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Postbook: A mail art zine project

March 2nd, 2009

I’ve been wanting to do another zine lately, but I have far too many avenues for the control freak in me as it is.  So I’m starting a project called “Postbook” which will use the postal system to gather contributions for a collaborative art zine, using an add-and-pass traveling hard copy.

Each person contributes their art to a section of the hard-copy, writing their mailing address on the back of that section, and then they send the whole thing to someone else.  When it comes back to me, I’ll put the hard copy together and photocopy and bookletize it into a zine.  The zine will have an address index in the back.  Each contributor will be sent a copy, and I’ll distribute the rest via zine networks (mail order, zineswaps, festivals, donating to libraries.)  Then people who receive the zine can get involved in mail art by sending stuff to the contributors.

So, if you want to participate, you have to send me something.  I have a few mailing lists that I work off of, one of which is the Amorphous International Mail Art Network on Facebook, but I’ll always first send stuff to people I’ve received stuff from.  I’ll most likely start an online archive for the project on Detritus, but in keeping with the theme of that site, you would have to stumble on it accidentally.

Prokiev Projects + Publishing
PO Box 8804
Minneapolis MN 55408

Things That Spin in Circles

October 15th, 2008

1. Vinyl Records.  I bought a turntable, then went to the Needle Doctor to fix it.  I realized I never ruined a record, but I have plenty of CDs that are scratched up to all fucking hell.

Today I bought:
Radiohead - Hail to the Theif
Elliott Smith - XO
(both of which I have scratched CDRs)
Bettie Servert - Lamprey (out of print 90s record on yellow vinyl I found for super cheap)

2. CDs.  The old plastic compromise.  I pack ‘em up with printed uncoated paper to bring some dignity to it all.  It’s all on YouTube.

3. Four wheels under a steel box.  I’m going to Madison this weekend for the big Madison Zine Fest.  I’m tabling with zines and CDs and playing an acoustic house show.  I haven’t yet been out of the state as a clear-headed thirtysomething.

4. Dough in the air.  I start a new job at Uptown Pizza tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to returning to life outside of chains-ville and still getting paid to drive my car.  Pizza delivery is a cool job because people are less likely to be in a sour mood when you’re bringing pizza to their door.  Especially when it’s awesome pizza.

The PROKIEV CDR Box Set in progress

July 8th, 2008

I’m getting this project ready for the zinefest this weekend: 10 CDRs released between 2000 and 2006 packaged using beer cases. I’m selling them for $30.

Prokiev Box Set
I got this idea from looking at info about how to glue the binding on acoustic guitars. I cover the necessary areas with PVA bookbinding glue and wrap the whole thing in one long piece of picture-hanging wire. Inside is 11 CD cases all taped together. I used 11 because I wanted room for the zine that goes with it and just to ensure that it won’t be too tight.

Prokiev Box Set
Finished box set with a sticker on the front.

Another Web Project and the Awkward Machines

April 30th, 2008

I’ve been recording every night this week, and while I’m not getting a lot done, I’m doing a better job just by keeping myself in and dedicating my night to sound. Anyways, I’m taking a break tonight because I’m at the tail end of another thing I’ve been working on, which is a complete website redesign for my recording and publishing imprint, Prokiev Projects + Publishing.

Right now it’s a frame- and popup-based site that pulls in the different HTML files depending on what you click on. That means each project has its own HTML file, and all of the files have almost exactly the same code. It also means that any changes in the design have to be applied manually to each page. So I dug a little deeper into using PHP, and learned how to link a database and use variables to create pages dynamically. It’s almost ready. Everything is working properly, the design is cleaner and relies more on style sheets, and I reduced the number of files, (excluding images) from around to 30 to maybe six or seven pages.

the Awkwardness of Machines

Tonight I’m rescanning and cataloging everything under the Prokiev imprint, with the exception of a few really old or obscure projects. I need an archive of medium resolution scans that I can work from to get the site finished. This involves digging out my old laptop (which runs Windows XP) and scanner (which has no driver for Vista, which is what my new laptop runs) and hooking them up and transferring the scans with a flash drive. In the process, I can’t touch the old computer or move it in anyway, or it’ll shut down. The power input and battery are both fried. Hence the external keyboard, mouse and USB router.

I feel like I’m doing some super involved, high-tech work here, with all the screens and wires all over the place, but it’s just scanning.

“Call to Distract” Actually Read by Someone

March 7th, 2008

I got an email this morning from someone who just read my old manifesto, “A Call to Distract.” It had been lying in a notebook since he picked it up in 2003.

“A Call to Distract” was an essay I wrote for a group I was in, Afunctionul, and it’s purpose was to outline our mission of taking DIY, “indie” avenues seriously, and to express ideas I had about what it meant to oppose what you could call “industrialization” in the arts. (I didn’t use the term back then, instead keeping to the dichotomy of “indie” vs. “established” spheres)

Afunctionul never went on to continue the mission that the manifesto calls for. Furthermore, neither has anyone else. Understandably so–basically, I was calling for all misfits to band together. Not easy. Anyway, I’d like to reapproach the subject in light of the comments I’ve received in the email and just some general thoughts I kick around in my head while I’m sweeping up piles of debris or painting the trim.

I think I’ll make an “Archives” page on my web site and make a PDF to put up on it.


February 2nd, 2008

The first group meeting for the zinefest was today. It was great because we have five people organizing so far, and I’m no longer the head of the fest. Most of the program is now out of my hands. I’m responsible for the distro and the library.

Afterwards I tore my kitchen cabinets apart and threw a bunch of stuff away and organized my office supplies and files. (I’m not quite done moving in yet.)

My new blog is done. I managed to customize it and get it working how I want. Eventually I’ll stop using LiveJournal. Until then, I’m posting simultaneously on both.