Categories
events news

Commission a local City As Material event


Reflecting back on the 5 City As Material events of last Autumn, we’re really pleased both with the reception of the events themselves by participants and that of the resulting publications with friends and colleagues. Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing the personal contributions of the guests (Tim Wright, Ben Eastop and Simon Pope – Alex Deschamps-Sonsino’s is already available) and an overview eBook of our own. And we will print a special limited slipcase edition of all 10 eBooks using bookleteer’s PPOD service and launch them in the Spring.

Future Plans in 2011
This year we hope to take our Pitch in & Publish series of City As Material events outside of London to other towns and cities in the UK (or abroad). We’d love to hear from people or organisations interested in commissioning us to devise and run a one-day (or possibly longer) collaborative urban exploration and publishing event in their own town or city.

A typical event…
We’ll work with the local hosts to devise a topic, plan the exploration route and design customised notebooks. At the end of each walk we’ll need a space (with WiFi access and ideally a printer) to sit down with the participants as a group and work on planning/drafting the collaborative eBook that will be the record of the day. As before we’ll be using a range of online and social media to post up photos, audio, video etc taken during each event by all taking part – and we’ll be encouraging all the participants to sign up with bookleteer to create their own personal eBooks (and/or StoryCubes).

How to book an event
Please get in touch with us to plan an event in your town or city. Our basic fee for each event (payable by the host) will be £600 + VAT and travel expenses (and accommodation where needed). This fee covers pre-planning, facilitation by 2 members of Proboscis on the day and post-event coordination of the collaborative eBook (+ publication on diffusion.org.uk), as well as printing of a limited edition run (50 copies) of the eBook.
Local hosts will be responsible for recruiting the participants to each event. Proboscis will also help promote each event across our own networks to engage as broad a group of participants as possible.

Categories
inspiration

Zine Review – Burger Zines!

These extraordinary creations are individually handmade by Stephanie Anderson, cut from paper and card. Each zine is a different burger with varying paper ingredients, and is limited to 20 copies. I suppose these are as far away from the typical imaginings of what a zine is, but innovation and creativity do tend to rock the boat.

These zines are tiny – no larger than a 10¢ piece. Apparently these are the smaller versions of Stephanie’s original Hamburger zine.

It would be great to create similar things by publishing an eBook with various ingredients that just need to be cut out and coloured in, then assembled. A cookbook for paper food – each page a different dish!

Stephanie’s burger zines are available here.

Categories
inspiration making

Sneaky peek at Mandy’s desk

While Mandy was out at lunch Alice and I pounced on the StoryCube puzzle she’s working on because, well, because it looks gorgeous! Pencil sketches of farmyard animals, sea creatures, flowers, kittens, insects and snakes are scattered across a set of nine cubes and lie on a background of  shades of blue. The sketches cross over from one side of the cube to another but change as you rotate the cube so that viewing different sides give the sketches a fantastical feel where kittens have flowers for feet and cows have snakes instead of mouths.

The nine cubes are intended as a puzzle with the goal being to match up all of the sketches of one type across all nine cubes. Sounds simple doesn’t it.. well, Alice and I didn’t manage it in the time Mandy was out for lunch!

ps. I also have to say good-bye today. This will be my last regular post for the bookleteer blog because I begin a full-time research position on Monday. I’ve been working with Proboscis on and off for the past five years and it’s been an incredible journey. I can’t thank Giles and Alice enough for the opportunities I’ve had while I’ve been here – and especially for giving me the chance to meet and work with all the fabulous talented people who’ve been in the studio over that time. Good luck with everything, folks!

Categories
examples inspiration making

Tangled Threads eBook

Proboscis have been invited to make a film that will be presented as part of a Leonardo/MIT mobile digital exhibition curated by Jeremy Hight. The film will provide an abstracted overview of Proboscis’ themes and projects over the past few years and will be made and illustrated by Alice. However, the process of making the film was begun by Mandy who drew up the storyboard which has now been converted into the Tangled Threads eBook.

Mandy’s starting point was a piece of text I wrote which aimed to invoke the imagery and metaphors often used by Proboscis to describe their projects. The text also provided points for jumping into more detailed overview of Proboscis’ work from the past few years. Mandy took this text and transformed it into an intricate and beautiful mix of words and illustrations.


Storyboard panel sketches for Tangled Threads

Mandy moved quickly to produce her initial sketches, discarding ideas and developing a single artistic strand. After creating the storyboard panels you can see above she worked on individual frames drawing them up in detail before digitally painted the images to produce a full-colour illustrated eBook.

At the back of the eBook are a number of illustrations for you to cut out and stick them into the allocated spaces throughout the pages. Instructions for doing this are provided on pages 1 and 2. Making Tangled Threads the very first pop-up eBook!

And this is the result..

Download the eBook and make it up for yourself on diffusion.org.uk and read more about Mandy’s storyboarding process on the Proboscis blog here..

Categories
events

Pitch In & Publish

Over the next few months we’ll be hosting a series of one-day zine making events at the Proboscis studio, entitled “Pitch In & Publish”, where anyone can take part in making a collaborative zine using Bookleteer.  The first series will be based on the theme of “City As Material”, explained below by Giles.

“The city has increasingly become not just a stage for creative activities to be presented on but also the material with which creative works are made. Its flows and fabric are now rendered legible by new technologies and social participation that in turn foster diverse conceptions of citizenship and inhabitation. These processes highlight the mutability of “public” and “private” and the sometimes subtle, sometimes swift transformations of social space.

This series will comprise collaborative publications that investigate, intervene within, project upon and play with the notion of the city as material. Each of the events we host will focus around a specific topic as a sight-line for a cross-section, a lens through which to perceive a layer of investigation or framework to play within.

We invite you to join us in a collaborative attempt to peer beneath the surface of the city and explore the forces shaping and shaped by the urban fabric, its inhabitants and energies. In addition to a collaborative publication produced around each topic, we will be encouraging all the participants to create their own personal publications to add to the series.”

Each issue will be inspired by one of these topics: Streetscapes, River, Skyline, Underside and Sonic Geographies.

Tickets to participate are available from here.

Categories
inspiration making sharing

Piece of Paper Press

bookleteer has collaborated with writer Tony White a number of times on workshops and publications, however, I only became aware of his publishing venture – Piece of Paper Press – this week despite the fact that it’s been running for 16 years! In this time, 25 publications have been released, the latest one being Atomanotes by Liliane Lijn which was launched just this week.

Each Piece of Paper Press publication is a run of 150 books and each book is made from a double-side-printed sheet of A4 paper, folded three times and cut and stapled to create a 16-page A7-size book. Once printed the books are given away to people who attend the publication launch, to participants and to supporters of Piece of Paper Press. Despite the technological developments that have occurred in the 16 years since Piece of Paper Press began the production process is the same as it was at the beginning and Tony believes that it’s simplicity and low cost are the reasons why he has continued putting out these books for such a long time.

In a fascinating post on The Literary Platform, Tony writes that he feels the flipside to these methods of production and distribution is that “producing something this ephemeral in such relatively small quantities seems to go against the grain.” I would argue that Piece of Paper Press’s methods of making and sharing are actually adding value to their books in ways that digital accessibility is often unable to do. Printing only 150 copies gives a rarity to the books that will only increase with time and touches on ideas in this post on 3 Ways to Share.

In the same post Tony describes the process of physically making the books as a simple, repetitive and social occasion.

“for the past 16 years once or twice a year I’ve sat down for a morning or an afternoon with a pile of printed A4 paper, a stapler and a Stanley knife. With me more often than not will have been an artist or a writer who will have spent a year or more producing a literary or graphic work that is suitable for a 16 page, A7 book. A few cups of tea and some conversation form the backdrop to a task that is a by definition repetitive, but which is also very social and above all is simple and functional.”

With only 25 publications in 16 years very few people will have had the chance to sit down with Tony and enjoy this time and these conversations and it seems to me that these social aspects of Piece of Paper Press publications have a value in terms of the relationship between author and publisher and book and reader that may not be as easy to achieve with digital books despite being able to reach a wider audience.

Categories
making

single sheet zine

I’ve been focusing on zines with unconventional formats recently, so I thought I would go the reverse way, and share a simple, traditional method of making a mini-zine from a single sheet of paper, with no glue or binding methods needed, just like Bookleteer. I’ve used A4 in this example, which makes a tiny 8 page booklet, perfect for short comics; each page is around the same size as a traditional comic book panel. You can make a 16 page book if you use both sides, but the reader needs to unfold and reverse the paper to read it all.

Start by folding the sheet of paper in half lengthways, then unfold and fold in half the short way, so the creases are along the dotted lines as shown above.

Then fold the edges in towards the center crease, and unfold. There will now be eight panels on the sheet, each one a page.

The bottom left panel will be your back cover, the next along your front cover. The layout of pages one through six are outlined above. Create your work on this template, then photocopy, or scan and print copies, and fold each sheet in the exact same way as the template.

To assemble, cut a slit lengthways along the middle, spanning two panels, as shown. You can use a scalpel, or simply fold the paper in half and cut the length of of one panel with scissors.

Fold the sheet lengthways so the bottom panels are in front, and bring the edges in so it takes the shape of a book.

Ta-dah! Now share.


Categories
making

Comics, Cubed

In my last post I looked at how handmade zines could be made in ways that were impossible to recreate digitally, which led me to discover a handful of comics that exist in three dimensions.

Warren Craghead’s  “A sort of Autobiography” is a comic spanning ten StoryCubes, each detailing a decade of his life, and possible future life. Its interesting that this was reviewed as a comic in its own right by Warren Peace, despite being hosted online by Diffusion, rather then distributed in print.

“Pandora’s Box” by Ken Wong, retells the Greek Myth on a cube which readers must open to continue the story.

Contending with the rise in popularity of web comics, and the theory of the “infinite canvas” (i.e the size of a digital comics page is theoretically infinite, allowing an artist to display a complete comics story of indefinite length on a single page),  these works make use of space, a concept that can be imitated, but not recreated, on a computer screen. Whilst web comics allow readers to digitally interact, readers can physically interact with and manipulate three-dimensional comics; an entirely different reading experience.

Categories
making

Story Cubes and Art Works

In 2008 Alec Finlay made a series of two Story Cubes. Alec is an artist, poet and publisher currently working in Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Story Cubes he made were titled ‘After Ludwig Wittgenstein‘ and ‘score/fold‘ and could be made up into two cube poems. Each side of the two cubes features a single word and poems are created by the juxtaposition of the cubes, revealing and hiding words.

These poems can be viewed – or made – in the context of Alec’s other poetic forms; the mesostic name poem; circle poems and the related windmill turbine text designs and wordrawings; and the grid poem and sliding puzzle poem objects derived from these.


A windmill turbine poem by Alec Finlay from his artists residency at Kielder

A few months after finishing the Story Cube poems Alec recreated two wooden box versions of the cubes to be exhibited as part of Thoughts Within Thoughts at Arc Projects Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The transformation of the work from paper to wood makes me wonder when is a Story Cube not a Story Cube? Alec’s wooden cubes give the impression of greater importance and permanance than the paper cubes – yet they are essentially the same content. Is it the paper material, the ability to make, undo, and remake the cube, the potential for sharing the cubes as digital files or the cube form that give Story Cubes their character? Or some combination of these that might vary from project to project? These two sets of Story Cube poems seem to me to be an illustration of the questions I was exploring in earlier posts about how the choice of materials for eBooks and Story Cubes affect the reader’s perception of the finished object.

Download the cube poems on diffusion.org.uk

Read more about Alec’s work on www.alecfinlay.com

Categories
examples inspiration sharing

ScrapBooks as Tangible Souvenirs

… And ways to document events and projects

A few days ago we published a ScrapBook made at the Vintage Festival for a project Proboscis is participating in called Graffito – a collaborative iPhone/iPad app that lets people draw on a shared canvas. It was used in the Warehouse tent (which had a 1980s theme) as a collaborative VJ system displayed on a giant LED screen. A number of iPhones were lent out to people to draw with, as well as remote users playing from all over the world (the App is free to download from the AppStore).

For part of the 3 day festival, Jennifer Sheridan (Graffito’s project lead) sat in the control booth capturing snapshots of the screen and printing them off using a Polaroid PoGo printer (a very small portable printer that uses USB & Bluetooth to print ‘zero ink’ pictures from mobiles or digital cameras). She then stuck them into a blank eNoteBook I had designed especially for Graffito. Once back from the festival we disassembled the ‘ScrapBook’, scanned it in and republished it so anyone (whether at the festival, a remote participant or just someone interested) could have a hand made tangible souvenir of the project and the event. The process was very simple (though not helped by Apple’s blocking of Bluetooth connection to the PoGo printer on the iPhone) and points the way to similar uses for lots of other projects. In fact the whole process could easily be copied by anyone with an iPhone : simply download the Graffito app, start drawing and use the ‘snapshot’ feature to capture pictures of your favourite screens. Then download the blank version of the Graffito ScrapBook from diffusion.org.uk, print out and stick in the screen shots to make your own personal Graffito ScrapBook. You don’t need a PoGo printer (though they’re now very cheap to buy, around £20) – you could just print out the pictures on normal paper and glue them in.

As we develop Graffito further, part of our thinking will focus around how to personalise the creation of tangible souvenirs from the project even further. It could be possible, for instance, to request a series of screen shots to be taken from a particular time sequence and made into an eBook or StoryCube. This could be particularly fun for a group of people using it to draw collaboratively and could be combined with maps of where users are located in the world (there’s a short movie demonstrating this on the Graffito website).

I think this ScrapBook is a great example of just how simple it can be to design and make custom eNoteBooks or ScrapBooks for projects and events with bookleteer. Using simple and cheap tools like the PoGo printer, its possible to capture and print images using mobile phones (or cameras via USB) which can be stuck in and notes written around them. Whether its for festivals, art events, schools projects, field research or sports events, its possible to create beautiful and engaging ScrapBooks ‘in the field’ – as they are happening – that can be shared with anyone afterwards.

Get in touch if you’d like us to design a way of creating tangible souvenirs like this for your project or event.