S P A C E is a weekly e-mag, but it started like any other zine
Personally. I wanted to say what I wanted to say.
I learned from S P A C E projects the art of the moment, winging it and changing courses when you feel the flow changing. Going with it. Encouraging people. Finding the best in each participant’s sharing, and giving them time and specific assignments to encourage them to see it within themselves, refine, and outline their own ideas in ways that connect better with their own values. It sounds like a lot, and it was a lot. But I was ready to do it. I did. S P A C E is a zine that I made on the road, with others, from 2017-2022.
Sure did come a long way, in ten years. I think in 2012, it was about personal expression for me, as a goal.
I had wanted to talk about blatant consumerism and conspicuous-to-some-but-not-all-of-us exclusion. My early zines were me re-writing my scripts about what I thought of fashion magazines, featuring bunches of people who, I felt, were irrelevant to me and my life because [deleted]… didn’t seem interested in trying. Back then, that was the case. Now there are some big companies using AI to ‘diversify’ their models, which is weird, but that’s a different animal. I made a lot of zines with sharpies and collage; cut and paste and share. I didn’t mass-produce things but I made 12 printy-printy comic books for a show, Today I Love You, at the then-still-in-existence Carrack Modern Art in Durham, NC.
In 2012, I was also part of a group show, People You May Know, at the Durham Arts Council curated by Barclay McConnell. There, a sharpie artwork piece with Pauli Murray as the subject was purchased by the Pauli Murray Project representative, which was cool. In the same time period, I got to be reviewed by Lori Waxman, an art critic doing a traveling show for critiquing lesser-heard-of artists at the Durham Arts Council, which was also quite cool. That review is at my personal site, on this page. I’ve been updating it, with snippets of what people have said about me over the years, and how they felt when participating in my projects. This was really nice to see in a set because it helped me understand what my personal projects meant for the clients I designed things for here at Design Kompany.
At the reviews page of my site, I collated some of what people said about their time at my conversation parties, mini-parties, workshops, and other ad hoc projects to get people talking. Together.
Conversations. Making things. Showing up. Trying again and again, when it’s not working working, to get it to work, which means what you want it to mean since you’re the one deciding.
Art happens when stuff just clicks into place, poised, and in a way that feels both sophisticated, yet also modern and elegant with hints of both. There is something new in S P A C E, every year. It’s always a branching out from the original idea. Which came out of a feeling. Blindly collaging things I found, juxtaposing this and that through the creative process, with all its messiness and confusion and joy, I landed here.
Found imagery, bits of story, old and new discoveries, quotes, bits and snippets already written by other people around a thing. Curated and collaged. The issue then somehow makes itself, one week at a time, and I send it. On Tuesdays. This is it.
In search of quality. Creating artworks to get people talking. Meaningfully, not superficially.
The making of zines
I kept making. I kept collaging, and I kept writing. I made books at Kismuth and got off DK blogging and quit twitter and stopped Tumbling and didn’t get a phone and made stuff, instead. Other stuff. Like books and stories and photos and conversation installations. And: friendships. That is important, too.
Practicing creativity, making space for doing
What did I learn so far, from S P A C E-making? So much. In a nutshell, how to do it. As in, actually. How to talk to people, include, invite, draw out, connect with, and shape a story together isn’t something you can do in an afternoon just because you feel like it. It was such a big dream of mine to run my own magazine. I worked in newspapers for a time to learn the ropes for journalism, publishing.
But. I saw it. That the things I wanted to make wouldn’t fit into the prescribed molds. I wanted to write what I saw, share what I learned, discover and put together collections that documented more than what someone somewhere decides is ‘worth’ putting into books, magazines, newspapers, and on blogs. Artifacts of human connection: that was what I began to realize, through conversations with some who made it clear to me what it was for them, that I was making.
In sum, I make the spaces and record the highlights. In S P A C E, the e-mag, and the real life conversation spaces of Atelier S P A C E. Some people opt-in to read or co-create. That’s my audience. And that’s it. The mainstream isn’t for me. Being real, is.
S P A C E | Autumn 2023, ‘Fallen Leaves’ & ‘Visits’
NEXT. #spacethezine continues to try new things, in its own ways. I enjoy leading small design-oriented circles for creating and co-creating. Maybe S P A C E works for me because I can see the progressions. I can see the 200+ issues, and counting. It’s a weekly, after all. I can share them, at times, when I feel like sharing, with the people who want to read. I ‘m listening, looking, learning, and connecting. Quietly. Interested in taking part?
Updates and info, are at the crowdfunding page for S P A C E. Get a ‘3-month pack of S P A C E’ at the crowdfunding page to get the details on how to be part of it. Read. Create. Co-create.
Here is a link.
Updated: August 2023