Curation in the “Zine World”

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, I’m currently enrolled in an Intro to Studio Art class. For our final project, we are each expected to create a “zine,” or a “self-published, small circulation, hand-made” little booklet that can be about absolutely anything we want. If it wasn’t already obvious, the term zine derives from “magazine,” and just as any magazine does, a zine must have a central theme. After doing a little research into the origin of zines, I discovered that they erupted during the ’60s as a main contributing force of the Punk movement. They first generally revolved around the music industry, with people publishing zines about underground artists in an attempt to get spread their name. Over time, the zine came to represent all aspects of underground culture, including LGBT, feminism, racism, classism, etc. Today, zines are now a well-established and international feature of the art world, with zine festivals being held all over the globe, and even beginning to be shared online. When my class and I were first informed of this assignment, we were showed several example zines; some were “how to” guides, some consisted of poetry, some just short stories, some just photographs, some about overcoming depression and suicide, and some had the sole purpose of making the reader laugh (one girl’s zine was made up entirely of ridiculous conversations/encounters she had with men she met online). Anyway, what the construction of a zine comes down to is picking a topic, and then expressing that topic in a handmade, typically folded or stapled booklet, in whichever way you choose. However you feel your theme can be best conveyed is the way to go. For my own project, I decided to try and make a sort of college survival guide: what high school didn’t prepare you for. I’ve been struggling to even start the damn thing because, well, I don’t really know where to start. There is so much about the college experience I want to include in this book and it’s going to be difficult to do so in such limited space. I think I’m going to make it generally text-based, but include photos to better depict a certain emotion or experience. I’m going to ask friends questions about their experiences and see if there is any common thread, and most likely use a lot of my own , but in a way that is less like a diary and more like friendly advice (the rest of the class is generally made up of freshmen and sophomores). I also think it will be a nice closure to my time in New Paltz, and sitting down and recollecting will help me filter out the most significant highlights and downfalls and pass them on in this zine. 

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