The NewLights Press has existed for about 8 and 1/2 years. Throughout those years, everyone has told me, "You should have a website." And they are absolutely right. There have been several provisional attempts in the past (see OTHER SITES OF INTEREST on the sidebar), but this time I am finally getting serious about it. What follows is a vision of what the site will include.

First of all, the site should not be a simple "portfolio" site, as used by many other artists, mainly because the production of the press, though channeled through an individual, is purposefully different from a traditional studio artist (even one working in "non-traditional" media). So instead of a portfolio site it will be a new publishing arm for the press. It will have the usual trappings: a list of the books and their specs, a list of artists/authors and their bios, links to various resources, and background info. But on to the good stuff.

As a way to further the life of the books (almost always in a limited edition or unique) I want to include viewable, readable, and downloadable PDF files of the books in their entirety, from cover to cover and every page in between. Some of the longer and bigger altered books will be too much for the website, though. But I have another idea about that (see below). These digital versions (with the consent of any collaborators) will be free and released under a Creative Commons license.

There will also be a central place to download the NewLights DIY Books, a series of free books that are set up as pre-designed packages, with printing and binding instructions. There will also be general binding instructions, separate from the individual books, for personal and/or classroom use.

And finally, to further the NewLights critical and pedagogical mission, a place to publish essays on the following general topics: book arts, printmaking, experimental art/literature, intertextuality, collage/appropriation, book/print/art pedagogy, functionality in art, art & politics, and art & economics. There will be an ongoing, open call for essays, so if any of you have any thoughts about these topics be sure to let me know... I would like to publish the essays under Creative Commons licenses as well. (This blog will also be a place where essay subjects may start as sketches).

The first step to implementing all of this is to re-learn how to build a site. The plan is to have the first iteration of the site up by February 1st. We'll see how it goes...

Other Big Ideas floating about in the Press-Mind:

New DIY books: William Blake's poetry, Make This Book, a series of essays about artists' books by yours truly.

Electronic releases of the long altered books, distributed on CD. High res images of every page, expanded text, maybe extra layers of commentary, hand printed and constructed (but simple) packaging.

New NewLights manifesto.

New altered book (in the works).

But I suppose that everything is always in the works.

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