About the project

Self-publishing has long been a key feature of Temporary Services’ work. We have produced 92 booklets and books during our thirteen years of existence. These publications include essays, exhibition catalogs, collections of photo documentation, compilations of drawings, in-depth interviews and a nationally distributed newspaper.
Temporary Services seeks to create a new publicly accessible publishing facility and experimental cultural center that will live and breathe in the middle of a giant green lung in Philadelphia. The facility would be used to work directly with Philadelphia residents (particularly those who may have never printed anything before) to create a series of new publications on site. PRINTED CITY will be a living building in every sense of the phrase. We would like to develop a building in Philadelphia that will serve both as headquarters for our work, lives, and publishing concerns while remaining accessible to the public through a range of events, ongoing classes, services, and open archives.
Printed City would function as a place of residence for group members, giving Temporary Services a place for our own practice to thrive, but also provide us an opportunity to link our lives with our livelihoods. The center would work with existing community groups, institutions, and individuals to gain an understanding of already-existing strengths and connections in the neighborhood that it will live in. We wish to combine artistic production with practical information and assistance in order to create an interesting and atypical community around Printed City. With the project we hope to continue cultivating and developing more democratic audiences for contemporary artistic initiatives.

We will use print and online publications as well as publicly distributed fliers to solicit publication proposals from Philadelphia residents. Materials for building layouts and rough designs will be provided. Two Risograph printers will be used to print publications in editions of at least 250 copies. These printers use soy ink and banana paper masters to make color prints that closely resemble screen printing. All the waste from this printing process can be safely composted. Authors will keep one third of their editions. We will set aside another third for free distribution inside the building, and to donate to public libraries and collections. Another third would be sold to support our operations.

The interior of the space will be built from scavenged, re-used, and growing materials. The design will make the entire process of developing a book visible and easy to understand: from content creation, to layout, and final realization. There will be displays for finished books as well as each proposal we receive. We will have wall space for displaying layout spreads for books in process. There will be meeting spaces for local groups and free Temporary Services booklets to take. Buildings breathe in and out. We conceive of the building itself as a living organism (a “Green Lung”). We will use construction techniques, plants and indoor farming, solar lighting (fiber optic cables from the roof will conduct sunlight directly to the print shop), to literally make the building breathe out air cleaned by plants and natural filters. The windows of the building will be replaced with transparent, elastic material, with carbon filters embedded in them to filter out smells, that will pull in and push out as the natural breathing of the building gets emphasized. The air inside the building will be cleaned with plants and then exhaled back into the city. The plants growing inside will be chosen for their rapid and high capacities to take carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen. We will have a “growing library” of plant materials that can be used in the book making process so we can make beautiful cover and interior papers (mustard grass), cordage for binding (nettles), and plants for dying (indigo, beets).

About the artist

Temporary Services is Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin and Marc Fischer. We are based in Chicago, Copenhagen and Philadelphia, and have existed, with several changes in membership and structure, since 1998. We produce exhibitions, events, projects, and publications. The distinction between art practice and other creative human endeavors is irrelevant to us.