art + reading Journal, Issue 3: ‘evolve’ Special Edition Launch
Save the Date
We are pleased to announce the launch of art+reading Issue 3, ‘evolve’ Special Edition
Join us to celebrate on the Roof Top Garden
401 Richmond Street, Toronto
Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 5-7pm
art + reading
A JOURNAL OF READING AND MAKING
AN EXPERIMENTAL PUBLISHING PLATFORM
evolve, issue 3, 2021-2023
“Like many people, we sought comfort and inspiration in our gardens during this period of ‘sheltering in place’. While we were not aiming to produce a garden issue per se, we were interested in the processes associated with the garden including cyclical change, growth, decay, and renewal. Etymologically the garden references an enclosed or bounded space historically adjacent to the home—an extension of the domestic sphere into the natural surrounds. Often cast as an oasis, retreat, or panacea from the stresses of the world, the garden offers an opportunity for close reading and listening, a place to pause and take stock of ourselves and our practices in relation to our immediate environment. But it may likewise microcosmically reflect an image of humanity’s imposition on the earth, a position from which we attempt to bend nature to our personal will and manicured vision. Such a site is not without its destabilizing challenges and can remain frustratingly fallow, hovering indefinitely in a state of stasis, or it can knock you backwards with unforeseen hurdles. As a fertile imagining, the garden need not be viewed literally, but may represent an evolving site for negotiating intimacy and distance, cultivation, and wilderness. It is by nature a speculative space where the future is both anticipated and unknowable. It invites us to imagine something we cannot yet imagine. In this view, the garden is located wherever you sow it. It finds its reflection in the studio, the workshop, the library, and sites similarly adapted for generative processes and creative engagement.” – Jenn Law
It was these sentiments that came from the lengthy conversations we had about how to reimagine our Issue 3 of art+reading in a time of lockdown 2020. In past issues we had focused on one central interview but this time communication had an urgency about it and so we decided to expand the number of artists contributors by first curating 20 online projects using Instagram as both a modality and a publishing platform. These material interventions, multi-platform conversations, process videos and reflections, time-based installations, walkabouts, sound projects, poetic experiments, hyperlinks and creative engagements occurred from May – December 2021. Upon completion of the series, and continued conversations with each artist the publication art + reading was reimagined, not as a catalogue, or documentation of the online projects but rather an extension, a spin off of the curatorial conversation.
Contributing artists include Derek Coulombe (Ontario); Andrew Testa (Newfoundland); Nicole Small (Québec); Dyan Marie (British Columbia); Ruth Rosengarten (UK); Nicole Seisler (US); Marion Wassenaar (New Zealand); Doug Guildford (Nova Scotia); Linda Duvall (Saskatchewan); Johannes Zits (Ontario); Lauren Nurse (Ontario); Stephen Hobbs (South Africa & Ireland); Mary Anne Barkhouse (Ontario); Maralynn Cherry (Ontario); Millie Chen & Warren Quigley (Ontario) Jenn Law (Ontario); Pudy Tong (Ontario); Penelope Stewart (Ontario) and Carolyn Wren (Ontario).
Arts + Letters Press, established in 2017 by artists Jenn Law and Penelope Stewart, is an independent, not-for-profit experimental publishing platform. As a duo we sought to create this project as an artistic gesture that draws on our interests of ‘reading as a material practice’. The vision from the beginning was to create an international platform that would expand the field of publishing, fostering multi-format conversations, artistic projects, exhibitions, performances, and screenings linking the analogue with the virtual. Our first foray into building the foundation for this platform was to create the international serial publication art + reading. The journal aims at examining the relationship between reading and making with spin offs that animate conversations and art projects.