In 2014, as part of the Sofia Arts Residency programme, artists My Name Is Scot and Leannej will initiate a project called Public Address. The project will explore contemporary theories of the notion of ‘Public.’ As publishing technology changes, the concept of publishing as an industrial process designed to address a static, mass public is now shifting. Global connectivity, rapidly shifting modes of cultural production and geopolitical exchange have revealed an accessible, engaged and diverse audience of ‘publics’. Given this set of conditions, the artist publication seems a well poised site from which to identify or inspire the platforms or participants of ‘public’.
Public Address will take the form of co-producing multiple artist publications with artists living and working in Sofia, exploring the notion of multiple publics on an international scale. The process of creating the books will take place over a series of events, exhibitions, discourse and dinners. Participating artists will be invited to develop their own ideas of public, employing both the shared public space of the Sofia Art Residency and the singular public space of the artist book as starting points. A selection of these books will be published in Sofia and then shown in Vancouver in September 2014 at the Vancouver Art Gallery Art Book Fair, where the individual artist’s work will again extend its public form into yet another space.
Ultimately, all publics, both unique and shared, are inherently political spaces. Through dialogue and an exchange of language and aesthetics, employing both Roman/Cyrillic alphabets, Public Address hopes to produce a dynamic series of artist publications whose individual meanings and messages will reach out and respond to a larger, evolving ‘public’ sphere.