“It’s a great name, because once you say the word you just can’t help looking”

I have a fascination with zine culture, I love the low-tech ethos. I love the way that zines can cater to any proclivity: art, music, comics, poetry, diaristic writing, and more. My creative practice explores the whole spectrum of book arts, so dipping my toe into zine culture makes sense.

My zine, Crotch, is purely fun; I wanted to make something la feminista, addressing the way men’s bits aren’t featured in popular culture in the same way that women’s bits are. It’s a great name, because once you say the word you just can’t help looking. This issue, number 9, made exclusively for Axon, is slightly different to the other issues. It’s almost a mind-map of my memories of Canberra men. Drawing upon that feature of the Canberra calendar, the Summernats car festival, there are some playful and poignant drivers, mashed up together and travelling along a road of text that lists whatever jumped into my head, positive or negative, about men in Canberra since about 1986 when I landed in the city to go to university. And of course, there is only one choice for a centrefold, and any long-term local who thinks of the words ‘Canberra’ and ‘Crotch’ together would agree.

A note on the process: I scan things I that I find in books and I trawl the internet, digitally cutting and pasting, allowing the outcome to be visually clunky for the fun of it, not getting caught up too much in the design. The material pleasure of my zines comes after the printing, when I fold and cut (often using a pair of pinking shears for a playful vagina dentata effect) and vagazzle the front cover with stickers and rubber stamps.

Download your own copy of The Canberra Crotch by clicking on this link: http://ampersandduck.com/art/wp-includes/images/2014/08/Crotch-9.pdf

Print it out in colour, double-sided, and make sure that it is printing at 100% (many printers try to scale it down slightly) then fold it like this (the first fold is lengthwise along the page, with the centrefold in the centre (duh)):

1. fold patter.png

This is a page from one of my favorite book arts books: How to Make Books: Fold, Cut and Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book by Esther K. Smith of Purgatory Pie Press  (US: Potter Craft, 2007).


If you would like to download the other issues of Crotch, you can find them here: http://ampersandduck.com/art/crotch/