Communist Forms in Experimental Publishing




Mittwoch, 18. April 2018, 19:00 Uhr



A talk and book launch by Nicholas Thoburn


Salon für Kunstbuch Belvedere21

Arsenalstraße 1

1030 Wien

Too often we think of books as transcendent intellectual, political, and aesthetic goods unsullied by commerce, or imagine, against ascendant screen technologies, that the physical materiality of books is in itself enough to ground a resistant media.

We find in artists’ publishing, small press communism, conceptual writing, and other fields, a renewed attention to the ‘media-specific practices’ of print, to their hybridisation with digital platforms, and to techniques of the capitalist capture of text. This ‘post-digital’ condition is the basis for this talk on the communist media forms that inhere in experimental publishing.
Setting out the concept of the ‘anti-book’ and focusing on a number of experimental publishing projects – including Valerie Solanas’ author-defaced copy of SCUM Manifesto and Antonin Artaud’s paper spells – the talk will focus in particular on the ‘communist object’ of the self-published pamphlet.

Nicholas Thoburn will give a talk to launch his book, Anti-Book: On the Art and Politics of Radical Publishing (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). 392 pages, 14 b&w photos, 13 colour plates. Copies of Anti-Book will be available at the launch for a reduced price of €18.

About the author.
Anti-Book is Nicholas Thoburn’s second book. He has also published Deleuze, Marx and Politics, and co-edited Objects and Materials, Deleuze and Politics, and Franco Berardi’s After the Future. He teaches in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manchester and sits on the editorial board of the culture and politics journal New Formations. Many of his publications can be found on

Bernhard Cella is interested in the economic and sculptural framework in which artists’ books – highly informed objects in themselves – can be used as artistic materials. To this end, he conceptualized the ’Salon für Kunstbuch’, a life-size model of a bookshop, in his studio in Vienna. Since 2007, more than 12.000 artists' books have accumulated and entered into unfamiliar vicinities and dialogues. Buying and selling these objects become an integral part of an original artistic practice.