Magical Octopus

Magical Octopus | in collaboration with Jo Frenken | risoprint | 17.0 × 23.0 × 2.0 cm | 200 copies | Centum Nec Plura VI | 2020

This book was awarded “Best Dutch Book Design 2020” — Jury report: As last year’s fourth Magical Riso Biennale was unable to proceed live, this book is in fact a product of the coronavirus measures. Indisputably one of the few positive aspects of the pandemic. All aspects of the book’s production have been tackled with great professionalism. Instead of actually meeting, the best Risograph printers in the world were invited to collaborate on a joint publication. The jury was unanimous in the view that this publication is more than merely an overview of what the cream of the current Riso community have to offer. The clear editorial decision alone to give each participant source material by artist Miek Zwamborn to work with, has resulted in an extremely interesting book. No mean feat purely in terms of organisation: just try assembling all this material, supplied from all over, in such a sound way. In addition, the book has a very attractive paper cover, which pulls all of the various paper types together. A multi-vocal sampler of endless possibilities, united in a single voice.

 Initiated by Jo Frenken, coordinator of the Printing & Publishing Lab, and based on Dutch artist and poet Miek Zwamborn’s photographs, poetry, scientific drawings and maps of the Knockvologan (Isle of Mull), a number of great artists and stencil printers were invited to produce prints from the comfort of their own studios. These were then sent to the Jan van Eyck Academie for compiling and assembling purposes, resulting in the Magical Octopus publication.

Contributors: Bananafish (China), Calipso Press (Colombia), Corners Studio (South Korea), Endless Editions (US), Gato Negro Ediciones (Mexico), Hand Saw Press (Japan), Hato Press (England), Issue Press (US), (Belgium), Knockvologan Studies (Scotland), Knust (The Netherlands), Quintal Éditions (France), Raum Press (Spain), Risolve (US), Sigrid Calon (The Netherlands), (The Netherlands), Jan van Eyck Academie (The Netherlands)

Created within the framework of the Magical Riso #IV biennale, the publication met its public launch on 1 December 2020.