Zines. Conversations. Real life.

Dipika Kohli, or ‘DK,’  writes S P A C E. // Photo: Victor Ng 2009


In an age where the internet can confuse and lie to us, ‘zines’ (xeroxed short publications we make ourselves and give our friends) give us a tangible grip on the here and now, and remind us that at the end of the day, we get to create and write our own stories.

The stories of our lives—the stories that remind us who we really are. DK are making these kinds of zines. Hyperlocal narratives. Creative nonfiction. Short. Sweet. And on-the-spot. Big picture: DK are making S P A C E for remarkable connexion, to connect and interconnect new and different others. How? In real life salons. Online salons, too. Then there is also Atelier S P A C E, our international, roving, 2-year zinemaking popup. See upcomings. A brief history of DK (started in 2004 in Seattle) is here.



W E L C O M E  T O  S P A C E

‘Why do you make zines, DK?’

‘Art of the Z I N E’ popup at Kuala Lumpur // Photos by Muhd Muqhriz, 2018

S H O P  Z I N E S. B Y  D K

‘More than just pieces paper, these are records of human connexion’

Relational art and sharpies, improvisations, real life stages. Pictured are Adrienne More and Barry Wilson. // ‘Today I Love You’ at Carrack Modern Art, 2012

TO THE UNFAMILIAR EYE, the pieces that we make may look like mere pieces of paper. But the stories that are held within the pages are anything but random collections of words and pictures. In an era where we are overwhelmed with images and sounds from so-called creative agencies fighting for our ever-decreasing pie of attention, what about real connection? What about real moments of presence, awareness, and showing up for something that is quality, with attentiveness and no hidden agenda whatsoever? That feeling, that seeking of a particular quality of S P A C E, is what drives DK and friends, guests, associates, and colleagues together to make ateliers worldwide that gather people in specifically designed spaces. In S P A C E we can, together, on the spot, find our way through the creative process towards the uncovering of the magic moment. Which may sound a little bit esoteric, but when you experience it, you know. (And what is life but a collection of experiences, occasionally remembered or miscalled, but always internalized in some form, and added to us in the same way new cells are added to us, as we grow?)

DK director Dipika Kohli’s popup ‘Today I Love You’ // Photos: Jamila Davenport OMNI Studiophotos, Durham NC USA 2012

That is the S P A C E we are making, when we meet. That is the shape of the Atelier S P A C E projects we design. But the moment is what it is not because of this scaffold; it is what it is because of the people who show up. Connection, conversation, convening, and the rest. It’s a party, in a general way. Sometimes there are slow moments, sometimes very lively ones. Where we go, and how we choose to spend our time is up to us. We can leave anytime. We can meet with the groups that we feel like gravitating towards. We can stop, slow it down, kick it up a notch, dance. There is no need to worry about what other people will think. In S P A C E, we are free: expansive, open, inclusive, and welcoming. So. You’re wondering. What is S P A C E by DK really about? Taking publishing to a different place. Instead of mainstream media, DK are making very local stories, and talking to people there, to create short, packed and ultra hyperlocal creative narratives. These are sometimes based on people we meet, but also, bits we find as we go, or stories people tell us, or the conversations that we overhear. In S P A C E, we are sharing the raw, honest and contemporary stories of our time. Often they are about the isolation and anxiety that we are feeling, but not always. Hope, joy, and love can also come forward in these narratives; each one is made based on what the people and place are speaking to the authors. All the zines are made in what we call Atelier S P A C E.



‘I just wanted to write real stories, about real people’

AFTER WORKING as a staff reporter and editor for a daily in Seattle and a weekly in southwest Ireland, DK became the place where asking questions kind of made things… flow. A back-and-forth style of connecting and learning from someone, on the spot, what makes them curios to the world–that involves listening for the story. Reporting is showing up to find out what you don’t know yet, as they say, and showing up in the field began to happen, from there. First, Seattle for six years: finding stories in companies and making brand identity designs for people who were interested dine xplorin deeply through the process. Talking, mostly. Talking together, talking to ourselves, inviting our guests and clients to get more acquainted with this old art. Talking. Conversation. And through that, we’d find things. Themes, ideas, stories, concepts, projects, collaborations, showing-up-and-talking-together miniature parties, larger ones like Dazzle, Pop, Sugar, and more. We didn’t know that the parties were just a kind of S P A C E, but over the years, have developed and refined what it is that makes space S P A C E. Ask me about it. Or get acquainted, over 4 weeks, in our orientation to S P A C E. Learn more by going here.