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