Saturday 15 October 2011

Art-Zines–The Self-Publishing Revolution: The Zineopolis Art-Zine Collection
Dr. Jackie Batey

As the curator of Zineopolis-Art-Zine collection at the University of Portsmouth, I set the aim of the collection to archive and reflect the diversity of thought and talent that exists outside the traditional publishing arena. Zines are one of the few areas left where creative people can speak without censorship to an audience beyond the gallery. This makes the world of zines new and exciting as well as challenging, with Art-Zines especially-the tactility and aesthetic of the self-published artifact is an important consideration. Commercial art is changing rapidly, with over reliance on clip-art images and images that exist to simply dress-up yet another advert. 
The nature of production, often cheap and quick, means these Art-Zines reflect the thoughts and hopes of the day (quite literally). 
Zineopolis is located within the School of Art and Design so it was a deliberate choice to focus upon image-heavy zines, although we have examples of poetry-zines, personal-zines and fan-zines. The emergence of zines across the USA, Europe and beyond means that contrary to popular thought, younger people (the most populous producers) have plenty to say about the world they find themselves in, and not as passively as one may expect. The culture of zines shows us that people do still have opinions, it also shows us that traditional conduits for sharing thoughts are probably not as accessible as we’d like to think. The Zineopolis collection seeks to archive and celebrate the self-publishing boom. Zineopolis is primarily a non-virtual collection where items can be handled and flicked-through, many have novelty items, unusual packaging, unconventional bindings, or unusual materials, this collection (although archived online) is sensorial delight in the ‘physical’. This presentation will show examples of what constitutes an Art-Zine.

This paper seeks to define the 'Art Zine' in more detail but these are the criteria I've written for Zineopolis.

1. The Art-Zine should be a non-commercial publication that has a small circulation. (under 1,000 but more commonly below 100).

2. Many Art-Zines are produced intending to sustain a regular edition - but in practice, few exceed 16 issues. Many run only to 2 or 3 issues.

3. This includes self-published works on any theme, most commonly by illustrators, crafts people, artists, designers
and photographers.

4. They are not subject to outside editorial control or censorship. This rule is the sine qua non of all zines.

5. Art-Zines are commonly reproduced via photocopier or home computer printers - hardly any are produced by commercial printers. Many utilise techniques such as screen printing, block or lino printing and letterpress.

6. They are sold in specialist shops or via the internet, many are swapped or given away free. Some may be intended as self-promotion.

7. Visual content (images) will be larger than textual content. Some may contain only images.
(This means we are open to collect zines in any language).

This paper was delivered at the Ninth International Books and Publishing Conference (Canada 2012)
Scroll here to read the whole paper.

Delivered at the 9th International Conference of the Book 14-16 October (2012) University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto.

To read the original version follow this link: