the art school to produce small and handmade print runs often in connection with teaching. However, in the early 2000s, a range of commercial digital printers came up with an online interface that offered a range of sizes, bindings, paper stock, color or black&white printing to choose from for an uploaded pdf. The invention in the production line was that once a book had been virtually produced by the author, it was only printed, when it is ordered (by anyone) via a direct link or on the POD Platform's "storefront", and shipped directly to the readers address. This direct distribution model cuts out the intermediary of the publisher or the distributor. See Lulu, Blurb, the Newspaper Club (London) and many more.
- AND was co-founded in 2010 by Lynn Harris and Eva Weinmayr. Andrea Francke worked closely with AND from 2010-15 in the framework of the Piracy Project. Since 2015 AND is run by Rosalie Schweiker and Eva Weinmayr. To name just a few of our allies OOMK, London, Rabbits Road Press, London, [bokship.org/|X Marks the Bökship, London], and campaigns Keep it Complex, London, Migrants in Culture (MIC).
- See also Gerald Raunig’s description of transversal activist practice: as ‘There is no longer any artificially produced subject of articulation; it becomes clear that every name, every linkage, every label has always already been collective and must be newly constructed over and over again. In particular, to the same extent to which transversal collectives are only to be understood as polyvocal groups, transversality is linked with a critique of representation, with a refusal to speak for others, in the name of others, with abandoning identity, with a loss of a unified face, with the subversion of the social pressure to produce faces.’ Gerald Raunig, ‘Transversal Multitudes’, Transversal 9 (2002), http://eipcp.net/transversal/0303/raunig/en