There’s much to be said for the benefits of a book. A text’s existence in print-form — with pages bound and covered — belies a level of investment unmatched by a lot of what’s written for the internet. More often than not, a contemporary writer with an online audience must be their own editor, sub-editor and proofer, in a rapid-turnover environment taken from a vast, though shallow pool of information that can go unchecked and unverified, ideas with no room to develop and even fewer resources to develop them. Books have the benefit of time.
Costly and all-consuming, there’s a level of care that it takes to produce a book and a measure of multi-sensory experience it takes to absorb one. Smell, touch and movement all play a part in how printed matter is read that influences the way it’s received. Margins, typeface and stock effect the way its transmitted. While there so much potential for the rate at which ideas circulate and the diversity of voices that are heard in the contemporary milieu of networked information, there is also a place for the book.
To celebrate the launch of multilingual artist and writer Hanne Lippard’s This Embodiment at Berlin’s Broken Dimanche Press on July 13, we’ve taken a moment to highlight some worthy publishers and the books that we like below:
Broken Dimanche Press is a Berlin-based publishing house and exhibition space founded by John Holten and Line Madsen Simenstad with a focus on “wider discourses of contemporary art and politics.” The press also run a Para-Poetics Programme, an exhibition programme, a BDP Self Publishing Archive and preceded this upcoming Hanne Lippard publication with her first comprehensive collection of text-based works, Nuances of No, in 2013.
Formed in 1984, Book Works is a London-based contemporary arts organization that works to publish books by artists, as well as holding exhibitions, lectures, workshops and seminar programs. Perhaps their most well-known and successful output is their Happy Hypocrite series co-ordinated by Maria Fusco, that invites an artist to edit and curate a given issue. Past editions include Sophia Al-Maria’s ‘Fresh Hell‘ and Hannah Sawtell’s ‘#ACCUMULATOR_PLUS.’
Established in 2011, the Berlin-based press is run by artist Martin Kohout and various international collaborators and has published over “90kg of printed matter including photo albums, doubtful magazines, exhibition texts and indirect fetish catalogues.” Early interesting collections of artist’s writing include Sleep Cures Sleepiness and Linear Manual, as well as AQNB editor Jean Kay (aka Steph Kretowicz)’s Somewhere I’ve Never Been, co-published with fledgling London publisher Pool.
Montez Press is a publishing house based in Hamburg, New York and London and was formed in 2012. The team publish books, magazines and editorial platforms like SALT, as well as single author works by the likes of Gjergji Shkurti and Huw Lemmey. More recently they published Tomoo Arakawa’s Laugh at eXperience, a book by Julie Béna and a printed collection of online commissions from a number of artists called The Interjection Calendar.
Founded in 1999 by Caroline Schneider, Sternberg Press focuses on “art criticism, theory, fiction, and artists’ books” and is based between Berlin and New-York. With a focus on both the design and the editorial aspect, the press commissions and translates works within the fields of architecture, design, film, politics, literature, philosophy and contemporary art. Our recommendations include Rare Earth (2016) edited by Nadim Samman and Boris Ondreička, co-published with Vienna’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and designed by AQNB’s own website designer David Rudnick as well as Jan Verwoert’s COOKIE! (2014) co-published with Piet Zwart Institute.
Co-edited by Sylvère Lotringer, Chris Kraus, and Hedi El Kholti, the press is over three decades old and is considered to be known for introducing French theory to American readers via their Foreign Agents series. The works published range from theory to fiction, activism and confession to economics and sexuality into a “nuanced and polemical vision of the present. Some notable works include Natasha Stagg’s Surveys, Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl, Chris Kraus’ I Love Dick and Where Art Belongs, the latter being of the intervention series which also yielded Gerald Raunig’s Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity.
Banner Repeater is a London-based artist run space and publishing house, with notable projects including Erica Scourti’s The Outage, first published in 2014, as well as the un-publish series which focuses on emergent ideas around new technologies and Yuri Pattison’s short story postface: pretty good privacy. Founded by Ami Clarke in 2010, BR also holds events, talks, performances, as well as exhibitions including the current solo show Nam-Gut by Jenna Sutela, running to July 30.
Verso Books is an international publishing house claiming to be “the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world,” with our recommendations including Franco Bifo Berardi On Futurability, Juliet Jacques’ Trans: A Memoir, Nick Srnicek + Alex Williams’ Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, as well as the Jacobin series, featuring “short interrogations of politics, economics, and culture from a socialist perspective.”
Arcadia Missa is a London-based exhibition space and publisher, that includes a several different series, including the How to Sleep Faster journals, existing in print and online at howtosleepfaster.net. There are also their Anthology and Artist Books, with some recommendations including Sarah M. Harrison’s All The Things, William Kherbek’s UltraLife, and Holly Childs’ Danklands. Co-founded by Rózsa Farkas and Tom Clark, the project began “as a self-organised space in austerity Britain.”
Cornerhouse Publications Ltd. is a Manchester-based press focused on contemporary visual arts, while is also part of the art center HOME. Some recommendations include The Creative Stance , featuring Grayson Perry, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Sonia Boyce, among others, Sophia Al Maria’s Virgin with a Memory, and You Are Here: Art After the Internet, edited by Omar Kholeif. More recently, Cornerhouse published the unexpectedly controversial collection of short stories, poetry, experimental writing, and flash fiction Dark Habits.
Founded in 2006, Penny-Ante is a Los-Angeles-based book publisher and art-based project that works in series-based projects: Anthology Series (2006-2009), Recess Series (2010-2011), Success and Failure Series (2012-2017). Some notable works include Beau Rice’s TEX, Alex Chaves’ Abigail Adams, and Momus’ UnAmerica.
Founded in 2011 by Los Angeles-based artist and writer Martine Syms, the press is “dedicated to exploring blackness as a topic, reference, marker and audience in visual culture.” Recommended books include Hannah Black’s Dark Pool Party (co-published with Arcadia Missa), Diamond Stingily’s Love, Diamond and Lauren Anderson’s Matters. **