Siglio Advocate 2018

Four new books for our 10th year

by Mirtha Dermisache, Ellie Ga, Karen Green and Dick Higgins

Image above from Frail Sister by Karen Green.

In 2018 Siglio is celebrating its 10th year of fiercely independent publishing, driven by its feminist ethos and its commitment to artists and writers who obey no boundaries, pay no fealty to trends and invite readers to see the world anew by reading word and image in provocative, unfamiliar ways. Since its inception, Siglio has seen publishing itself as an act of resistance to the literal, the authoritarian and the facile (see the Siglio manifesto “On the Small and Contrary”).

We continue this mission in 2018 with a defiantly eclectic list by artists and writers—Mirtha Dermisache, Ellie Ga, Karen Green and Dick Higgins—who resist categorical distinctions, envisioning image, language and the space of the book in expansive and utterly imaginative ways.

 

SPRING

Mirtha Dermisache: Selected Writings (March)

FALL

Ellie Ga: Square Octagon Circle (September)

Frail Sister by Karen Green (October)

This fictional archive of letters, altered photographs, and collages traces the disappearance of one woman—and many. Beginning with the mesmerizing story of two sisters who are child performers in the dirt poor town of Oil City, Pennsylvania during the Great Depression, Frail Sister journeys to Italy during WWII as one sister escapes to the USO, only to return to a life that disintegrates at every edge. More info to come!

Dick Higgins: Intermedia, Fluxus, and the Something Else Press (October)

Edited by Steve Clay and Ken Friedman

There are few art-world figures as influential—and as little known—as Dick Higgins, co-founder of Fluxus, “polyartist,” poet, scholar, theorist, composer, performer and, not least, the publisher of Something Else Press. In 1965 he restored the term “intermedia” to the English language giving it new dimension to recognize the dissolution of boundaries, the expansion of liminal spaces between traditional modes of art making, and the open field for new forms that cannot be compartmentalized. His own contributions to intermedia are many—as a participant and instigator of Happenings, as writer and composer straddling traditional and vanguard forms, among others—but it was Something Else Press (1963-1974) that redefined how “the book” could inhabit that energized, in-between space. 

Something Else Press was as much a critical statement and radical experiment as it was a collection of books by some of the most luminary artists and writers of the twentieth century: Gertrude Stein, John Cage, Ray Johnson, Dieter Roth, Bern Porter, Emmett Williams, Robert Filliou, George Brecht, among many others. Along with his Great Bear Pamphlet series and the Something Else Press newsletter, Higgins exploited and subverted convention book production and marketing strategies to get unconventional and avant-garde works into the hands of new and often unsuspecting readers.

Edited by Granary Books publisher Steve Clay and Fluxus artist Ken Friedman, this judiciously curated and indispensable compendium of essays, theoretical writings and narrative prose dives deep into the ever-influential ideas that Higgins explored in theory and practice. Clay and Friedman have chosen works that illuminate Higgins’ voracious intellectual appetite, encyclopedic body of knowledge, and playful yet rigorous experimentation in a selection that includes many writings long out-of-print or difficult to find. 

Higgins, as the publisher of Something Else Press, has had an enormous influence on Siglio and its mission, and we’ve been honored to reprint one of his first Something Else Press titles, The Paper Snake by Ray Johnson, as well as model our complete edition of Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) by John Cage on his Great Bear Pamphlet publication of “Part III.” Our ephemera series is also inspired, in part, by the Great Bear Pamphlets and other Fluxus printed matter. Finally, Siglio is a fan of Alison Knowles (who, when Higgins proposed the name “Shirtsleeves Press,” said: “That’s no good. Why don’t you call it something else.”). Knowles’  “A House of Dust” appears as a excerpt in It Is Almost That: A Collection of Image+Text Work by Women Artists and Writers, and the complete text in the It Is Almost That (Box).

 

Due to highly popular demand, you can now print out your own Ubu/Trump stickers here!