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♥ The Slow Reveal of Wonder the Art Pub ♥

By Harriet Staff

Wonder, a new publisher of “artist books, ephemera, pamphlets, and glossies” started by former Supermachine (RIP) editor-at-large Ben Fama and former CLOCK editor Andrew Durbin, is curving sleekly past its mystery phase and into the material (check out Wonder’s Kickstarter project, funds for which will aide in bringing “Ben Fama’s next book Mall Witch to life”). More details, as they are writ:

Mall Witch’s new media poetics will explore our web-based experience of text and imagery, our collective immersion in increasingly condensed and truncated language and the accidental poetry created in the digital slipstream of lives lived half-online.

Mall Witch will also be an experiment in art gallerizing. In addition to non-digital works, the week-long show will integrate a number of live performances that will begin and end on the Internet, prohibiting a physical monopolization of the space by either the plastic or digital arts. With a disturbing appeal like that of mannequins in a shop window, Mall Witch will exist between accessible and inaccessible modes of display and performance.

Coldfront’s Stephanie Ann Whited interviewed Fama about all the Wonder:

SW: Wonder is mysterious. From the sexy Facebook posts, I’ve gathered its color is pink, and it may somehow be connected with pyramids like your uninstalled Supermachine. What’s the driving force behind Wonder?

BF: Wonder probably seems mysterious because the press name has been announced but other than that no books have formally been discussed until now. Mall Witch will be out in November 2012 in tandem with a gallery show of the same name at culturefix, on the Lower East Side. The book is a manuscript of poems I wrote that is heavily indebted to several of my obsessions—high fashion, the Internet, sexual psychology, advertising, #seapunk, and poetry itself. It’s going to be full color and it’s being designed by Paul Legault and Joseph Kaplan. Next spring we will publish Kate Durbin’s The Fashion Issue. We are working on a chapbook of erotica titled Doe. Just this spring we released a pamphlet called ♥ This Will End In Tears ♥.

As far as “inspiration” and that sort of thing, The internet, particularly Tumblr, is rich with its own aesthetic. You could spend hours there as you would walking around a museum. I’m positive Facebook changed its platform to handle larger images for this reason. The Wonder Facebook page is an online playground for Andrew and I to have fun and talk to people sharing our affinities.

SW: The name Mall Witch is a striking mix of archetypal and pop imagery. Does this occur in the piece as well?

BF: Myself and the creative directors of the Mall Witch gallery show and I had been turning over a few working titles early in the project. When we had to decide between “Mall Witch” and the titles we didn’t end up using, we realized “Mall Witch” had become incantatory of the trends occurring in the book, the vibe of the work, and that we would miss it. When soliciting artists for the show, we’ve cited the internet, Tumblr, Tavi Gevinson, love, simulation, drag queens, Baudrillard, internet celebrity, Mykki Blanco, pixelation, Second Life, and also life itself.

SW: What’s to come for Wonder in the future?

BF: Hopefully lots of champagne….

Online playground! #seapunk! Read it all here.

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, August 10th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.