wendyyao.jpgNorth Drive Press produces mobile group exhibitions. Artists make multiples of work and NDP collects them and distributes them in a box or a vinyl sleeve. I spoke with editors Matt Keegan and Sara Greenberger Rafferty about their lovely editions...

I ask this first, even though it's a bit obvious. What is your mission?

North Drive Press first came about and continues to exist in order to create an archived space for emerging artists via interviews and texts, as well as through the production support of art editions. The majority of our contributors are not at the point where they are producing texts or multiples for well-known publications and publishers. We want to provide a space of distribution via NDP's annual issues and our website. The project is seen as a forum, archive, and project for artists and by artists.

I always want to know what past ideas/projects/plans bring people to what they're doing now and the process they went through to get there. What were you working on before that brought you to this project?

We are both lovers of ephemera. Matt started the project originally to produce something like a mobile/collectible group exhibition and to foster professional and social relationships between artists. When Sara was asked to join as co-editor, it was because they both had an affinity for artist books, democratic distribution, and loosely organized presentations of materials by artists. We are both artists and our individual practices inform our collaborations and vice versa.

It seems like each issue of NDP is like a small portable edition of a gallery show. Did you curate shows before this? How did you end up deciding to use the magazine format?

We have both done curatorial work. The idea of the mobile group show was at the core of the way in which NDP#1 was discussed and configured. The format of the first issue was in a vinyl sleeve, which had its drawbacks, such as an inability for bookstores to shelve the project. Susan Barber came up with the box that was used for #2 and it was a perfect fit and continues to be the best container for a project that sometimes includes 7" records, cds, handmade soap or otherwise. It is easier to shelve and it is also more durable to mail and circulate. Our #3 box is further reinforced to facilitate greater distribution.

In terms of "magazine" versus group exhibition format, it goes back to ideas of distribution, audience, and archive. Obviously printed matter and portable/distributable art editions in many copies are longer lasting and possibly wider-reaching than a one-off exhibition. We can also be more textual and inclusive in this format.

Since you don't really do themes, could you explain your process for putting an issue together? Is it just a visceral gut feeling, some kind of plan or just an aesthetic choice of how things seem to work together?

Sara and I invite artists to either contribute an interview or a multiple and in many cases we invite our contributors to produce both. It is this group that guides the content of the issue. We have found with NDP#3 and I know it was the case with NDP#2, that shared ideas and interests creates a theme of sorts for each issue. Since most of the contributors are currently either based in New York or LA, there is a certain level of shared information that gets discussed in the interviews or within a panel or round table discussion. Sara and I get excited when separate interviews naturally touch upon the same subject matter and in some cases the people in conversation have opposing views from another interview. This more open approach to editing the issue hopefully allows for the interviews as a whole to feel more conversational. The multiples and their approach to the project also hopefully have a similar feel of more unexpected overlap or dialogue amongst the box contents.

The site mentions branching out in other areas. Can you tell me about some other NDP projects, present and future?

NDP presented an evening of programming at The Kitchen (NDP the Movie), we produced a series of exquisite corpse prints (4 prints with 4 contributors to each print), and we participated in the New Art Dealer's Association Fair this past December (we produced multiples made specifically for the fair). We will publish further prints and organize other events that feature previous NDP contributors to allow the project to take on other lives. Only NDP contributors—past and present contributed to the above events.

How do you decide on the artists involved? Do you accept submissions from people?

We do accept submissions. When the project first started and no one knew what it was, all the contributors were composed of friends and artists who Matt knew well enough to approach about the project. From #2- #3 the contributor list has become more of an extension and #4 will include more works by artists chosen through submissions, but we continue to disavow themes.

If so, how many do you really use?

We do not ask artists to submit proposals unless we are really considering them as a contributor. Since the success of NDP#3 we have received about a handful of unsolicited submissions and we will decide in the next few months if any of these will be appropriate for NDP#4.

Where do you print?

Mostly in Chinatown. A few things are made elsewhere, at places found on the internet. Many artists take care of the production of their multiples on their own.

I noticed something on the site about a fundraiser for the next issue. Do you rely solely on fundraising to print the magazine? If not, how else do you raise the money to put out your issues?

Our Exquisite Corpse prints were the main source of productions funds for NDP#3, and our fundraising activities in Miami @ NADA will be the core funds to produce #4. We are not a non-profit, so we have to come up with our own strategies to bring in money. It is a very expensive project to produce and it’s sold at or below cost so the money needs to come from other/adjunct sources.

What magazines do you look at? Love? Hate?

I (Matt) love LTTR, Esopus, Afterall. Like a lot of people, I look at Artforum and recently Modern Painters. I also have a guilty pleasure for US Weekly.

I (Sara) have been a loyal reader and collector of Cabinet. I also like Guilt and Pleasure, Dot Dot Dot, and Topic magazine. Also neat are the few DVD-format magazines around such as Wholpin and Aspect.

Other inspiration? A recent issue soundtrack?

Matt: I am inspired by my friends and artists who are invested in creating conversation.

Sara: Antecedents such as The Fox, SMS, archives, picture collections, historical ephemera and art books.

(pictured: Untitled by Wendy Yao)

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