Towards A Self Sustaining Publishing Model

A conversation with Marc Fischer, Vivian Sming, Yuri Ogita, and Devin Troy Strother, moderated by Be Oakley
April 2, 2021

This event will be streamed live on our Youtube Channel.

This rescheduled event is part of The Classroom; a series of programs organized by David Senior (Head of the Library and Archives, SFMOMA), and produced for Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair, February 24-28, 2021.

Join us for this conversation that brings together Marc Fischer of Public Collectors, Vivian Sming of Sming Sming Books, and Yuri Ogita and Devin Troy Strother of Coloured Publishing to talk openly about the ways they fund their projects. During the prolonged crisis of Covid-19, this panel confronts how we can continue to make our work without governmental, institutional, or large donor funding. Be Oakley of GenderFail will engage the panelists in a conversation about the money we make, the resources we have (and don’t have), and how we can make a living. This panel will be a resource for smaller imprints and self-publishers to talk openly about radical forms of supporting each other.

This event will take place on Zoom. Click here to register!

About the panelists

Since 2015, Coloured Publishing – a joint project from artist Devin Troy Strother and designer Yuri Ogita – has steadily produced dozens of editioned works, including artists’ books, zines, loose-leaf publications, prints, apparel and buttons. Publishing outside institutional standards, the press aims to share ideas about an eclectic range of topics with full autonomy – being people of color in the U.S., celebrating underappreciated cultural phenomena, and publishing works by their fellow artists.

Marc Fischer is the administrator of Public Collectors, an initiative he formed in 2007. Public Collectors aims to encourage greater access and scholarship for marginal cultural materials, particularly those that museums ignore. Public Collectors’ work includes the Library Excavations publication series and web project, Quaranzine—which produced 100 single page publications with over 75 collaborators at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Malachi Ritscher—a project about the late Chicago music documentarian and activist, produced for the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Fischer’s most recent book is Public Collectors Police Scanner, which is the result of 75 days of note-taking while listening to live police radio in Chicago. Fischer is also a member of the group Temporary Services (founded in 1998) and a partner in its publishing imprint Half Letter Press (ongoing since 2008).

Be Oakley is a writer, facilitator, and publisher based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2015, they started GenderFail a programming and publishing platform that looks to highlight a intersectional queer subjectivity. 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.

Vivian Sming is an artist-publisher based in the Bay Area, who produces a wide range of artists’ books through their publishing studio Sming Sming Books. Formed in 2017, the studio experiments with books as art, discourse, exhibition, and archive, working in collaboration with artists whose works and ideas inform design, material, and printing choices. Sming Sming Books is invested in creating books from practices that are challenging to represent on paper, and is committed to promoting critical discourse and advancing cultural equity through the format of publishing.

Image credits from top to bottom: courtesy of GenderFail, Devin Troy Strother and Yuri Ogita, photo by Azikiwe Mohammed, courtesy of Coloured Publishing, cover of Quaranzine, courtesy of Marc Fischer and Public Collectors, Vivian Sming, courtesy of the artist.