Open Editions founder David Blamey's artist talk 'The Publish Impulse'
Saturday 24 Nov, 16:00
When Andy Warhol quipped that ‘In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’, his prophesy was inspired by the opportunity that global printed media networks offered to self-publicists at the time. In the intervening years – specifically, since the arrival of the Internet – it feels as though this far-fetched future forecast has not only come to pass, but been superseded. Just 50 years later, we find ourselves in a situation where all who have access to social media can experience recognition ‘rewards’ on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Those little doses of dopamine that the brain releases every time we get a ‘like’ on Instagram or Facebook have made publishing pleasure-seekers of us all. These days, anyone can achieve a measure of notoriety by broadcasting his or her own material on-screen. An interesting side effect of this democratisation of the means of production has been that access to new audiences has made information designers and distributors of us all. But I’m curious to understand whether, if everyone is, to some extent or another now, an online publisher, editor, photographer, writer and reader, do we really still need to share information using traditional media? I mean, let’s face reality. If, as an independent publisher, I’m up against such ubiquitous competition anyway, give me one good reason to consider getting my message across in any other way...
Founded by David Blamey in 1992, Open Editions operates as an independent publishing platform for creative collaborations between artists, designers, academics, writers, curators and critics. An ethos of experimentation and equality underpins this work: theory and practice are combined and artists and writers exchange ideas on a level playing field. Each of our projects is undertaken as a bespoke enterprise. New titles are conceived, resourced, designed and produced by contributors whose ideas coalesce around topics of interest held in common. Often an approach is employed where experts from diverse fields of practice conduct a dialogue, as opposed to making singular statements. In this way, Open Editions’ publications are conceived as workshops of ideas that contribute to an expanded notion of both making and writing about art.
David Blamey is a London-based artist and proprietor of the independent publishing imprint Open Editions. His work encompasses several activities, including teaching, publishing, and exhibiting, which overlap to form a multidimensional practice that evades conventional categorisation. To this end, his projects are positioned consciously within a range of public situations, both inside and beyond the art gallery. His recent activities include: a record, Rural (2015); edited books, Specialism (2016) and Distributed (2018); and a film, Rice (2017) that debuted at the Mumbai International Film Festival (2018). He curated the experimental film programme Short Bursts of Concentrated Joy for Houghton Festival (2017) and his long-term sound project British Earways was launched this year. The Wire described his O.K. cassette release for My Dance the Skull's Voice Studies series as 'something quite strange, creepy and good'.