Monday, May 25, 2009

New Online Material!

Summary: The Corresponding Society hereby announces the introduction of a new resource on our website, the library page. This section will house downloadable and online texts, including an archive of de-commoditized out of print texts. We have prepared two inaugural releases for this project:

Correspondence Issue 1, digital edition
Read it: downloadable PDF

The Gates Salon (Thursday) drawings by Ray Ray Mitrano
Read it: online table of contents

Long version (Disney is the enemy): We don’t particularly like keeping things to ourselves. Young writers that we are, we find the validity of this whole American capitalistic experiment a little embarrassing. The Corresponding Society has always had a foundational interest in reserving as few rights as possible in the distribution of our work, hoping that a model like the Creative Commons (with the slogan “share, remix, reuse”) supplants the tacky paranoia of intellectual property. We are a nonprofit press and we sell (cheaply priced) copies of our print journal exclusively to support further publication. Because of this, we have discussed the idea of online projects that would help shift the focus, as a publisher, toward distributing more divorced from marketing. Anyway, when we accepted our vocations as poets, we ostensibly took vows of poverty --- so let’s try to figure out small ways to unsubscribe to the nutritionless economics that implicitly inform how we think about making and sharing art. Obviously, the Internet presents a much different mode of distribution than print --- and we publish our journal as a physical object because we want to continue operating, to our small extent, in the established non-digital format of booksellers, but we simultaneously want to expand our vocabulary to be able to use the qualities of the Internet to broaden our engagements (instead of ignoring technology, as the established publishing industry has been trying to). We aren’t suggesting that these are original or untried inclinations since, firstly, many small presses, especially those under the direction of younger writers, are effectually involved in innovative practices --- also, as a Pulitzer winner once sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Anyway, here: we built a little library stuck in the notional landscape of the Internet. This came consequent an agreement that, instead of allowing our journal to disappear after being retired from print, we should make issue the first of Correspondence available as a downloadable PDF, no charge and archived on our website. We sold out our print run of no. 1 and put its monies directly into the publication of no. 2 --- its exchange value has played out financially, but it remains a sample of cultural capital we don’t want to horde just because we can’t generate funds with it (considering the extremely low budget we operate with, usually broke even, reprinting or similar options aren’t considerations). So we established an online archive for the journal, which for now (and the foreseeable future, with the difficulties we’re facing distributing the print run of no. 2) features a link to Correspondence 1 in PDF format. We like this idea and want to do other things with it, so we’re pleased to announce plans to develop a collection of online chapbooks and artists’ books --- texts designed expressly for distribution in free digital formats. Our first release is now available through the “library”: The Gates Salon (Thursday), a suite of fourteen portraits in graphite by Ray Ray Mitrano, accompanied by a contextualizing essay. If this interests you, dear reader, or if you have any opinions about or suggestions for this undertaking, please send us a little note (gmail: thecorrespondingsociety) if you like. Oh and, more or less unrelatedly, read this (if you haven’t).

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