An Endless Supply is a free monthly Birmingham-based open submission art zine produced by Harry Blackett and Robin Kirkham. The process of putting together a zine fascinates me. I had a chat with Harry and Robin the other day all about it.
Why did you start An Endless Supply? What is your mission?
Harry: An Endless Supply started from the two of us meeting at Eastside Projects in 2008. There was a group of artists in Birmingham that knew each other quite well, without knowing a lot about each other’s art practice. Starting a zine gave people a space to try things out and show their work, and we decided to make it monthly to ensure some regular, continued production. At the time we had access to a free photocopier, so it seemed like a simple solution.
The mag has changed a lot in the past year and now it’s a really great tool for meeting other artists, zinemakers, spaces and groups, and trying to initiate some ambitious projects. For example, for Issue 12 we’re curating an exhibition at a artist-run space in London.
What inspires you?
H: Taking part in Publish & Be Damned last year was a big deal for us and seeing the amount of other printed matter that’s in the world was equally daunting and inspiring.
Robin: Other artist led activity across the country is a pretty big inspiration, seeing what other people are doing in their own cities. As well as other publications it’s exciting to see artists setting up spaces such as The Lombard Method, Bristol Diving School, Tether and so on.
How do you produce the magazine? Where can it be picked up? Are you planning to expand at all?
H: We design the zine on my laptop, then print it using a Risograph GR2710 that we bought on eBay - it’s an obsolete Japanese technology that gives you something between an offset print and a photocopy, and it’s super cheap to run. It’s noisy and can’t deal with midtones, but a machine-load of fun. After printing there’s the matter of collating, stapling and folding by hand. Each issue takes four or five days of production from start to finish.
R: Right now we’re most visible through Eastside Projects and Ikon where copies are free to pick up for as long as stocks last. We also distribute through International Project Space, some galleries in Bristol, Nottingham and across the UK, but it sort of depends on who has openings when, or who we meet. Distribution is something we’d like to expand on but it all comes back to time and money.
Are you planning any more events, such as the evening of film you did at the end of last year?
H: I’ve been listening to the back catalogue of Juneau Projects‘ ‘Compliment Sandwich’ podcast. They’re free to download and full of awkward laughs about Jools Holland, Twitter handles and Lorenzo’s Oil. I’d really like to organise a live, cooking-themed episode of ‘Compliment Sandwich’ in 2010.
We are doing another film night with Helen Brown in Cardiff in April, and as for upcoming, confirmed events there’s the launch night for issue 10 at Trade Gallery in Nottingham on Saturday 20 February. Go for the day, stay for the evening.
R: We’ve recently been talking with Colour about working together on an event, so hopefully we will get to do something involving music. We really enjoy collaborating and working with other artists and groups so it would be great to keep that a regular feature.
Issue 10 of An Endless Supply is launched on Saturday 20 February from 6-9pm at Trade Gallery in Nottingham. If you’re in the area say hello!
If you would like to submit work for a future issue. Contact Harry and Robin here.