Strangely, in our 16 years of working together, we had never done a project that was just focused on making publications. When people find out that we run Half Letter Press, they often ask us where our press is located. We have to tell them that we actually work with other printers to make everything. While we probably won’t be making offset printed and perfect bound books in our own facility any time soon, we have purchased our own Risograph duplicator (a.k.a RISO) and a booklet stapling and folding machine–both of which were used to make parts of this booklet.
Publishing Clearing House is an initiative that will be a temporary, fully functioning print shop. Temporary Services–with Kione Kochi, Kristian Johansson, and Leah Mackin–will work with invited collaborators to produce new booklets and printed works during the run of the show, sharing and launching publications.
In banking and finance, clearing denotes all activities from the time a commitment is made for a transaction until it is settled. In Publishing Clearing House, clearing denotes all activities from the time a commitment to an author is made, until the publication is designed, printed, stapled, folded and distributed. Making a clearing is also about creating a space for meeting and making processes visible, open and transparent.
For this effort, we have invited a diverse range of individuals, groups, and organizations with an emphasis on Chicago the Midwest, and artists, activists and authors from marginalized and disadvantaged populations. This includes juveniles and the incarcerated, as well as those who represent or articulate narratives counter to dominant cultural norms. Visitors will be able to meet members of Temporary Services and some collaborating authors on many days of the exhibition, and watch the mechanics of the print shop as works are developed and produced. We will make the entire process of making a book, which is always socially engaged in some manner, more visible than it usually is.