A Philosophy of the Moment · Stories

Why I zine

Many people ask me why.
I found this fun thread of people talking about magazines. Today. And really liked it. I’ll put some of what I found below.
I’ll call out sections that I personally really relate to. I’ll use formatting… Like this.
The whole thing is online…
Find the link that contains the below, and more, in full context at Quora, at this link…
S P A C E the zine, Saigon January 2021

‘In 2011 Time magazine reported about highbrow magazine creatives congregating in a ritzy New York City bar for to release zines they made in their free time. When staff writer Meredith Melnick asked the creatives “Why,” Vanity Fair’s digital design editor Hamish Robertson spelled it out that “I’m the biggest fan of print in the boundaries that it creates, especially because my day job is working on the web. Too many people think that you can just let the page get longer and longer on a website, and while that’s true, it doesn’t always make it better.” Claire Heslop, creator of The Sun Shines on it Twice, quit blogging to return to zinemaking, explaining to the Winnipeg Free Press, “[Blogging] didn’t really work for me, I didn’t get any enjoyment out of it, it didn’t feel satisfying. It’s not the same as having a real, small, colourful and crazy interactive piece of something that somebody made by hand for you.”

‘In an interview with ABC News in Melbourne, Australia, Thomas Blatchford, a volunteer at zine store Sticky Institute**, explained this motivation further. Contrary to what skeptics have convinced themselves of, according to Blatchford, zines have “definitely become much more popular recently” in part because “There’s some horrible people on [the Internet.]”

‘I too have noticed how behavior on the Internet can be quite “horrible” so I sought out to understand why. Reading on the screen triggers very harsh reactions in our amygdala. The amygdala are the neurons that yank our control away from our thinking brain and tell us that we are under attack. The amygdala anonymously writes reactive comments all over the Internet without consequence that range from intolerant and uninformed to downright cruel and abusive. This is why print is a safer and better place to learn. Dr. Faith Harper, who holds a PhD in counselor education and supervision, says “Like handwriting instead of typing, anything that slows down our communication process is inherently more reflexive.”…

S P A C E the zine, Saigon, March 2021

‘If someone takes the time to respond to something written on paper, it’s done out of love, respect, and the desire for a connection, even if it’s constructive criticism. Pam Mueller, a Princeton researcher, demonstrated that people actually learn more and are more thoughtful when they write letters by hand because they synthesize their thoughts instead of just repeating information. Or as Blatchford puts it “People like to know that when they’re sharing something, there are often going to be likeminded people reading…people feel a sense of trust within the zine community.”

‘Zines are a place where ideas can be nurtured as they develop. As Gillian Beck says in the documentary film $100 and a T-shirt, “Zines are one of the only mediums where people care enough to give feedback and criticize your work” and it’s because we are all part of the same community, with similar goals. The technicalities of zine-making take a backseat to what you’re trying to express, whether it’s something that you need to purge from yourself by writing, or creating art that you don’t have another outlet for, or information that you feel needs to be broadcast.

**DK was in Sticky Institute’s Festival of the Photocopier for two years, in Melbourne in 2019 and online in 2020. They like zines, and we make them: sometimes especially. It’s a fit.