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The Fine Print
Rebecca Vicino | August 6, 2012
A new independent publisher is resurrecting print for a digitized city.
Carissa Potter and Luca Antonucci are the founders of Edicola, a publishing platform and print shop run from a kiosk on 6th and Market that serves as a collective for book fetishists and emerging artists alike. In 2010, the two friends—both graduates of the San Francisco Art Institute—began working on a small line of paper goods when Luca was awarded Artist-in-Residence at the Kala Art Institute. Colpa Press soon evolved, their independent publishing company that combines letterpress, giclée, intaglio, and other types of print, to produce work both for clients and gallery exhibition. Edicola (meaning newsstand in Italian) is the duo’s newest project, it opened in March of this year and showcases zines, posters, books, albums, and more, from Carissa's own line of greeting cards—Luca calls them wittingly perverse—to tightly bound pint-sized novels by Portland-based Publication Studio. Luca and Carissa curate other artists and often bring their work to life by publishing it themselves at Kala. The newsstand challenges the traditional relationship between curator, creator, and palpable content while encouraging dialogue about their roles.
San Francisco magazine: What allowed you the opportunity to create this platform?
Carissa: We started off with the idea of repurposing a newsstand with art and wanted it to be downtown to let people just hang out and talk about the work. By circumstance, Luca had a show at the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Zoë Taleporos [Program Associate and independent curator] told us about these kiosks you could procure through the Central Market Community Benefit District. So we wrote a proposal and after a lot of bureaucratic emailing, we were finally granted the booth.
Luca: The challenge in it was showing them that a bookshop could be an art project.
SFM: What makes your location unique?
Luca: The thing about mid-Market and the Tenderloin is that it pushes against gentrification. It’s a historical neighborhood and you can’t make a lot of changes to a majority of it under building codes. However, it used to be the epicenter of culture. There’s a theater on almost every block, and art galleries used to line these streets. For me, it’s natural to want to revitalize this neighborhood, I don't think it's like bringing art to a wasteland.
SFM: Where does your name come from?
Carissa: Luca’s Italian and also speaks the language. Colpa means ‘guilty.' It's a pressing feeling that parallels the actual process of printmaking and it has all of our initials in it.
Luca: We want our work to signify something both in its production and content. We came up with Edicola because this kind of model for a newsstand is reminiscent of the Italian version, which means an overwhelming amount of magazines and newspapers. In Italy, the stands will often reproduce paperbacks and offer them more cheaply than bookstores. We thought it was a cool model—the fact that the stand is producing something.
SFM: How do you select who to feature and publish?
Carissa: We try to have projects that have a conceptual underpinning—we wanted to carry goods that were artist-made, that would be affordable for people like us, to push the boundaries of what contemporary art is.
Luca: For our free newspaper every month, Gazzetta, we ask anyone who we think has an interesting voice; anyone who has something going on or who has an idea for article, can be a part of it.
SFM: What do you hope people take away from this platform?
Luca: There aren’t enough venues for artists that make really challenging work. What I think is really interesting is trying to come up with creative methods of exhibition, as opposed to just showing people’s art projects in the white gallery cube. We want artists to make work that challenges the venue in which it’s shown.
Carissa: As an artist, you want to feel good about what you’re creating and have more of a purpose outside of the process. It’s always a challenge to be able to show your work, and it was really exciting for us to be able to give opportunities to other people and help motivate them to make things.
SFM: Why do you feel that tactile print is something still important to cultivate in our modern culture?
Carissa: I still believe in the touch of an object, the materiality, the paper choices, there’s something about the quality of that experience. People are real beings and will always have an attachment to actual objects.
Luca: When a method of production like print is being phased out, it’s far more interesting to take on the abandoned format and make it our own and really put our stake into the idea of independent publishing.
Visit the stand Tues-Fri 4-7pm / Sat-Sun 12-6pmtext-autospace:none">