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Index Card is a book about books with a free book to download.

Special Announcement

Printed Matter’s Volume Grant for LA Art Book Fair 2023

In 2019, I had the opportunity to attend Printed Matter's Art Book Fair LA as an audience member. It was an eye-opening experience, as it was my first time being part of such a large-scale event dedicated to Artist Books. The sheer magnitude of the fair left a lasting impression on me.

During my time at the fair, I found myself irresistibly drawn to the diverse collection of books created by artists from around the world. The talent and creativity on display were awe-inspiring. I couldn't resist spending all my money on books, each one a unique piece of art that ignited my imagination. This experience played a pivotal role in motivating me to embark on my own creative journey with Errant Press.

After returning to Mexico from my trip to Los Angeles, I started my own artistic venture. Working from my kitchen counter, I transformed some ideas scribbled on a piece of paper into my first book experiments. The first matchbook I crafted was a birthday gift for my partner, featuring a love poem. Each subsequent book I created presented new challenges, pushing me to evolve as an artist, a writer, and as a person.

Participating in book fairs has become an integral part of my artistic experience. These events serve as a platform to engage with readers, forge connections, and immerse myself in the vibrant community of book enthusiasts. It is at these fairs that I have not only made new friends but also discovered remarkable artists who continue to inspire me.

Being awarded the Volume Grant from Printed Matter is a tremendous honor for Errant Press. It marks a significant milestone in our journey, as we prepare to showcase our books at Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair. We are filled with anticipation and excitement to share our creations and to distribute the works of talented Latin American artists. This opportunity is a testament to our love for books, and we are eager to participate in this prestigious event.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Printed Matter for providing us with this remarkable platform. The Printed Matter's LA Art Book Fair holds a special place in our hearts, and we are immensely grateful for the chance to be part of the biggest community of artists and book lovers in the world. 

︎︎ 2023 Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair

Index card 012 - Books about books
Design as Art by Bruno Munari

The best thing about books happens when you're not reading. For me, it's meeting people that share my obsession. I met some of my best friends in book clubs and creative writing workshops. Thanks to books, I've met and collaborated with artists I admire; last year, I added to Errant Press's catalog one of the artists that inspire me the most: Catalina Kobelt. In one of our Instagram convos, she mentioned Bruno Munari's influence on her work. She specifically suggested: "Design as Art" and "How are objects born?." They instantly became a reference in my everyday artistic practice.

Design as Art by Bruno Munari collects fifty classes that approach different areas of design with a revolutionary thinker's sharp eye.

"Today it has become necessary to demolish the myth of the 'star' artist who only produces masterpieces for a small group of ultra-intelligent people. It must be understood that as long as art stands aside from the problems of life it will only interest a very few people."

The democratization of art and the suggestion of object art, object poetry, etc., are just a couple of the brilliant ideas the Milanese artist captured in one of his most celebrated books.

Munari's short essays helped me approach Catalina's work with new eyes and expanded some of my limits regarding art. I think this book will capture the eyes of graphic designers, illustrators, book artists, and creative minds.

︎︎ Read Design as Art

Index card 011 - Books about books
Anarchism and edition as a political project by Mauricio Gómez

Anarchism has been getting a lot of lousy fame in recent years. Anyone dressed in black, with their face covered, protesting will be called an “anarchist” even when only a few people identify as one. Traditional media has been trying to relate the words “Anarchism” and “terrorism” frighteningly. And yes, some people, those who are discontent about economic issues, homelessness, social security, lack of helpful health programs, etc., think that violence is an effective way to pressure the government, but I can hardly see how this relates to Anarchism. According to David Graeber, Anarchists are “simply people who believe human beings are capable of behaving in a reasonable fashion without having to be forced to.” This idea collides with the usual notion of chaos and lack of organization related to Anarchism.

And what does it has to do with books? Some of the most important Anarchist values like autonomy, decentralization, and self-education relate closely to books and their power. Why are all the academic papers locked with a price for an investigation that has been already paid for? How can essential books survive in an editorial industry governed by bestsellers and a market economy? Shouldn’t books help us create a more fair and equal world? The answers to these questions are widely explored in this brilliant essay by Mauricio Gómez. Aside from the critic of the current editorial issues, Mauricio opens the door to new kinds of projects: Tumbona Ediciones in Mexico, Open Humanities Press in the US, and Traficantes de Sueños from Spain, as an example of possible models outside the current industry.

Anarchism and edition as a political project are sixty pages of pure delight; and the reminder of something obvious: knowledge should be free, for all, no strings attached.

The free edition I’m sharing is in Spanish, but I’m hoping I can find someone who helps me translate it into English, someone who, like me, believes that other realities are not only possible but in the tips of our fingers.

︎︎ Read Anarchism and edition as a political project

Index card 010 - Books about books
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

As a kid, I used to open the toaster or the alarm clock to understand how they worked. I was curious about the "magic" that needed to happen inside for something to do what is supposed to. As a storyteller, I am also curious about the books I read. I like dissecting them, separating their parts, and figuring out the magic. In my search, I have found some fantastic books like Vladimir Propp's Story Morphology or Gaston Bachelard's different books on Poetics. But there's a book that goes deeper behind structure and theory and shows us how our DNA is part of the stories we read. From the Iliad to Star Wars, from Aztec god Quetzalcoatl to Nordic god Odin, all stories follow the same path: the hero's journey.

Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces is a detailed approximation of the hero's journey. It examines different myths, religions, and stories and contrasts them. In the end, Campbell discovers that every story told is identical and follows a straightforward structure of seventeen stages.

Even though the idea behind the monomyth is elementary, The Hero with a Thousand Faces demands a lot from its readers. The first time I started it, I left it unfinished. After a couple of months, I went back and finished it: it instantly became one of the essential reference books for my artistic practice. Today, my copy is filled with side notes, folded pages, and coffee stains. Almost every week, I go to it in search of a reference or a clear explanation of a specific part of the hero's journey. I use the monomyth to design my work as a storyteller, and it has become a common question in my book clubs (can you identify the hero's journey?).

I recommend this book to writers, artists, or literary scholars. And promise that the reward after finishing it is more significant than expected.

︎︎ Read The Hero with a Thousand Faces

A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasizes that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books. (Ulises Carrion)

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