If you visited the Newsstand while it was on display in the Lorimer subway stop, you must remember the Zine Time vending machine, a repurposed sticker dispenser where you could drop in a dollar to get a miniature zine. For one day (Tuesday December 8th 2015), the Zine Time machine returns and pops-up in The Newsstand installation at MoMA. We revisited a handful of these mini zines with Pau Wau’s Brian Paul Lamotte and Andreas Laszlo Konrath, who talk about the stories behind each page.
Andreas: All the photographs are actually from one trip to Japan that he took. When we asked him originally to contribute, he had just gotten back from Japan and basically said, “I’d like to just use these pictures from this trip.” His zine focuses exclusively on that, so there’s some kind of theme there... it’s like a concise, mini version of what he normally does. Really we wanted everyone to just do whatever they wanted. There weren’t any strict guidelines for anything except the format - everything had to be the same size and page count. Some people made their own layouts - Ari, for instance, sent us his layout the way he wanted it. Other artists sent us their images and then Brian laid them out - and we would discuss that and send them back to the artists to see if they liked it. It was a collaboration.
BRIAN PAUL LAMOTTE
Brian: In the centerfold, there’s a spread of this tall guy and this short guy. The tall guy is Manute Bol and the smaller guy is Muggsy Bogues. They played on the same team, and they were literally the smallest player on the NBA and the tallest player on the NBA. There’s this very famous photo (centerfold) of them standing next to each other with these basketballs in between them. So in conjunction with making that zine, I also made one zine about Manute Bol. If you got that little one - the Muggsy Bogues one - out of the vending machine, you’d get a sticker to also get a free Manute Bol one. It’s like this partnership in a way. The Bol zine is super tall and skinny - it’s formatted to his likeness. It’s a piece of letter paper folded in half, but longwise. For the MoMA show I’m doing a life-size print of that image, the actual size of how tall they both were. As for the concept of that zine, there’s a little story in the front where I talk about how when I was in school, we had to read a book about somebody and then come to class dressed as that person and tell their story. I chose Muggsy Bogues because I played a lot of basketball as a kid and he was someone that I looked up to. It’s part of this series of zines that I’ve made that have been about people. I made one on Michael Jackson and I made this one about Manute Bol - they’re all fan zines in the traditional sense.
Brian: We really liked [Carly Mark]’s paintings - for instance the Haribo painting, as well as the Doritos one and other paintings she had done of food packets. We asked her about making a zine with those paintings, and she added the found imagery. She made these pairings of her existing work with this found imagery that’s a mix of sourced material from the Internet as well as her own photos. It’s an interesting cross over of her finished artwork along with her inspirations.
ANDREAS LASZLO KONRATH
Andreas: I was in Memphis, Tennessee. I was near Graceland, so I went to see it. I loved it and took all these pictures, but the pictures sat in a box for a couple of years. Then when we were thinking about making the machine and I wasn’t sure about what I could contribute, then it occurred to me that I have this little story - this mini narrative of my journey through Graceland. It was fun because it’s not really the sort of work I normally get to put out in the world or utilize. I didn’t even have an obsession with Elvis. I just was in Tennessee and I was like, “fuck, Memphis is an hour away. I want to go to Graceland.” And I just did. Then I just took all these pictures because it blew my mind how obscure and bizarre the whole experience was. Also, when I made the original set for the first Zine Time I bought all these plectrums, you know, to play the guitar. I bought all these Elvis plectrums that had his picture on them, and they came in the back of the zine. So if you got my zine, you also got an Elvis plectrum as a little surprise.
Brian: We made a book with [Lisa Rovner] a few years ago called “Poems.” She does a lot of different things - she makes films and she’s also a writer - and we collaborated with her on that project. It was very diaristic, featuring images she had taken of her travels and things of that nature. “The Art of Loving” is a project where she found these protest images, some of which were more historic than others. She’s actually photo shopped her face into the crowd or onto the people in the images. It’s kind of a “Where’s Waldo,” you have to find her. In some cases she’s not actually there, but it’s just playing off of this idea of inserting herself into these historic images. On top of that, her idea with these images was to put them back out into the world, so that when people would find them they’d be unsure of which one was the original.
Brian: Jordan Sullivan is someone we’ve worked with a few times in the past. He also is another one of those people that has a history of making his own books and zines so he completely laid out and designed the whole thing himself. It’s made very much in the style of his other zines. This was a chance for him to experiment and explore these ideas that he’s been working on, aesthetically. I think in a lot of Jordan’s work, there’s not really a defined narrative or story. It’s very abstract, and contemplative. That’s what is really nice about his work. It’s maybe one of the more serious zines, but I think a lot of people love that one because of the imagery and the quality of it.
Andreas: This zine is made by Camilla and Giulia Venturini - they’re twins. The pseudonym Fotine Paura comes from their work they do collaboratively. They’ve both worked as designers for people like Toilet Paper and Ari Marcopoulos. We asked them to contribute because we thought they’d bring something a little more fun to the project. We wanted to invite people that might bring some ideas of playfulness to the vending machine. Since Camilla and Giulia both come from a design background, they came with a slightly different approach than some of the other artists. They always took pictures of each other on people’s motorcycles and they just dropped them in on top of these crazy, popular culture references as backgrounds.
The zine available at moma
Andreas: The zine being dispensed at MoMA is a new one entirely. It’s a compendium of pages and snapshots from the zines before (see photo above), which only saw a limited run of 50 copies each (all sold out). We thought it would be unfair to those who collected the original copies if we reprinted a new edition of them. While each mini zine told its own unique story, the compendium brings together the original zines into a wholly new experience.