Find as much primary material as possible for your case study publication. Try to locate and examine material copies. If this isn’t possible, find digital versions. Find as complete a set as possible. In addition to the publication itself, put together a bibliography of at least 10 texts which discuss the history and significance of the publication, which tell its story and relate it to its historical moment.
Focus your research on the material conditions of the publication’s production. Look for answers to the following questions: How was the publication produced? How was it printed? How was it composed and assembled? Who did the writing, the design, the printing, etc? Where did the money come from? How was it distributed? What was its circulation? How much did each copy cost?
Additionally, address the social aspects of the publication: What particular cultural world(s) did it belong to? How did the publication connect to this world of practice outside it? To what degree did it document this world and to what degree did it make this world possible?
Develop a sense of the relation of the aesthetics of the publication to its material and social conditions. What is distinctive about the visual form of the publication and in what sense is this form the outcome of its exigencies of production? How, in Jerome Rothenberg’s words, are inspiration and production undivided acts?
Finally, analyze the publication as a particular model for publishing. Identify 3-5 salient and exemplary qualities or aspects of the publication which could be iterated in a new way in the present. This in a sense is the thesis of your research and what you will take forward in the studio part of the semester.
You will have 20 minutes for your presentation.
In this time, present 20 slides (without text).These should primarily be reproductions of the publication, but can also include supplementary images.
Use these slides to structure and demonstrate your research and exposition.
Carefully rehearse your presentation and make the most of 20 minutes.
Based on your case study research, edit, design, and print a new publication which follows in some sense from its original. Indicate your model — those abstracted aspects of your original — and decide how you will elaborate these in a new issue. Propose something that can be feasibly accomplished in the remaining half of the semester. A strong concept is what is important, i.e. the senses in which you are re-imagining your original, in which your new version is continuous with your case study but reinvented. This reinvention can take multiple forms. Consider content, aesthetics, means of production and distribution, as well as working methods and divisions of labor.
Provide a plan for the editing, design and production of your publication project. In this plan, articulate your team’s divisions of labor: who is responsible for what. Make a production time line with deliverable dates.
Provide a first sketch, a proof of concept, which communicates the form and content of your publication. This is not necessarily a precise design sketch, but rather a set of visualizations which indicates both what the publication might look like and how it will work. These sketches should represent a considerable development from your first proposal — a refinement of the concept as well as first attempts to imagine it as a concrete thing.
Present two iterations of your concept. Engage with real constraints of production: prints not projections! Explain how your iteration, in its formal, editorial and/or social aspects, follows the model you determined from your case study.
Present a plan for a limited circulation of at least 20 copies of your publication within a specific public.