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One of the most interesting things John Kelsey has written about is the modern labor/time complex, especially in the arts. His point, in “Escape from Discussion Island” and other essays recently collected in Rich Texts, is essentially that members of the contemporary culture industry are always, already at work. Our downtime is commodifiable to the extent that we no longer have downtime, but just time that is more or less in the service of our career, personal brand, art, etc.

mono.kultur is an example of this – it is a labor of love that we’ve all incorporated into our already busy schedules. We all have other projects too, from design work to art and curatorial practices, to other publishing projects… which is what I have. I recently started a new publishing enterprise called PERADAM, and since this past March have released a run of small books of poetry, prose, and drawing. These include Twelve Saints, a collection of paintings and fiction by Chris Lux and Will Rockwell inspired by Jacobus de Voragine’s The Golden Legend. The book is made up of twelve of Lux’s ink drawings, reproduced on a risograph, and two stories by Will Rockwell that expound upon De Voragine’s more descriptive narratives. We’ve also put out Nick DeMarco’s Pøems, a small book of concrete poetry composed of abstract letters, glyphs and symbols that give a pointedly funny and slightly disparaging look at creative expression.

But in Kelsey’s terms, the most interesting book is Painter’s Journal, by the painter Joshua Abelow. Co-published with James Fuentes, Painter’s Journal is based on Joshua’s diaries from from 1998 and 1999, when he moved from Providence, Rhode Island, to Bushwick, Brooklyn. Abelow’s frank accounts of his early twenties are a rare window onto a rapidly changing time for the New York art world. Chelsea was taking over from the East Village and Soho as the dominant gallery neighborhood, Manhattan was getting too expensive for artists, and cell phones were becoming ubiquitous. Lives were about to become lifestyles, and lifestyles full-time jobs. And beer was still cheap.

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