Saturday, March 26, 2016

12 Contributors, 5 Publications, 5 Years, Temporary Services Publication #115: Chicago, 2016

A little while back my friend Marc Fischer asked me to contribute to a booklet he was doing as part of the Temporary Services publication series. The title was "12 contributors, 5 publications, 5 years," and it was published earlier this year. This is a smart publication that features an array of publications all published within the last 5 years accompanied by short reviews on each publication by an interesting international group of 12 contributors. Below are the reviews that I did for this publication. 

Follow the link below for information about obtaining this publication and you can also check out the many other really cool publications that Temporary Services has published over the years.  Temporary Services Publishing – Temporary Services

der stein, #7, 2011, Canada
Julie Doucet, the Canadian comics artist and creator of the incomparable Dirty Plotte (14 issues, 1987-1991), quit the comics world about fifteen years ago and has since been exploring a range of other printed matter projects. One of these was the delightful silk-screened periodical der stern ("the rock," 9 issues, 2010-2012). Small in size and printed on thin paper, the periodical has a really delicate feel. The simplified and childish German texts she uses all combine to imbue the periodical with a funky sensibility that hovers between surrealism, dada, all spun together within Doucet's ever-evolving aesthetic.

Frontier #2 (artist: Hellen Jo), 2013, USA
Edited by Ryan Sands, Frontier is a really sharp comics magazine that devotes each issue to an individual artist, and through Sand's wide choice of artists he tests the limits of this genre. The design of each issue is created in dialogue with the artist and their work, which creates very different reading experiences from issue to issue. Sometimes the issues are recognizably comic related, and then others really stretch that label and seem to be moving into the territory of artists' books — but it's this sense of not knowing what to expect that gives this magazine its edgy quality.

Helen Douglas, In Mexico: 

in the garden of Edward Jones, 2014
In my continuing obsession with accordion books I eagerly awaited a new arrival from the Scottish book artist Helen Douglas.  And it was worth it, as this is a really beautiful and color-drenched accordion that measures 42 feet long. Invited to do a residency in Mexico she ended up visiting Los Pozas, the extraordinary 80-acre garden created by the English surrealist Edward James (1907–1984) in the 1940s that includes waterfalls and pools, interspersed with surrealist sculptures. Douglas' accordion appears like one continuous photograph but with all sorts of subtle digital additions that mirror elements of the larger Mexican landscape. For an in-depth look at this publication please see my accordion blog at:

Terminal Fuse: 2012 calendar, 2011
For a number of years Leif Goldberg produced these totally zany and incredibly beautiful silk-screened calendars. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Goldberg manages, within the confines of this format, to solve each month's visual problems with totally original solutions, all the while weaving them within some larger wacky tale. The feel of the silk-screened pages in your hands, the unfamiliar and elongated format, combined with the striking visuals all combine to create a totally charged reading/viewing experience. 

Toiletpaper, #4, 2011, USA
I just have a total soft spot for Maurizio Cattelan and fellow collaborator Pierpaolo Ferrari's Toiletpaper. The size of the periodical feels just right, the paper stock gives each page a certain body and the printing is topnotch. Started in 2010 it's been published intermittently since then. The mag is totally visual, all photographs bumping up against each other right up to the edge of the page, no words at all. The theme for this issue, #4, 2011, was "inspired by Mike The Headless Chicken, Mario Sorrenti, and Richard Avedon." A true artists' periodical.