The first International Symposium on the Art of Independent Publishing will investigate the contribution that independent publishing can make to the future of the cultural sector.
The symposium will consider both the significance of publishing for artistic practice and the significance of publishing as practice. The symposium will cover such themes as: the importance of independent publishing as a platform for art criticism and discourse; the role of graphic design in the dissemination of independent publishing projects; and the impact of contemporary hybrid practices that cross the traditional boundaries of art, design and publishing.
Speakers include: Stuart Bailey, a UK-based designer who is one half of the duo Dexter Sinister and co-editor of the bi-annual publication Bulletins of The Serving Library; Helen Hughes, Melbourne-based co-founder and co-editor of the contemporary art journal Discipline; Ziga Testen, a Melbourne-based designer who has worked on numerous books for artists, arts institutions and independent publishers; and Eleanor Vonne Brown. Individual speakers’ papers will be followed by a panel discussion that will draw the audience into the conversation.
The symposium is convened by Brad Haylock and is presented by the RMIT Design Futures Lab with the support of the Ian Potter Foundation and RMIT School of Media & Communication, as a part of the inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Stuart Bailey (b. 1973, York, UK; lives and works in Liverpool, UK) is a graphic designer and publisher, co-founder and editor of Dot Dot Dot (2000–2010), and one half of the artist duo Dexter Sinister, along with designer David Reinfurt. In 2006, Dexter Sinister established a workshop and bookstore of the same name in New York, and have since explored aspects of contemporary publishing in diverse contexts. In 2010, Bailey co-founded The Serving Library, a not-for-profit artists’ organization dedicated to publishing and archiving in a continuous loop, and is co-editor of The Serving Library’s bi-annual publication, Bulletins of The Serving Library.
Brad Haylock (b. 1980, Melbourne, Australia; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) is a designer, publisher and academic. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, where he manages the Master of Communication Design program and leads the Design Futures Lab research group. He is founding editor of Surpllus, an independent publisher of printed matter (mostly books) pertaining to critical and speculative practices across art, design and theory.
Helen Hughes (b. 1986, Melbourne, Australia; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) is co-founder and co-editor of the contemporary art journal Discipline. She is also an editor of the online, peer-reviewed journal of art history, emaj. Helen recently submitted her PhD in Art History at the University of Melbourne. She is currently Curator at Gertrude Contemporary, where she has been running the Gertrude Contemporary–Discipline Contemporary Art Lecture Series for the last three years.
Ziga Testen (b. 1981, Ljubljana, Slovenia; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) is an independent graphic designer. He works with artists, institutions, organisations and publishers on projects he can ideologically, politically or conceptually align with. He received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and continued his studies at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands. While living and working in the Netherlands, his publication work was awarded ‘The Best Dutch Book Designs’ award.
Eleanor Vonne Brown (b. 1977, London, UK; lives and works in London, UK) is the founder of X Marks the Bökship, a bookshop and project space for independent publishers. Through the bookshop program she initiated the talk series ‘Publication as Practice,’ (2010–2014) exploring strategies and concepts of artist publishing. In 2013, she curated the exhibition ‘X-Operative’ at Wysing Arts Centre, UK, about the multi-dimensions of an independent publishing space: a cultural space that becomes creative, productive, commercial, domestic and educational all at once.