Library of Artistic Print on Demand

Collection and Research


Open Call: Artists, writers, authors, designers and publishers are invited to contribute to our research and collection.

Print-on-demand is a production method based on digital print that has revolutionized the book world. Contemporary experimental artists and writers who have adopted print-on-demand publishing praise the method’s low financial risk, creative autonomy, and independence from trade publishers. They embrace it as a means of self-empowerment and democratization—although (or, maybe, precisely because) it has been discredited by the literary establishment as a vanity enterprise and by book lovers and designers due to its low production values. Drawing on some of the most notable examples of the genre, this research project investigates how print-on-demand facilitates an astonishing variety of forms and aesthetic approaches and how it functions as a critical media practice that continues avant-garde, underground, and counterculture traditions and also responds to our post-digital age in compelling us to re-conceptualize our understanding of the book and publishing.

We aim at establishing a collection of the most outstanding artistic works using print-on-demand technology and platforms and are especially interested in works that make creative or subversive, critical use of it. Our collection will grow through curatorial acquisition and artist's/author's contributions. In combination with conducted interviews with the artists and analyses of the print-on-demand platform economy and politics, it will be an important resource for the study of print-based experimental publishing, art and literature in the post-digital era.

At the end of our three-year research, our collection will be preserved and made publicly available in one of the prime European universal and research libraries: the Bavarian State Library. In addition, it will be published on our website and in a catalogue, and we envisage exhibiting the final collection.

We are interested in any recommendations and submissions and would like to learn from your experience with print-on-demand platforms, production and distribution. Feel welcome to approach us with any anecdotes, experiences, misprints, failures, reviews or works that belong to this field.

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