The MIT Press has entered into a distribution agreement with no place press, a new arts and culture publisher located in San Francisco and New York. Formed in 2017 as a collaboration between Rachel Churner, Jordan Kantor, and Geoff Kaplan, no place press aspires to publish “intrepid titles in art and culture.” Starting this spring, the MIT Press will handle worldwide marketing, sales, and fulfillment for no place press titles.
The founders see the press as filling a unique need among artists and writers who want a collaborative publishing experience that brings their work to a much larger audience. “Our press started almost unwittingly. Our first book, Jordan Kantor: Selected Exhibitions 2006-2016, was published in 2017,” explains Churner. “This volume had a kind of hybrid typology--it was equal parts artist’s book, exhibition history, manifesto, and catalogue raisonné. Working together on this project, we began to recognize that creative, well-designed books which participated in multiple typologies across art, art theory, design, history, and criticism were few and far between. We knew a lot of artist and writer friends, who had great projects brewing that somehow didn't fit into the normal categories of distribution and reception in their respective fields, and saw this as an opportunity to help bring these worthy projects to light.”
no place press expects to produce between four and six titles a year. With such an ambitious publishing program, they identified the need for a partner who could provide professional global marketing and sales support.
Among other things, Kantor cites the MIT Press’s extensive experience with distribution partners like Semiotext(e), Zone, Goldsmiths, and others, as factors in their decision to sign a distribution deal: “We chose MIT Press as a distribution partner because of their long standing reputation for serious and intellectually rigorous publications. Our press was born from a community of friends and colleagues, and when we looked around at the distribution landscape to other imprints whom we've long respected, we found many of them at MIT Press, and are happy to now be counted among their ranks of distributed presses.”
Asked to clarify what it means to publish “intrepid” works, Kaplan says this means they are “not afraid to embrace projects that don't fit into preexisting typologies,” and the books publishing this spring illustrate this open, interdisciplinary approach to art, culture, and storytelling:
- A Frank O'Hara Notebook by Bill Berkson (recently excerpted in Poetry) reproduces O’Hara friend Bill Berkson’s notebook—notes, poems, and images collected over a lifetime of friendship and research—to create a fascinating account of O’Hara’s life in New York, at a moment of great artistic cross-disciplinary exchange and creativity.
- For Want of a Nail by Futurefarmers (Amy Franceschini and Michael Swaine) documents a site-specific contribution to the SITE Santa Fe Biennial, that produced three nails—made from 1943 steel pennies, meteorite, and Trinitite residue from the Trinity nuclear bomb test—to “respond” (albeit a half-century later) to J. Robert Oppenheimer’s requests for a nail upon which he can hang his hat.
- The Glen Park Library: A Fairy Tale of Disruption by Pamela M. Lee uses the story of Ross William Ulbricht, the wunderkind who masterminded the dark net marketplace known as the Silk Road, as a springboard to explore disruption, fantasy, truth, and contemporary media through original readings of five women artists—Gretchen Bender, Cecile B. Evans, Josephine Pryde, Carissa Rodriguez, and Martine Syms.
- Hello Leonora, Soy Anne Walsh documents video and performance artist Anne Walsh’s encounters and interdisciplinary responses to surrealist painter Leonora Carrington’s novel The Hearing Trumpet.
Kaplan continues, “Maybe it even means seeking such projects out. Another key word in our mission statement is ‘non-instrumentalized.’ Without going too deeply into the philosophical history of this term, we want to support projects that are as fully realized and independent and autonomous as possible. We want to support our collaborators to be as actively empowered as they can be in realizing their projects.”
For the MIT Press, this partnership complements the press’s publishing in art, literature, design, and media studies, but it also strategically expands the existing constellation of distribution partners to capture the contemporary zeitgeist.
“We are delighted to welcome no place press to The MIT Press,” says Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press. “The projects they are bringing forward, with their focus on interdisciplinary studies and works, speak to how artists, writers, scholars, and researchers are studying and creating in art, poetry, media, and cultural studies. no place press is poised to become a powerhouse in these fields and we are delighted to help them reach new audiences everywhere.”
Media contact: Jessica Pellien, email@example.com