Project 1 * AND Publishing
AND is a collaborative publishing activity, co-founded in 2010 at Byam Shaw School of Art in North London by Lynn Harris and Eva Weinmayr. Rosalie Schweiker joined in 2015. With no official mandate, but supported by colleagues and occasional university research funding, AND operated as a kind of indie university press exploring the immediacy and the new social, creative and economic possibilities of print-on-demand technologies, which were emerging at the time. AND's purpose in the context of the academic institution was to conceptualize publishing as an artistic as well as a pedagogical tool of experimentation and articulation, and to institute a critical approach that worked equally well with students, staff, and alumni – confounding prevailing hierarchies and roles (student, alumni, teacher, professor, etc.).
After several years working at Byam Shaw School of Art, this host institution merged with Central Saint Martins. AND was deemed "a free-floating anomaly" that was acknowledged as generative but not given a place in the newly merged and streamlined institution. AND moved into a collectively-financed studio and worked independently with institutions, collectives and individuals on a broad range of publishing projects. AND set up an open distribution platform for POD publications (AND Public, 2011–15), publishing evening classes (The Showroom, 2012–13), education programs at art institutions (South London Gallery, 2018), and gave lectures and workshops at various universities and cultural spaces. Over time and through the multiplicity of its members, who themselves form part of a diverse network of critical, feminist, decolonial publishing activities and campaigns, AND's practice broadened its range of social, political and artistic investments to include feminist practice, radical pedagogy, informal support structures– e.g. a studio collective; the provision of resources, advice and skills, means of production and distribution; re-allocation of budgets; commissioning work – and (re-)publishing out-of print or hard to find material.
This contingent and cumulative approach – indicated by the long list of "ands" on the website – does not aim to produce one position, a focused brand or unified face, and is grounded in multiplicity. This specific dynamic of different constellations, collaborations, concerns, and tactics that are defined by the conjunction "and" (rather than "or") seeks to evade any clear-cut framing of its activities. It is a practice that keeps creating spaces – both literal (the studio) and metaphorical (friendships, alliances, collaborations) – where the quality of being and working together is not impaired (or is so to a lesser extent) 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.) Given the internal cumulative logic of AND, I will not attempt further to pin its practice down for the purpose of this PhD submission, but acknowledge its function as an overarching framework for the four practice projects that I describe and analyze in the following chapters.
- Informal support included colleagues sharing their office space, invitations to teach publishing classes in their courses, developing long-term publishing projects with students, and facilitating work-based learning internships with AND. The management quickly realized the generative and critical potential of AND for the art school and provided small research funds ("Micro-Budget Books", 2011, and Enterprise Seed-Funding, 2012).
- The print-on-demand model of production and distribution is based on digital print technologies that allow for print runs as low as one copy. In the early 2000s, a range of commercial digital printers came up with an online interface that offered a range of print qualities, sizes, bindings (hard or softcover), paper stock, and a digital interface to upload a print-ready file. The innovation in this production system was in distribution. Once a book had been produced it was only printed when ordered (by anyone) via a direct link or on the POD Platform's "storefront", and shipped directly to the buyer's address. This direct distribution model cuts out the intermediary of the publisher or the distributor. It does not require upfront funding since the book is only printed when an order is placed and paid for. See Lulu, Blurb, the Newspaper Club (London) and many more. POD, of course, has existed since the invention of the photocopy machine in the early 60s, and AND made extensive use of the printers at the art school to produce repeated small print runs of its books.
- For example at X Marks the Bökship London (2010), Printroom Rotterdam (2011), Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Ontario (2012), Printed Matter New York (2012), Witte de With Rotterdam (2012), London College of Communication (2013), Royal College of Art London (2013), Academy of Fine Arts Munich (2014), Kunstverein Munich (2014), MayDay Rooms London (2014), Academy of Media Art Cologne (2014), Goldsmiths College London (2015), Raven Row London (2015), Sideroom Amsterdam (2015), Wysing Art Centre Cambridge (2015), University of the Arts Bremen (2015), Edingburgh College of Art (2015), Whitechapel Art Gallery London (2018), Rabbits Road Press London (2020), among others.
- AND was co-founded in 2010 by Lynn Harris and Eva Weinmayr. Andrea Francke worked closely with AND in the framework of the Piracy Project, 2010–15. 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, 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: "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." (Raunig 2002).