Dimensions of the Artist / Designer / Publisher / Printer / Human
An exhibition presented by Secret Riso Club
Dimensions is a collaborative project from Secret Riso Club, a Brooklyn based independent publisher, design studio, and printing workshop. Through interviews with 10 artist publishers across the world, the group maps out the tangible and intangible dimensions of their practices and works to make the invisible aspects of independent publishing visible. How do independent publishers and artists spend their hours and days? What are the connections, resources, research, reflection, and administrative labor that shape and form the body of work?
Join us Thursday, December 7, 6-8PM for an opening reception with Secret Riso Club and participating publishers — Printed Matter, 231 11th Avenues.
As a small publisher and as artists, we take on a wide range of roles. We have the privilege and responsibility to be everything — admin, personal caretaker, physical laborer, artist. While this can often feel like an endless juggling of tasks and responsibilities, the dance in and of itself informs the process. The tangible-intangible aspects, links and networks that build our practices seemingly live in discrete realms (dimensions) but in reality they are inseparable. They mix, overlap and weave a complex, dynamic network.
This exercise explores the individual experiences of a variety of artists’ practices within the independent publishing field with the intention of identifying the interacting facets of our collective work. How do independent publishers and artists spend their hours and days? What are the connections, resources, research, reflection, and administrative labor that shape and form the body of work? Through conversation and interviews with others in the field, “Dimensions” aims to make these invisible aspects of our practice visible; the relationships between the internal and external world, the personal and mental space, the processes, the growth, the priorities and daily life.
— Secret Riso Club
We’ve mapped out the aspects of our experience as independent publishers into four categories: Inward, Outward, Labor/Production, Body of Work.
⚫ Inward: encompassing the act of self-reflection, of intrapersonal dissection of the external, and of dreaming.
▲ Outward: referring to the interpersonal connections with others, fostering of relationship and community building.
⬛ Labor & Production: including all processes involved in creation, production, organization and administration.
〰 Body of Work: being the published pieces that the public interacts with and that lend themselves to the formation of the publisher identity, however fluid.
— Definitions —
Hannah Yukiko Pierce — Small Editions
Small Editions is a book studio and artist book publisher. The money earned from commissioned design and production projects is used to fund artist book projects, which are made in collaboration with early-mid career artists, and range from risograph printed zines to limited edition bookworks. Our projects focus on the book as a form of art, rather than a vehicle for artworks. Small Editions was founded in 2012 by Corina Reynolds and Kimberly McClure, and has existed in its current iteration since 2019 under the leadership of Hannah Yukiko Pierce.
Hannah Yukiko Pierce (she/her) took over Small Editions after starting interdisciplinary art and design periodical lōkē magazine in 2018. With a background in arts administration and design strategy, Pierce began publishing as a means of making art and promoting artists without directly participating in the traditional art world scene.
Holly Meadows-Smith and Mollie Underwood — Irrelevant Press
Brooklyn, NY and Oakland, CA
Irrelevant Press is a zine collective and internet shop based in Oakland, Brooklyn, and the world wide web. We have been working together for almost 9 years (!) to create, print, and publish paper goods – whether that’s zines, prints, or books. We started out in Oakland with a risograph and access to digital printers through one collective member’s work at a commercial print shop, initially focusing on our own zines (about the internet and pop culture), and have grown into a second studio in New York, also with a risograph, focusing much more on printing and publishing work of others artists. As a collective, our biggest motivation for making is building community around the specific content we print. We love making things with first time zinesters and collaborating closely with new artists. To us, zine culture is all about accessibility, so we try to provide a platform that removes as many barriers to entry as possible.
Zoë Pulley (b.1993) is a designer and maker who utilizes stuff to surface the seemingly ordinary stories of Black folks through mixed media, typography, and audio. She defines “stuff” as artifacts both physical and nonphysical that may be relegated as unimportant to some—as merely stuff.
Most recently, Pulley has shown work in a group exhibition, Dress Code at the Newport Art Museum and a performance at RISD Museum. Her practice includes ongoing collaborations such as a wearable line inspired by her grandmother called GRAN SANS and a collectively authored publication titled Black Joy Archive. In 2021 she designed a zine for Combahee’s Radical Call: Black Feminisms (re)Awaken Boston at the Boston Center for the Arts. Her work is held in the collections of The Valentine Museum, the Hardvard Radcliffe Institute, and Printed Matter. Pulley is an inaugural recipient of the Rhode Island School of Design Society of Presidential Fellowship and was awarded the Graduate Graphic Designer to Watch by GDUSA in 2023.
She earned a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015 and an MFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design.
Zoë is currently an Artist-In-Residence at The Studio Museum In Harlem and a designer at Wolff Olins.
Jaime Sebastián and Rubén Montesinos — Handshake
Handshake is the collaborative design practice of Jaime Sebastián and Rubén Montesinos. With an emphasis on printed matter, they design and execute publications, visual identities, websites, packaging design, apparel, and photography for clients in very diverse fields, either at a large or small scale. In addition to the studio practice, Handshake operates as a platform for publishing printed matter, retail store, and divulgation; by holding events, exhibitions, and lectures. Focusing on visual arts and exploring the limits of contemporary publishing practices, Handshake collaborates with contemporary artists to create unique and experimental projects while having fun in the process.
Alongside Aythami Castellano and Iván Santana in 2020 they created Recreo Valencia Art Book Fair focused on decentralizing the focus of attention on European design and covering new languages of contemporary creation, helping to strengthen the circuit of art book fairs from less positioned Mediterranean countries.
Darío Marroche — Microutopías
microutopías is a Uruguayan publication studio; it is oriented toward art books, zine production, and risograph pressings rooted in micropolitical artistic works in the collective construction of new dissident narratives and visual poetics from the South. The studio is run by Darío Marroche (he/they), sharing publishing practices with PS Montevideo, a member of the worldwide Publication Studio network since 2020. They are an organizer of the Montevideo Art Book Fair since 2018 and member of the “Lumbung of publishers”, international publishing network formed from participation in Documenta 15 in Kassel (2022).
Considering editing and publishing as a collaborative artistic practice, focused on printed art, artists books and graphic activism actions, from a critical, everyday and micro perspective, we explore the format and graphic resource as a narrative element of the works, expanding their interpretations and the creation of meaning and subjectivities in the readers. We use publishing as a communication tool and promotion of artistic-poetic-political discourses.
Rada Nastai — Bruise Studio
Bruise Studio is a Berlin-based publishing house and artist studio. Behind the studio is the bookmaker, photographer and artist Rada Nastai that started self-publishing using a riso-based practice in 2016. The need for more collaborative projects and taking a more outer role to the process of bookmaking has led to bruise, which started with two GR machines in her bedroom.
I am interested in the book as a tool for radical art making: the way it can revolutionize the exhibition space and art institutions through democratizing distribution, affordability when it comes to art collection, and enabling the direct support to the artist and maker, while bypassing gatekept, inaccessible systems.
The book has worked as a contraption that has supported social, political and cultural communities and movements, empowering and archiving their truths. My practice is based in trying to maintain this grassroots spirit of book making, and investigate through conceptual exploration, storytelling and humor its shape and expressibility.
Kiko Tiu, Pau Tiu and Felize Camille — Future Fellow / Bad Student
New York & Manila, Philippines
Future Fellow is Bad Student’s creative studio operating in New York and Manila. The studio is the synthesis of the diverse artistic backgrounds and talents of its founders; Kiko Tiu, Pau Tiu & Felize Camille. With expertise in art, design, illustration, film and print, Future Fellow is a creative force in the pursuit of play, imagination and exploration into the future.
Pau Tiu is a Risograph artist and the Studio Director of Bad Student Press. Since 2018, they have conducted numerous Risograph workshops in the Philippines and have taught hundreds of students about the art of Risograph printing, both in-person and online. They have also hosted workshops in collaboration with brands such as Nike, Shake Shack and Uniqlo. Kiko Tiu is an Industrial Designer, Printmaker & Filmmaker. Kiko has been training as a Risograph Artist for 3 years under Bad Student and has exhibited his Risograph Artworks in Tokyo & Brooklyn. Felize Camille is a multidisciplinary artist, specializing in Illustration and Design. She is the Lead Illustrator, Art Director & Executive Producer of Future Fellow and Bad Student projects. She focuses her time working in the intersection of education, non-profit work and tech.
Amanda Chung & Chris Lucero — Lucky Risograph
lucky risograph is an Asian and Hispanic-owned print press and design studio based in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Since our establishment in 2018, we have continued incorporating the eco-conscious, accessible, and affordable nature of risograph printing into our everyday practice. We collaborate with artists, small businesses, and grassroots organizers to translate their voices and work into art books, zines, and prints.
In 2019, along with our friends at Zine Hug, we created Sounds about Riso, an annual multi-faceted festival celebrating all things riso. Our mission has been to provide accessible resources for independent publishing (with a focus on risograph), embracing imperfections, tactile learning, and sharing the process! Sounds about Riso continue to evolve each year, but in the past, we’ve organized an open call, mentorship program, virtual and in-person showcase, talks, and workshops. We hope to introduce and uplift emerging creators and aspiring zine-makers to get their hands on the 🌼joy🌼 of independent publishing.
Be Oakley — GenderFail
GenderFail is a publishing, programming and archiving platform run solely by Be Oakley. GenderFail is not non-for-profit but profit-for-survival or profit-to-continue-our-work-without-other-means-of-capital and most importantly to make money for others I publish, to create profit-for-labor. With GenderFail, publishing is personal, it’s the means of my livelihood and a tool for the dissemination of imperfect, but powerful ideas. For GenderFail, we seek to publish works that expand queer subjectivity by looking at queerness as an identity that challenges capitalist, racist, ableist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-environmental ideologies.
George Wietor — Issue Press
Grand Rapids, MI
Issue Press is a tiny publisher and Risograph print shop operated by George Wietor (hi!) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since 2011, it has worked with an elastic mandate to publish captivating works by artists of all mediums that trade in humor, history, and exploration of place.
In addition to publishing, I have initiated several side projects dedicated to the growth of the international Riso community, including stencil.wiki; An Atlas of Modern Risography; and with Matt Davis of Perfectly Acceptable Press, I am a co-founder of the North American Risograph Conference (NARC), a gathering of Riso devotees held occasionally in Chicago, Illinois.
Gonzalo Guerrero & Tara Ridgedell — Secret Riso Club
Secret Riso Club is a graphic design and risograph studio that focuses its work on the intersection of social justice, art, design and community building. In our practice, we work to build a platform that serves as a collaborative space for developing ideas and new projects. SRC is run in collaboration between Gonzalo Guerrero and Tara Ridgedell.
Gonzalo Guerrero (he/him) created SRC in 2017 a few years after immigrating to NYC from Chile. As a designer, Gonzalo’s practice is focused on the use of printing as a tool to experiment and explore ideas around identity, activism and culture. Tara Ridgedell (she/her) has a background in education and comes to the practice with accessibility in mind. Her work focuses on both inward and outward connection and breaking down capitalism’s individual-centered focus. In addition to running SRC operations, Tara also runs Practice Print, our in-house screen-printing studio.