Darin Klein and Friends Present: Box of Books, Vol. I & Vol. II

Box of Books, Vol. II
Fall 2009
Brent Armendinger & Ben Fife, Kate Barclay, Math Bass & Eve Fowler, Eden Batki, Amina Cain, Crystal Z. Campbell, Shannon Michael Cane, Patrick Dunagan, Simon Fujiwara, David Gilbert, Lia Halloran, Johnny Ray Huston, Lamesha Melton, Amir Nikravan, Louis M. Schmidt, Christopher Schulz, Cedar Sigo, Max Steele, Margaret Tedesco, Carla Verea & Francisca Rivero-Lake, Sy Wagon & Orson Wagon

Darin Klein and Friends animation
Both volumes, animated to dizzying delight by Peter J. Brant. Thanks, Peter!

Box of Books
Fall 2008

Micah Ballard, Robert Becraft, Noel Black, bodega vendetta & prvtdncr, Timothy Cummings, Chantale Doyle, Zackary Drucker, Julia Dzwonkoski & Kye Potter, Marina Eckler, Edie Fake, Darin Klein, Nate Luce, Lucas Michael, Christopher Russell, Jim Schatz, Kelly Sears, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Ami Tallman, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Jim Winters

Books, books and more books: The beginning of Darin Klein & Friends:

I’ve produced roughly 70 different artists' publications, starting back in high school in 1991. Coming from quite a small town, I’d never seen a ‘zine or a chapbook or anything of the sort, so I basically believed I was inventing something new! My first project was a kind of literary journal with contributions from friends, and my second project was a chapbook of my own poems. From there I began publishing chapbooks by other people. A trip to San Francisco’s City Lights Bookstore opened my eyes to a world I had unknowingly become a part of. Once I moved to San Francisco, I continued to make solo work in near solitude for many years, handing out copies of my latest books to friends or consigning copies to City Lights. I slowly began working with friends again – one of my first collaborators was Jim Schatz. We ran a gallery called scene/escena and made a bunch of books together. Then Sarah Cain hand-painted the covers for a small edition of my writing. From there I grew increasingly comfortable opening up to other people’s ideas and contributions. Now, almost 20 years since my first foray into independent publishing, I rarely even consider doing book works on my own. Gathering friends to participate in my latest scheme, assigning themes, teaming up with other small press publishers, teaching non-book artists how to create book works, and organizing book arts exhibitions and small press festivals have all become a driving force in my artistic and curatorial practices. “Darin Klein & Friends” was in the back of my mind for a while; I liked the casual, goofy sound of it. And while many prior projects could have been labeled with the moniker, the Box of Books project is the first place it appears in print. I make them specifically to take to Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair, an amazing annual gathering of publishers that includes fancy commercial publishers, scrappy independent ones, and everything in between. Editions of 100, each book is made by the individual artists with the instructions that I give them, each box contains a complete set of all the books, and each contributor gets 2 sets. The rest seem to disappear like magic at the fair… I’m already starting to work on Vol. III.

Check out this interview: http://blog.sfmoma.org/2010/01/darin-klein/

Check out my website for a list of my other publications: www.darinklein.net


Darin Klein & Friends Present: Louis M. Schmidt + Move Along People Nothing To Feel Here #5

November 28
‘Zine release party.
Move Along People Nothing to Feel Here #5. Louis successfully pulled off the production of a brilliant new issue of his ongoing 'zine amidst the hustle of creating several new large-scale works on paper and hosting events four weekends in a row. Also on view were a new selection of hand-painted canvas tote bags which sold like hotcakes. Free with any purchase was the 'Zine Fest 2009! Commemorative 'Zine that attendees of our November 14 event helped to create. Anyone with a keen eye for observation would have noticed that the menacing cityscape made from cardboard boxes and spraypaint had grown almost to the 12' high studio ceiling. DJ Trickmilla (aka Patrick Miller) set the perfect mood playing an eclectic mix of vinyl all night. The power of the Cornhole was felt by many, and since we still had the game at the studio from the November 21 event, an impromptu mini-tournament was played out.

November 29
Special Sunday viewing hours: 12-6pm.
We spent the afternoon reflecting on the past month, welcoming friends and strangers alike who dropped by to celebrate Louis's work.


Darin Klein & Friends Present: Louis M. Schmidt + Cornhole Tournament

November 21
Cornhole Tournament.
We had a blast at this unauthorized, non-sanctioned, high-impact sidewalk game among friends. A fall chill was in the air as Louis measured and marked off the court. The platforms that Louis and classmate Vince Manganello made and often use at the Visual Arts Facility at UCSD were freshly painted with sharp looking racing stripes. As the first guests arrived, we were heating apple cider with allspice, cardamom, cinnamon and orange slices on the campstove (thanks Ananias!). We even made stovetop JiffyPop, which brought back fond childhood memories of sitting in front of the big, clunky VHS machine with my family to watch rented movies. The first cornbag tossers got the games started and it went nonstop until 10pm. Champions were challenged, challengers became champions. Cornbags were declared dirty for touching the ground before hitting the platform. Cries of defeat and victory were sounded in the night. Meanwhile, Louis snuck back into the studio to install two brand new large scale drawings. Still not sure what cornhole is? Check out http://www.playcornhole.org/index.php


Darin Klein & Friends Present: Louis M. Schmidt + 'Zine Fest 2009!

November 14
‘Zine Fest 2009!
In keeping with Louis's 'zinemaking practice (he spent the last week creating 3 brand new 'zines!), we hosted local ‘zine makers and independent publishers who showcased and sold their wares. We inserted cardboard boxes into Louis's cityscape sculptures and used them to display the 'zines. Participants included Eden Batki, Rich Bott, Ted Chung, Cathy de la Cruz, Micki Davis, Robin Eisenberg, Encyclopedia Destructica & Christopher Kardambikis, eohippus labs, Eve Fowler, Aaron Guerrero, Darin Klein, Kiyoshi Nakazawa, Joshua Ploeg, Christopher Russell, Louis M. Schmidt, Jen Smith, Sumi Ink Club (Luke Fischbeck & Sarah Rara), Sweaterqueens, and Elysa Voshell. Plus: many people created work on the spot to contribute to an as-yet-untitled 'zine using markers, glue, scissors and collage materials. We'll distribute this 'zine on November 28, along with an all new issue of Louis's Move Along People Nothing To Feel Here.


Darin Klein & Friends Present: Louis M. Schmidt + Beach Jazz Noir performance by Rich Bott

November 7
Opening night! Louis spent the week installing a massive black hole voidspace, creating large-scale drawings of despondent humans and assembling a modular cityscape in cardboard and spraypaint. Rich Bott performed Beach Jazz Noir to a packed house. The performance was a live audio visual chronicle of toe rings, day cruises, sea food restaurants, landlocked artificial island suburbs, the cries of seagulls, scuba dogs, shells, tanning zones, specialty coffee drinks and cell phones in tandem, lighthouses and more. Check out more of his work here: http://www.animalcharm.com/


Darin Klein & Friends Present: Louis M. Schmidt

Darin Klein & Friends embark on an experiment in transparency that questions and examines accepted modes of presentation and representation. By temporarily re-purposing the studio of an already established artist, an emerging artist is given a platform for the expression of their own ideas. Possibilities for intervention and creative collaboration are expected to be explored within the walls of the studio. For the first in a series of exhibitions and related programming, Darin Klein & Friends will touch down at Amy Adler’s Echo Park studio for the month of November 2009 with work and projects by Louis M. Schmidt.

During his month-long residency, Louis M. Schmidt will be installing, exhibiting and creating works on paper, producing a brand new issue of his ‘zine Move Along People Nothing to Feel Here, hosting parties and community-driven get-togethers, educating and learning from friends and strangers, and shooting for the stars – all before your very eyes. He will be joined by a selection of artists and peers using vocabularies complimentary to his own. We invite you to drop by and see how it all plays out.

Saturdays in November, 6-10pm
At Amy Adler's Echo Park studio
1296 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Free admission
Free drinks and snacks (you bring, OK?)

Louis M. Schmidt
Born and raised in rural Illinois, Louis M. Schmidt earned a BFA in Studio Art (graduating Summa cum Laude) and a BA in Art History from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2004. Louis is currently completing his MFA at UCSD. His drawings, ‘zines and installations deal primarily with a dialectical tension between epiphanic moments and existential void space. http://bridgethevoid.blogspot.com/

Amy Adler

Amy Adler currently lives and works in Los Angeles and is Associate Professor of Visual Art at the University of California San Diego. http://www.amyadler.com/

Darin Klein

Collaborating with an ever-expanding network of friends, Darin Klein curates and organizes exhibitions and arts programming, simultaneously producing, collecting and promoting artists’ publications and independent media. Darin is the Programs Coordinator at the Hammer Museum, where he also curated his first museum exhibition, Hammer Projects: Christopher Russell (January – April 2009). http://www.darinklein.net/