LK James MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Existential Jukebox: Self portrait in the year of the dog

I am printing and publishing a book called Existential Jukebox: Self portrait in the year of the dog, using a Risograph printer at Outlet Studio.

The book is a collection of drawings and writings produced in the final year of my graduate studies, published as an exploration of book design and using the Risograph printing process to communicate locally and independently.

A Risograph is a stencil printing technology that was used in the later decades of the 20th century in offices, churches, schools, to economically disseminate information. Repeating the pattern of many print technologies (e.g. Linotype, mimeographs, and photocopiers), the Risograph was originally designed for efficient bureaucratic / commercial communication and was replaced in the common market as more innovative machines became available in the 1990’s.

Early in the 21st century, however, the Risograph has experienced a resurgence in the hands of artists, independent publishers, and printers aiming to produce rich, characterful, quality editions that speak to the process, politics, or intimate nature inherent in Risograph printing.

In making this book, I am demonstrating the machine’s capacity for closing the gap between publisher and reader, communicating autonomously in a physical realm, unmediated by digital platforms. In a world that is ever more suffused with a slickly designed and curated aesthetic that begins and ends on the computer screen, printing with a Risograph is, in some ways, an act of defiance against the increasingly polished homogenization of art and design in the 21st century. In the face of a self-branded generation and corporate infiltration of private spaces and personal identity, I cry out for the human, the vulnerable, the raw, the crude, the dumb, and the unpolished mark of the hand.

The political and conceptual implications of the Risograph printing process are illuminated by the context surrounding the machine itself. In section one of this paper, I will tell you about the printing process—what it is and why I’m using it—and discuss how I find meaning in these implications and to what degree those meanings are reflected in my publication.

In section two, I will offer an overview of the development of Existential Jukebox and discuss the process of designing, editing, and producing it. I’ll talk about some of the challenges I faced, how they affected the final version of the publication. I’ll also discuss why I’ve framed the content of Existential Jukebox as a self-portrait, how the book is a meditation on the multifarious nature of identity, and a reflection of my own view of the world.

In the final section, I will summarize the biggest lessons I’ve learned while completing this project and discuss how I will apply them in my future practice.

Rachel McKenna MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

James Rouse MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Bukola Koiki MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Tyler Peterson MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Jennifer Cooke MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Samantha Estrella MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Reese Bowes MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Ryan Newson MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Jadene Fourman MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Lange Wei MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Meghan Chalmers-McDonald MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Alisha Sullivan MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Sarah Davis MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Ximena Bedoya ACD MFA Practicum 2014

Emily Wyant MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Brian Hutsebout MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Caitlin Sweet MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Edward Key MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Joey Edwards ACD MFA Practicum 2014

Leah Brottman MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2014

Eric Trine MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Shannon Hauff MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Zachary Pollock ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Coren Rau ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Amy Conway ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Kyla Mucci ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Natalya Locke ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Theresa Arrison ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Francesco Cupolo ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Meghan Morris ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2013

Heather Bromer ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Jacob Tietze ACD MFA Capstone Spring 2012

Amber Roelfs ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Andrew Lonnquist ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

William Rueck ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Sheri Earnhart ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Kathryn Bradshaw ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Karl Ramentol ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Swapna Ketcham ACD MFA MFA Practicum Spring 2012

C. Larrisa Hammond ACD MFA Practicum 2012

Jody Dunphy ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Amanda Brennan-Melbostad ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Killeen Hanson ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2012

Laura Allcorn ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Rachel Cox ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Anne Crumpacker ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Ali Gradischer ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Evan Holt ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

J. Eric Morales ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Selja Ojanne ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Julie Pointer ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Leslie Vigeant ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Matthew Philip Williams ACD MFA Capstone Spring 2011

David Boekelheide ACD MFA Capstone Spring 2011

Donald Bergstrom MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Lauren Sinner MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Alicia Deblaey MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Phoenix McNamara MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Moayad Lingga MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Anne Aube MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Diane Einsiedler MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Andreas Kindler von Knobloch MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Kelly Peyton MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Laura O'Quin MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

William Moss MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2016

Chelsea Snow MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Celia Armand Smith MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Aaron De Lanty MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Rebecca Gore MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Eliot Park MFA Applied Craft + Design MFA Practicum 2017

Maria Garcia Guerrero MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Diane de Ribaupierre MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Eva Rabin MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

May Reid-Marr MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Rachel Jones MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Jennifer Viviano MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Sarah Brusstar Applied Craft + Design MFA Practicum 2017

Jessica Stroia MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Catherine Chidester MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017

Nicholas Parker MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Michael Schnitman MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2015

Taylor Kibby MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Sam Lillard MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

LK James MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Katharine Forgan MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Nathan Rice MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Caroline Borucki MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Mel McKinley MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Gina Rios MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Percy Appau MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Michael Rutledge MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Jason Lee Starin ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011