Open Office (for an editorial committee)
Grab your elephant gun and go hunting for the elusive Open Office for an Editorial Committee. It’s a herd of nomadic furniture, a portable, self-powered, open-air magazine office, manned by trusty Voiceworks staff and open to all. Submit work now for inclusion in the NYWF 07 anthology, then work in the office to help select, edit, design and print the thing. Find out what goes into making a magazine by petting one in the wild!
Open Office for an Editorial Committee was a collaboration with Makeshift (the amazing Tessa Rapaport and Karl Logge) and the writers, editors and designers of Voiceworks Magazine, in particular Ryan Paine and Marc Martin. We joined forces to create a nomadic, open-air magazine office operating for 3 days as part of This is Not Art / NYWF. Staffed by the Voiceworks crew, the office set up shop in Newcastle’s Civic Park each afternoon of the festival, inviting the public to actively participate in producing and publishing the NYWF 07 anthology. On the final day, the office was converted into its own unique stall at the Zine and Independent Press Fair, where it distributed copies of the finished anthology.
Part performance, part collaborative magazine publication and part public sculpture, this living installation attracted a range of curious visitors interested in taking part in (or just observing) various aspects of the publication process, from producing their own submissions at purpose-built typewriter and cut-and-paste stations, to selecting content and organising layout at the picnic/conference table.
Audiences were also drawn into engaging with the space by the interactive nature of the office itself, consisting of a collection of hybrid objects clustered together in the dappled sunlight, shifting and changing configuration as new participants joined in, sprinklers were turned on, winds picked up, or production of the zine progressed to a new stage. These ambiguous, DIY objects were hand-made by hijacking familiar everyday artefacts (BBQs, trolleys, suitcases, picnic tables etc.) and transforming them into (mostly) functional travelling workspaces that enable a different way of using the city and its shared public spaces.
Role: collaborative commissioning of the concept, project management.
Partnership between: myself, the NYWF, Makeshift and Voiceworks. This project was assisted by Next Wave and the Australian Government through the Australia Council.
Website: @ Makeshift
Thanks to: Makeshift for photos and text.