Johanna Drucker, in her canonical survey and history of the artist’s book, draws a connection between artists’ books and independent publishing, noting that “the same impetus which gives rise to independent publishing — the desire to make a voice heard, or a vision available, fuels artists’ books” (Drucker 2004: 7).

There is much debate surrounding the definition of an artist’s book (Klima 1998: 7), however these objects may, in summary, be understood as books created by artists that are proposed as artworks in themselves. Drucker defines two broad categories of artists’ books: the democratic multiple and the auratic object. Taking these categories as starting points, I will propose a hybrid category that will allow us to better appreciate the uniqueness of publications produced using digital duplicators, and so to better understand the extra-economic appeal of this technology. Firstly, Drucker posits that the distinguishing characteristic of the democratic multiple is:

the artist’s vision of a work which bypasses the restraints on precious objects. The vision becomes a book which is able to pass into the world with the fewest obstacles between conception and production, production and distribution. That is the nature of the democratic multiple — the ready availability of an independent artist’s vision in book form. (2004: 88)

Secondly, with respect to the artist’s book as a “rare and/or auratic” object, Drucker, deploying Walter Benjamin’s (2008) notion of the ‘aura’ of an artwork, writes:

Not all artists’ books are issued in photo-offset reproduction on neutral paper with standard, supposedly inexpensive formats. An artist’s book can be a unique work, a highly limited edition, or an inconsistent edition, and still be a work which is a direct expression of aesthetic ideas in a book form. … Many of these books have an auratic quality, an often inexplicable air of power, attraction or uniqueness. (Drucker 2004: 93)

• obsolete technologies — a term frequently mentioned and connected to having an interest in zine culture
• making publics — zine fairs, zine clubs, workshops —— since zine publishing is independent it is not able to reach a bigger audience; it doesn’t use commercial ways of distribution
• need for self-publishing and publishing as a “liberating” medium (in connection to the chapter A history of alternative publishing reflecting the evolution of print (Ludovico) —— from the artists’ perspective
• most of the articles related to the practice of zine publishing and digital archiving or digital zines point out the lack of tactility and having a different experience when reading a digital version (quote by Florian Cramer from What is post-digital) —— from the reader’s perspective
• intermateriality of zines and post-digital print - paper influences the interface and digital content is being printed
• explore “hybrid forms”
• “digitality informs the processes of production, distribution, and reception whether a work is printed or not” (Seita, p. 2)
• (hypertext and hyperlink)
• the concept of “subcultural capital” (Hroch, p. 8) could be connected to making zine collections and general need for archiving
• gauss pdf archiving (Seita, p. 9) - “works fascinated with digital materiality, medium specificity and genre
• the concept of new materialism
• “imagined printedness” , Lisa Gitelman terms the “near print” • Jessica Pressman calls it “aesthetic of bookish- ness,” — “to create printedness digitally without being attached to paper”, and not “for fear of the “death of the book” or magazine” (Seita, p. 16)
• PDF - “appeals to projects that explore alternative models of printedness and the codex” (Seita, p. 17)
• “processual print” - “the print which embeds digital technologies in the printed page” (Ludovico in post digital research, p. 1)
• introducing the network enables “infinite supplies of content that can be reprogrammed or recontextualized at will” (Ludovico)

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