The aforementioned links begin

Typically I'm prone to over-reaching on a lot of stuff I make. In the past year I've done several big productions that involved a good many people, or solo projects that required an enormous amount of work. Over the same time I've reached the conclusion that while the efforts generally end up being gratifying (assuming the come off ok and don't suck badly), in the middle and right after them I find them to be pretty demanding and the fun gets lost in the details. So I've become fairly conscious of scale. Now I think the pendulum is swinging the other way and I'm deliberately trying to make things (including posts) smaller and lighter. All that to say I'm tossing off my big planned "back with a vengeance" elaborate posting of people and places and links on the subject of socially and economically accessible art and will instead drop in a post with a link or two and not a lot of editorializing. Which I suspect anyone that is reading this post will find hard to believe, but I can do it and one has to start somehow...

Ok. first up, I've always been interested in zines as a great example of a DIY art form. The most basic of self publishing (include in that chapbooks, which to me seem to be a bit more involved and more expensive on the average and thus less accessible). So I've made some friends in the zine world (the recently mentioned Morgan Inez Smith, who by the way continues her run of exceptional offerings with her newest one, which has one of THE funniest and most accurate quotes I've ever read about the human condition, and which I'll blog separately once I get my new scanner) and as a result have become interested in the phenomenon of the "distro" which is a labor of love if there ever was one. So a distro is a clearinghouse for zines, a one stop place to find many titles, and the good distros review and interview and catalogue everything in detail. It's a lot of work for the possibility of moving an item that is in the range of a couple of dollars, and the few people I've contacted are SERIOUS about it and do it well. Impressive. Making a zine is one thing, running a distro a completely different thing, and apparently many distro owner/operators do both. Doubly impressive.

The first one I want to mention (my current personal favorite) is Learning To Leave A Paper Trail. The website alone is a piece of art. And this thing is maintained and operated by ONE person, who keeps it current and answers emails quickly, packages and ships orders fast. She also does EVERYTHING else which is quite a long list (you can read about it here. And even more amazing, at the moment she's doing it while she's in the process of moving! A true DIY'er doing it on a shoestring and in an incredibly professional manner. I should be so good at my job.

So that's it for tonight. I'm signing off, then I'm going to watch Robert Croma's latest and end the day with his jewel-like scenes in my head. You could do the same. Mr. Croma is my favorite video artist and has been very encouraging and supportive in my endeavors to become one myself, for which I am eternally grateful. It's safe to say that he along with Jan McLaughlin of the FauxPress have taught me more about digital media than all other sources combined over the last few years and I owe them a debt of gratitude. One day I hope to make them proud. They are both darn nice folks, and I had the great pleasure of meeting Jan and spending a delightful evening with her early in the spring when I went to NYC to recharge my batteries.

And you, dear reader(s) have just received a 3 for 1 link extravaganza, courtesy of my tendency to run on...

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