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Relational Authorship, or: What is „Independent Publishing“?
Olaf Nicolai (artist, Berlin) and Jan Wenzel (Spector Books, Leipzig) in conversation
Dec 11, 2009
“Independent publishing“ is currently a popular denomination: The Berlin Art Library has been exhibiting Christoph Keller‘s “Kiosk-Archiv“ with over 6.000 publications by independent publishers now for several months. A range of European metropolises hosted art book festivals this year, more than any before. In  the field of art, publishing on one‘s own is currently on the upswing; however, the precise meaning of “independent publishing“ usually remains vague. Markus Dreßen and Jan Wenzel, co-founders of the Leipzig publishing company Spector Books, have been working together with the artist Olaf Nicolai for nearly ten years. These shared production experiences serve as the starting point for a discussion of the term “independent publishing“. What happens when artists and designers enter into a relationship in the production of a book that breaches the traditional behaviour patterns of genuine artistic creation on the one hand and the provision of design service on the other hand? How does such a practise alter the notion of authorship? And does a different form of book production also lead to different, new stylistics?

Concept and Text: Jan Wenzel