The Belfast Exposed Bookshop, situated at the front of the gallery, runs an active programme of talks and events, inviting a broad range of speakers to discuss book–and self-publishing–related topics. On the 31st of January (Thursday) at 6pm the BX bookshop was proud to host Eleanor Vonne Brown, who runs X Marks the Bökship, one of London’s most innovative independent bookshops. It proved to be an ideal opportunity to bring together some of Belfast’s art book lovers.
What makes X Marks the Bökship so unique it’s multi-varied output. It sells a range of limited edition artist books and combines publishing with public launches and publisher-of-the-month events. It also hosts talks, screenings and gigs, which are often recorded. Eleanor played back a recording of a recent event, a scripted all-day sound performance which was participant-led and actively engaged with the Bökship’s visitors.
The Bökship also regularly runs food-based events, such as the recent launch of the ‘Studio Cook Book’, a selection of recipes compiled by various studio groups. The launch was accompanied by an impressive pot-luck dinner.
The majority of the publications the Bökship stocks are printed with Risograph, as the process involves real ink – like offset printing – and does not require heat to fix the image on the paper. The Risograph bridges the gap between a standard photocopier and using a commercial printer and makes self-publishing much more affordable. A selection of publications launched and published by X Marks the Bökship were passed around at the talk (view X Marks the Bökship books here on their site)
Some of the independent publishers that Eleanor mentioned during her talk that may be of interest were:
Eleanor also cited the German based independent bookshop/publisher Motto as a reference and spoke about the self-publishing service Lulu, for anyone interested in producing their own limited edition publications.
You can read more on alternative spaces for art and X Marks the Bökship in this text (pdf) by Ksenia Cheinman: uncommon_commons-link