Monday, December 28, 2015

Ephemera experiment - pre-zine - 2

Background - I'm thinking about making a one-page zine. And I'm looking for ideas.
I also need more room in my home, so I'm sorting my ephemera to see what I don't want to keep. Just like in my previous experiment. This time I'll keep almost 90% and I had hoped for less.

Which ephemera will not be kept? - You can click the picture for a bigger view.
What kind of ephemera will not be kept? These are the first raw data. The numbers in square quotes refer to my previous experiment:
  1. Events and exhibits I didn't visit - these were picked up just in case. [3,4] And events that I did visit, but that I'm unlikely to forget, so I don't need no souvenirs.
  2. Picpus magazine - A very nice free zine that I see in random places. These will not be kept in their entirety, but the most interesting pictures and texts will be cut out and pasted in my personal scrapbook. There they will be more alive than in my archive.
  3. Mini posters - These PrintRoom posters are beautifully designed and (riso) printed but I have no place to exhibit them nor to store them. Some details will go into my scrapbook.
  4. Killer magazine - A very nice free A4-zine from Amsterdam. Interesting articles on fashion, airport life, liberal arts, gender and much more. I read it with pleasure. I'll take care to put it somewhere where it will be read by more people.
  5. Tubelight magazine - A free art magazine mostly found in galleries. The most interesting pictures and texts will go in my scrapbook.
  6. Religious brochures - I picked these up in churches I visited. But I know most of the theology already.
  7. The Third Rail - A wonderful free art magazine. But the format is too big for me to store anywhere. I'll re-distribute it in the city.
  8. Zines - A few zines, hand-made in the classic  (copy and staple) manner. But these are too cryptic for my enjoyment. - And a few nicely produced zines (print and bind) they don't fit my criteria, these are mostly purely informational or purely artistic. I'll take care to put them somewhere where they will be read by more people.
  9. Exhibition catalogs from Tent and Witte de With - Great galleries but these exhibitions inspired me less than others. [7]
  10. Fashion catalogs - I collect these for the glamorous realities, pictures and stories they create. A wonderful fictional world that tells a lot about how we see ourselves. But these do not tell this story very well.
Which ephemera will be kept? - A personal hypothesis:
  • I'm not collecting zines for the information content nor for their souvenir value. Also not for their artistic value (but artistic value is a bonus).
  • I'm collecting zines mostly for their "high strangeness" value. I collect booklets and brochures that are "far out" and evoke feelings of wonder, mystery or puzzlement.
  • But they should not be so "far out" that they become totally incomprehensible. They should hover on the edge between sense and chaos. Those are rare.


  1. I like your hypothesis. It's quite satisfying to find something that is slightly off-kilter but without being too 'wacky' or obviously going for the odd angle. These kind of objects are indeed very rare though, and perhaps most of the time it's an inadvertent strangeness which is hard to quantify or define.

    I like your blog, by the way (I'm a FT message boarder!) :)

  2. Thanks for the reaction. It sounds strange but it actually took me a long time to realize this, to formulate it more clearly. Now I can research this is a more focused manner. BTW, I think most FT readers like these "edgelands of reason" :-)