A book is more than a collection of words on a series of pages. The tangibility and durability of a physical book cannot be replaced by digital text and online publishing. At the same time, technological advancements in printing has allowed limited edition books and small presses to thrive and has encouraged the growth of art book fairs around the globe.
On the occasion of Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, we organized a presentation by two independent publishers, Vivian Sming of Sming Sming Books and Yue Zhou and Mengsha Zhao of DREAMER FTY, on the history and output of their respective presses. Following the presentation, the participants engaged in a dialogue on questions of materiality, distribution, politics of translation, and regionalism in the field.
Vivian Sming is a Bay Area-based artist and writer who uses text, image, and new genres to engage in posthuman discourse. She is the Co-Founding Editor of nonsensical, an annual journal of critical and experimental writing by visual artists, and is currently the Editor in Chief of Art Practical, published through the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. In 2017, Sming opened a publishing studio Sming Sming Books to produce a wide range of artists books. Each book is developed out of close conversation and collaboration with artists and writers whose work and ideas inform the book’s design, materials, and printing choices. At its core, Sming Sming Books is committed to promoting critical discourse and advancing cultural equity through the format of publishing.
DREAMER FTY is a creative working institution founded in 2017 focused on the book as its main media. Based on the work of the DREAMER group, we publish book as projects and collaborate with artists to publish their works through dreampress publications. In 2015, DREAMER FTY initiated art book in China (abC), the first art book fair that gathers and showcases independent publishing organizations and individuals in China. abC serves to reflect on and build a better Chinese self-publishing environment.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.