This weekend sees over 50 publishers with experimental editorial directions and distribution strategies operating outside the mainstream head to the ICA for the second annual Publish and Be Damned fair.

Those taking part include artist-led and self-published magazines, journals, periodicals and other printed matter, including: Art Licks, ESP/Eastside Projects, Garageland/ Arty, Occasional Papers, Performance as Publishing, Wysing Arts Centre and Clod Magazine.

Coming at a time when self-publishing is on the increase, the event provides a welcome chance to critically assess the current landscape. “Some artists are producing publications that are very self indulgent,” says Cathy Lomax, publisher of Garageland and Arty. “They don’t seem to grasp that the reader should be able to navigate and find a way in.”

Lomax believes that distributing publications can also be problematic. “There are fewer places to sell publications now, in part due to fewer galleries selling them – and some of the places that do are very bad at paying publishers. I am looking forward to discussing these issues at a bumper Publish or Be Damned!”

Also taking place during the day and situated throughout the fair, is Artists Videos: Instant Publishing, an installation of silent videos teasing out the relationship between experimental writing and publishing practices. Artists featured include Fiona James, Clunie Reid, Erica Scourti, Anne Tallentire, Duncan White and Camilla Wills.

The fair will also be hosting a talk session, I Don’t Want to Write a PhD, which will see Anat Ben-David (Chicks on Speed), Sean Dockray (organiser of the LA branch of The Public School) and John Russell (artist and writer) focusing on the relationship between publishing and academic research.

In addition, there will be a screening looking at how typography has been used to shape new aesthetic relationships between image, text and time, and how viewing moving image might be considered as a process of reading as well as looking.

Publish and Be Damned is at ICA, London, on Saturday 2 March, 11am-7pm, free.

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