Failed States, the suburb issue

Most copies of issue one of Failed States are out in the world, and work on the second — researching ‘suburb’ — is underway.

Since beginning this project I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of artist as publisher and the possibilities this presents for researching, making and distributing work outside of more rigid, behemothic systems such as that of the gallery.

The journal, I think, is more research method than work (raising the question: what value does research have if no tangible result can be identified?). It is by no means a commercial enterprise — and indeed, it is keen to avoid many of the traditional structures of publishing (while acknowledging the time-tested usefulness of others) —meaning that the project is under no obligations, other than to the contributors whose texts and photographs are fundamental to its realisation.

Certain parameters do exist however, not least because it is interesting to work within them. Pithiness remains a constant characteristic — although this time I have upped the suggested word-count to 500. The pages of the journal also continues to be a place to experiment with form, and contributors are encouraged to take advantage of this should they feel compelled to break from the usual shape of their practice.

I have described myself previously as a “hands-off editor” in that — for the large part — I consider the pieces I’m given as complete works, almost is if they are ready to be placed into an exhibition. Nonetheless, I am keen that for issue two I assert my role as editor in such a way as to ensure a broad (though, of course, by no means definitive) approach to the theme. Meanwhile, this…


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