Commune Diverge Shift Connect: A Press Press Chronicle

Institute for Expanded Research and The George Peabody Library

Baltimore, MD, Winter 2019

Institute for Expanded Research and the George Peabody Library present Commune Diverge Shift Connect: A Press Press Chronicle, a project by Press Press, an interdisciplinary publishing initiative and current artist-in-residence at the library. Through this engagement, the library has acquired Press Press’s complete body of work and will support the production of a new publication that explores the nuances of their approach to publishing. A public display of the Press Press archive is on view at the library through September 7th. The new publication will be released in fall of 2020.

Launched in 2014, Press Press is an interdisciplinary publishing initiative that aims to shift and deepen the understanding of voices, identities, and narratives that have been suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream. Press Press was founded as an artist project by Kimi Hanauer and is produced in collaboration with core collective members, Vale Cabezas, Lo, Bilphena Yahwon, as well as a network of family and friends who participate in and extend Press Press’s ongoing activities.

Press Press defines publishing as the action of gathering a public. Their approach places equal value on the relationships that develop between individuals and the communities involved in producing the resulting product, publication, or program. Through their experimentation with collaborative work, Press Press has attempted to create and refine an approach for cultivating ethical and compassionate frameworks of cooperation.

As Press Press enters into its fifth year of operation, the GPL Research Residency enables the team to reflect on its history and past projects, such as their long-term partnership with Baltimore City Community College Refugee Youth Project, If I Ruled The World, Sentiments: Expressions of Cultural Passage, and more. Through this process, and in collaboration with a broader community, Press Press aims to develop, collect, and share emergent models and methodologies for collective work that aid the efforts of cultural organizers.

This reflection also marks a year of transition for Press Press, as the team initiates a nomadic presence in Los Angeles, expanding their national reach. Through this work, Press Press ultimately aims to provoke the question: What are the conditions necessary for cultivating and sustaining ethical and compassionate frameworks for being with and cooperating with others in the world?