John Wood and Paul Harrison, installation view from ‘I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW IT’, Contemporary Art Gallery, February 12 – April 24, 2016. Photography by SITE Photography

Publication Studio Vancouver Residency

Publication Studio Vancouver (PSV), part of an international network of on-demand and by-hand book publishers and binders, is dedicated to the formation of publics through the act of publication. Their focus is driven by the believe that a book is more than a simple vessel for information. Rather it is, to quote PSV founders and co-directors Kay Higgins and Kathy Slade, “a type of social space that links members of a public through shared experiences and through its embedded history as an object passed from one set of hands to another.”

On October 24, 2018, PSV took up residence at the Burrard Marina Field House with an aim to research, develop and produce a very special book: one for and about the particular Burrard Marina boating community itself. Through a series of voluntary interviews, drop-in events and open workshops, they aim to enable marina users to produce sections of a book that will be entirely composed, designed, edited, printed and bound at the marina, and culminate in the distribution of copies to all contributors.

The residency project was inspired by a book called The Comfort of Things, written by British anthropologist Daniel Miller (Polity Press, 2008), which was based on a series of interviews with residents of a single street in London, England, and which focused on each household’s most treasured objects as an entry point into a discussion about the inhabitants’ lives and histories.

During open studios every Saturday (12-5pm) while in residence, visitors to PSV at Burrard Marina Field House will be able to observe the organization’s regular output of books-on-demand, and be able to purchase specially-printed public domain titles that relate in different ways to the site of Burrard Marina and the fraught history of Vancouver’s waterfront, including Pauline Johnson’s Legends of Vancouver, a transcription of stories given to her by Squamish leader “Joe Capilano;” Bertrand Sinclair’s early 20th century seagoing adventure novels, which used Vancouver as an exotic destination; lesser-known novels and stories by Herman Melville; archival books and manuals that document the growth of Vancouver, and government documents, old and new, which are relevant to the marina, to life on the water, and to the continuous displacement of culture, communities and economies by colonialist capital.

Programming for PSV’s residency, including a launch of the new book, is planned for Spring 2019.