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『Publishing as Method』 is an outcome from a survey of small-scale publishing in Asia, initiated by Lim Kyung Yong and Helen Jungyeon Ku to “contextualize and read together the increasingly important publishing practices in contemporary art within historical and regional contexts” (preface). The initiators, who are also the editors of this volume, interviewed more than thirty individuals and groups of publishers, editors, writers, designers, and aritsts across borders and regions from East Asia to South Asia and Middle East, investigating why and how they make books, and how they work in solidarity.

The book adopts an office-friendly A5 format, as the printed book may potentially expand as a set of PDF documents to distribute online. The two dots in the gutter, positioned for ring binders, also suggest the possiblity of a DIY publishing. The page design gives priority to economy: the entire book is printed in black and white with minimal page margins, and an affordable recycled paper is used for the cover. Inside, the use of different colored paper breaks any monotony, changing the color every thirty-two pages relgardless of the text’s flow: there is a certain tension between the logic of production and the contents.

The cover displays all the names of the participants and the title set in Kedai-Kedai Merdeka, a hybrid typeface created by the Malaysian type design and research collective Huruf. Inside the covers is a reproduction of a book cover-shaped mural we contributed to the eponymous kick-off exhibition (Art Sonje Center, 2020), which asks some fundamental motives and premises of publishing. Here, the work is reduced back to a book-cover size and resides as if it was taken from another book and recycled inside-out for this publication.

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Photo: Kim Kyoungtae

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Photo: Kim Kyoungtae

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Photo: Kim Kyoungtae

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Photo: Kim Kyoungtae

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