This blog represents the physical collection of zines held in the School of Art and Design.
As the curator of Zineopolis-Art-Zine collection at the University of Portsmouth, I set the aim of the collection to archive and reflect the diversity of thought and talent that exists outside the traditional publishing arena. Zines are one of the few areas left where creative people can speak without censorship to an audience beyond the gallery. This makes the world of zines new and exciting as well as challenging, with Art-Zines especially-the tactility and aesthetic of the self-published artifact is an important consideration. Commercial art is changing rapidly, with over reliance on clip-art images and images that exist to simply dress-up yet another advert.
The nature of production, often cheap and quick, means these Art-Zines reflect the thoughts and hopes of the day (quite literally).
Zineopolis is located within the School of Art and Design so it was a deliberate choice to focus upon image-heavy zines, although we have examples of poetry-zines, personal-zines and fan-zines. The emergence of zines across the USA, Europe and beyond means that contrary to popular thought, younger people (the most populous producers) have plenty to say about the world they find themselves in, and not as passively as one may expect. The culture of zines shows us that people do still have opinions, it also shows us that traditional conduits for sharing thoughts are probably not as accessible as we’d like to think. The Zineopolis collection seeks to archive and celebrate the self-publishing boom. Zineopolis is primarily a non-virtual collection where items can be handled and flicked-through, many have novelty items, unusual packaging, unconventional bindings, or unusual materials, this collection (although archived online) is sensorial delight in the ‘pysical’.