Tique | art paper asks eight questions to an international art book publisher about its motivation, practice and role today. This week: Lodret Vandret.
What motivated you to start publishing?
Around 2008-09, when the photo-blogosphere was really booming, we started seeing other young artists self-organising to put on shows and publish books and zines. This inspired us to put on a group show of portraiture in Copenhagen and start Lodret Vandret as a collaborative platform. Some of the artists included in the exhibition were active self-publishers (Mårten Lange, David Schoerner and Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt, among others) and talking to them helped us to get started and to venture into uncharted territory, as it were. We did not have much experience with design or pre-press but we had a few good designer friends and we knew when to ask the right questions, and more importantly, we were really eager to learn ourselves.
How would you describe your role in the creation of a publication?
It varies. Sometimes we will initiate and conceptualise the book project and pitch that to an artist / artists other times we will be presented with something that is, effectively, print ready. We are, however, always very invested and involved in the transition from digital file to physical object – papers, inks, printing and binding methods etc.
What do you look for in a project?
We are interested in creating book objects that are artworks in and of themselves and not just another way of seeing something off of a website or a gallery space.
There should be an artistic and conceptual reason for rendering a project in book form. In that sense, we look for art that needs to be printed and exist as a book.
What advice would you give to anyone planning to make a publication?
At this point, there seems to be many readily available resources on the subject both online and in print. The Self Publish Be Happy manifesto published by Aperture comes to mind. And you have to look at books and zines, obsessively! Art book fairs are a great venue for this where you can also engage with your favourite book artists, designers and publishers. And lastly, be curious and generous in your practice.
What do you consider to be your biggest challenge?
Well, our biggest challenge specifically, is always cultivating the next project at hand. That is the fun, artistic challenge. Then there is always the business side of things, which is a less fun challenge. Printing books costs money and selling them in small print runs is not necessarily a great business model, so…
As a lot specialised (art)bookstores are disappearing, is it harder to present the publications to a wide audience? Are you using new channels to reach them?
We use our website, our Instagram and we travel to book fairs. That is pretty much it and has been all along, basically. Interest in artist’s books and indie publishing has gone up but so has the number of talented people making books, so in that sense, it all still feels as if we are catering to a niche audience that seems to know where to find what they are looking for.
What do you find the most rewarding?
In short, collaboration and being a part of a very generous and curious international community of book artists and publishers. Traveling to fairs is super energising. You are able to engage your audience face to face, meet new talented artists, look at beautiful books and geek out and talk shop with your fellow publishers. So much fun! And of course, receiving new books fresh off the press never gets old. That is just an amazing feeling.
What does the future hold?
More collaboration! More books from Lodret Vandret and more art book festivals from One Thousand Books. Upcoming titles include a 9 color print project with David Brandon Geeting, a snarky commentary from Paul Paper and something still very hush hush from Danish artist Camilla Reyman.