MOCA's Festival Shines Light on Handmade Small-Print Books and 'Zines

Artist books and 'zines offer emerging voices a platform for uncensored and uncompromising self-expression. For the second year, MOCA Cleveland hosts a two-day festival dedicated to handmade and small print artists' books, 'zines, comics and more. The event's growth in its second year is evidence of the genre's overall growth, both in terms of creators and popularity. Bound: Art Book + Zine Fair takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Friday's event includes MOCA's Loaded concert series, and Saturday features several presentations and a panel discussion, as well as an after-party at the Grog Shop.

"Bound is a unique and free event showcasing artists' books, 'zines, comics and other printed matter," says Deidre McPherson, MOCA Cleveland's curator of public programs. "This year we've nearly doubled the number of independent booksellers and publishers who draw from 10 different states — curated by TR Ericsson, a Cleveland-born, Brooklyn-based artist whose work deals with giving voice to the voiceless — and that's at the heart of this event. This event is about connecting with and discovering the work of literary and visual artists who create work about a long list of topics from pop culture to activism. Come and browse literary eye candy, naughty paperbacks, and fancy photo books, and take in a few of the scheduled programs."

Whether you're a die-hard collector or attending for the first time, Bound is sure to enlighten and entertain. If you're completely unfamiliar with 'zines and self-publishing, the festival's exhibitors and presentations offer an unparalleled introduction. For 'zine fanatics, Bound is a rare opportunity to collect work from more than 60 underground and small print creators. Events like Bound allow readers and creators to develop a personal connection.

This followup to last year's highly successful Mimeo Revolution highlights creators of some of the area's best 'zines, comics, books and more. A two-day event, BOUND includes artist talks and workshops, video art, live music, DJ sets and more. Curated by TR Ericsson, BOUND includes more than 60 self-publishing and small press writers and artists — twice as many as last year's Mimeo Revolution. Throughout the past year, Ericsson has been busy attending and participating in similar events across the country. While attending these events, he recruited artists and writers from all over the country for Bound in Cleveland.

"Last year's Mimeo fair was amazing, you could see the exhibitors interacting with one another, you could see the curious charm in the eyes of people stumbling upon this intriguing and unfamiliar slice of the art world that continues to grow in popularity by leaps and bounds," says Ericsson, reflecting on last year's inaugural event. "When I was in Philadelphia, I was amazed at the geographic diversity of the exhibitors. There were people from Florida, Buffalo, New York, Michigan, California; it was incredible. And without exception they were all really interested in Cleveland as a destination for another artist book and 'zine fair."

From 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, guests can peruse more than 50 artist vendors. Friday night also includes the latest installment of MOCA's new Loaded concert series, featuring Form a Log, Hiram-Maxim and Fake Species. Live music begins at 8 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m. Friday's bands were selected by Andrew Auten (Dandelion Moon), Lisa Miralia (Mysterious Black Box on WCSB Radio), and artist-musician David Russell Stempowski (Polar Envy).

Saturday's event begins at 11 a.m. While guests peruse exhibitors' tables, a series of DJs from WCSB will be spinning throughout the day. Programming begins at 11:30 a.m., with a presentation on Aesthetics of Resistance: Dada 100 Years On by Joseph Makkos of NOLA DNA. From noon to 3 p.m., guests can participate in Open Art Studio. At 12:45 p.m., Jacob Koestler (My Idea of Fun) and Anna Tararova (Meowville) discuss Independent Voices + Handmade 'Zines on a Budget. This two-part presentation begins with a discussion at 1:30 p.m., and continues with a workshop from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., drop in for a panel discussion on Empowering Marginalized Communities through 'Zines, featuring Jimmy Lewis (Fag Enabler), Angel Cezanne (Eleanor: A Zine), RA Washington (Guide to Kulchur) and poet M. Carmen Lane. Finally, at 3:30 p.m., Caitlin Cass (Great Moments in Western Civilization), John G. (Shiner Comics) and Kyle Osborne (Shquirat) will read from their comics.

The celebration continues from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with an after party at the Grog Shop featuring Mourning [A] BLKstar, Hybrid Shakedown and Wildfire Soundz; there's a $5 cover.

The fair is free and open to the public, but admission to MOCA's current exhibition, Mark Motherbaugh's Myopia, and related programming is $5 (or free for MOCA members). For a complete list of participants, visit the MOCA website.

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