Art-Zines–The Self-Publishing Revolution: The Zineopolis Art-Zine Collection

By Jackie Batey.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

As the curator of Zineopolis-Art-Zine collection at the University of Portsmouth, I set the aim of the collection to archive and reflect the diversity of thought and talent that exists outside the traditional publishing arena. Zines are one of the few areas left where creative people can speak without censorship to an audience beyond the gallery. This makes the world of zines new and exciting as well as challenging, with Art-Zines especially-the tactility and aesthetic of the self-published artifact is an important consideration. Commercial art is changing rapidly, with over reliance on clip-art images and images that exist to simply dress-up yet another advert. 
The nature of production, often cheap and quick, means these Art-Zines reflect the thoughts and hopes of the day (quite literally). 
Zineopolis is located within the School of Art and Design so it was a deliberate choice to focus upon image-heavy zines, although we have examples of poetry-zines, personal-zines and fan-zines. The emergence of zines across the USA, Europe and beyond means that contrary to popular thought, younger people (the most populous producers) have plenty to say about the world they find themselves in, and not as passively as one may expect. The culture of zines shows us that people do still have opinions, it also shows us that traditional conduits for sharing thoughts are probably not as accessible as we’d like to think. The Zineopolis collection seeks to archive and celebrate the self-publishing boom. Zineopolis is primarily a non-virtual collection where items can be handled and flicked-through, many have novelty items, unusual packaging, unconventional bindings, or unusual materials, this collection (although archived online) is sensorial delight in the ‘pysical’. This presentation will show examples of what constitutes an Art-Zine.

Keywords: Zines, Art-Zines, Self-Publishing, Images, Visual Communication, Illustration, Art, Art-Zine, Zine, Artists

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.69-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 22.010MB).

Dr. Jackie Batey

Senior Lecturer, Art, Design and Media, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK

As an artist bookmaker and educator Jackie Batey has worked collaboratively through international networks and image-based projects. Her research practice into zines and artist books is collected widely and she is listed as one of 6 bookartists to represent the UK via the V&A website. She was invited to show her work to promote bookarts at the RA 2010 summer exhibition and the British Library now hold all her titles and archive her website. Her 2003 PhD entitled: The Safe Cigarette; Visual strategies of reassurance in American advertisements for cigarettes: 1945–1964 was a practice-based submission that included a series of bookart objects and multiples, based around how we visually allay anxiety. Batey is the curator of the Art-Zine collection Zineopolis and her research extends into handmade books, self-publishing, humour the visual communication. She is a senior lecturer in Illustration, in the School of Art, Design & Media at the University of Portsmouth and delivers lectures on Artist’s Books, Sequential Illustration and the social responsibilities of the illustrator and self-publishing (zines and multiples).


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