Acid-Free III: Publishing and the Art of “Failure”

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 1pm
Blum & Poe, 2727 South La Cienega Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90034

East of Borneo is pleased to host a panel discussion for the third iteration of ACID-FREE, a three-day art market organized by Los Angeles-based publishers!

Artist-run magazines, journals, and publishing projects in Los Angeles have long been sites for experimentation, collectivism, and dissent from the cultural mainstream. We can think of Chrysalis, the 1970s feminist magazine published from the downtown Woman’s Building; X-TRA, formed in the late ‘90s to diversify and broaden dialogue around contemporary art in L.A.; the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, founded by CalArts alums to forge a link between radical aesthetics and political activisms; and more recently, the Los Angeles Artist Census, an artist-run research initiative which publishes data about the lives and practices of artists in L.A. County. Still, even more elude contemporary memory, surely, in the archives of somebody’s crowded attic.

What too often is the case with artists’ publications, which depart from commercialism and conformity in favor of collaboration and creativity, is that they are sometimes short-lived. Financial precarity and the niche communities they serve seem to predetermine a certain ephemeral quality. So what does it mean to engage in this work anyway, with the understanding that someday it might end?

Join East of Borneo’s editors Tom Lawson and Adriana Widdoes in conversation with Neil Doshi, Robby Herbst, Kate Rouhandeh, and Rhiannon Vogl.

Publishing and the Art of “Failure” seeks to re-imagine “success” in self-publishing as a creative practice. Within these spheres, how can “failure” still speak to optimism and hope? And how can artists and publishers sustain more enlivened work, and alternative worlds, under less linear conditions?


  • Saturday, June 17 at 1pm
  • Located in the Den at Blum & Poe


About the speakers:
Neil Doshi is the designer of Los Angeles Artist Census. In exploring the idea of an ‘expanded practice,’ his work asks how graphic design can not only inhabit conventional forms and formats, but can also point beyond; to the built environment, alternative modes of production & distribution, and performative actions. He holds an MFA in Graphic Design from CalArts and has teaches in Otis’ Graduate Graphic Design Program. He has been a guest lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and A-Z West’s Institute of Investigative Living. Recent projects include websites for Thomas Demand and the Estate of Luchita Hurtado and Lee Mullican; and a forthcoming publication with Poeh Cultural Center / Pojoaque Pueblo.
Robby Herbst is an interdisciplinary writer and artist who uses and investigates avant-garde paradigms to expand cultural imagination. Recent projects include: Street-Vendor Portfolio, a project commissioned for LABOR at MOCA (L.A.), as well as Compassion and Self Deception: A Guide To LA’s Moral Crisis (created in relationship with the Los Angeles Poverty Department) also presented by MOCA. His essay “The Deschool Primer, The Portola Network, Avant-garde Art, and the Education of the Cybernetic Body” will be published in the forthcoming issue of Counter Signals Journal. He instigates the Llano Del Rio Collective and co-founded the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. He recently relocated to New York from Los Angeles.
Rhiannon Vogl is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Toronto where her research has focused on Lucy Lippard’s writing and its relationship to Chrysalis Books and Magazine. Her writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, Border Corssings, Momus, C Magazine, BlackFlash and Canadian ArtBlackFlash and Canadian Art. From 2008–18 she was an Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada.
Kate Rouhandeh is a writer and independent curator based in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Chicago and an MA in Curatorial Practices from USC Roski. Currently, she is managing editor at X-TRA Contemporary Art Journal and foundation assistant at the Michael Asher Foundation.
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