oneiroi infiltrating the publishing rooms 29 April 2016

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Cover of ‘oneiroi’ issue one, glitched using the ‘Publishing Rooms’ scanners.

Publishing – whether that be images or text – is now an inherent part of social media. Tweeting 140 characters or posting pictures of your cat is fundamentally a decisive act of self-publication. Once published, you relinquish control over what it is the post truly does. Even now in the workshop run by the Foxall brothers, conversation steers towards ideas of branding and promotion. All public activity on social media is an act of branding – branding yourself in the way in which you want to be perceived and building a digital collage of who you are (see Reece Straw’s earlier blogpost, ‘Adidas or Nothing’, for more on this). What is it you are trying to say or be? How decisive can you be in these acts?

The transmutation between digital and physical is of particular interest to me. As an artist, writer, and curator, I cannot escape the intrinsic necessity of using both formats. While the lean towards digital (tweets, posts, e-books…) is getting a more apparent lean in ideas of successful circulation, like many people, I cannot help but relish in handling a physical object. What Publishing Rooms highlights is the possibility for a more succinct dialogue between the two.

Having paid witness to the evolution of social media in my teenage years, of course I know how impactful the digital is – so why wouldn’t I use every opportunity for self-promotion? With the exhibition being such a delightful and useful self-publication tool how could I not try to promote my other work of self-publishing?

Beginning as an exercise in curation and extending from my own interests in creative writing, oneiroi is now almost ready to launch.

Starting with the first issue – entitled ‘withholding’ – oneiroi aims to showcase creative writing that shows unique and original flair. Curated, designed, edited, printed, and hand-bound by myself, ‘withholding’ contains writings by 12 young artists and writers from around the country. The original intent of the zine was to create a casual yet polished surface for people to put their writing out to the world. As a young creative it is often hard to know where to place work in the wider landscape, and often not have the confidence to put it anywhere at all. Being on a visual arts course creative writing is not often looked at with great scrutiny, but it was clear to me that artists are writing regardless. After all, writing is inherently a visual thing, whether it be a meticulously organised piece of concrete poetry, or a simple paragraph on Word. As an extension of aural language, humans have constructed the written word to help convey messages, and now most of us are taught (potentially brainwashed) to understand characters and symbols. Even while reading this you cannot avoid decoding the sequence of letters to understand their symbolic meaning.

For my own practice, creative writing and poetry is a great enabler in making messages that I find difficult to convey in other visual forms. Writing has the potential to create an infinite combination of images, emotions, ideas, tones etc. A picture can say 1000 words, but a word can create a million images, purely because a word is an absolute construction of human knowledge. Every individual has their own experiences and inevitably, this has a knock-on affect on their perception of particular words and phrases. It is for this reason, I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the submissions for oneiroi‘s first issue. Each piece chosen has that certain quality of withholding information, making it hard to avoid not wanting more. Personally, I tire easily when presented with a narrative that gives information too willingly – I enjoy the game of a teasing chase.

Alongside this, I was also particularly interested in the eclectic range of styles and formats in the submissions. Each writing has a clear personality to it and a definitive message to voice. The launch of the zine will be coming soon, with a launch party to be hosted in Nottingham, with some of the featured writers doing reading of their work. For more info, follow oneiroi on social media sites listed below.

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Sneak peek of work featured in the first issue – ‘Ode to James Turrell’ by Laura Mason, scanned with the Publishing Rooms scanners. 

Instagram – @oneiroi_zine

Facebook – /oneiroizine

Twitter – @oneiroi_zine


Joseph Winsborrow

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