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.

With a past in weekly and daily journalism, DK is interested in people and stories. Making the zine S P A C E (an online weekly) began in 2014 with the question, ‘What if a magazine could be interactive?’ Since then, the dialogues happening behind protected pages at these active spaces have developed and evolved, some more than others, but always in the asynchronous and International, back-and-forth quality of space that invites and connects and encourages people to test the waters with their idea-making and conclusion-drawing, by first pitching gout ‘what do you think of this?’ to the group(s) in the online circles. Sometimes we co-create short anthologies, other times books, poems, or miniature feature stories. With permissions, some of these appear in our subscription magazine, S P A C E, which we send every Tuesday at 7AM to mailboxes around the world. More about S P A C E is here.