RISO BAR is a publishing initiative and cooperative space that facilitates collaboration and experimentation using risograph technology. It is designed for communal gathering and collective learning between designers, artists, writers, educators and students.
Facilitators: Sofia Bastidas Vivar, Finn Jubak, Soomi Han, May Makki, Mylan Nguyen and Taro Waggoner.
The risograph is a printing technology defined by its relative simplicity and possibilities for experimentation. Invented in Japan in the 1940s, the technology was imagined as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to photocopy machines. In subsequent decades, riso has become a definitive creative tool for a global network of users including artists, designers, publishers and universities. Riso Bar is a collaborative exhibition that engages with the vast riso network, exploring the risograph’s potential as a tool for learning and experimentation. Over the course of the exhibition, a risograph machine will be available for public use while the Pollock Gallery is open. The machine forms the core of the exhibition: “It is what we learn with, practice with, and make with,” says curator Sofia Bastidas. Visitors to the Pollock Gallery are invited to use the risograph to create works of their own. A series of free, public workshops led by risoproducers from Texas and elsewhere will allow visitors to develop and expand both their skills and knowledge of riso history and practices. In collaboration with SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, Riso Bar will include a curated collection of riso books and zines from all over the world, as well as fresh juices for purchase from Recipe Oak Cliff, playing off the ideas of the riso “bar.”
“Riso Bar is a long-term exhibition for collective learning and skill building,” says Bastidas. “Our hope is that it will be a launching pad for a new riso press in Dallas after the exhibit concludes.”
The exhibition is a collaborative initiative between Strange Powers Press, May Makki, Finn Jubak, Recipe Oak Cliff and the SMU Hamon Arts Library.
Strange Powers Press is a letterpress and risograph studio operating out of Dallas. Powered by a Riso GR 3770 and a Vandercook Proof Press, founders Mylan Nguyen and Taro Waggoner make it their mission to promote and publish interesting zines and prints as well as hold workshops on various forms of printmaking and making small publications.
Finn Jubak was born and raised in New York City and received a B.A. in film from the University of Chicago in 2018. His work in photography and film engages the materiality of landscape and expressiveness of everyday objects. His images have been published inHamburger Eyes and Aint-Bad. He currently lives in Dallas.
May Makki is interested in collaborative systems and practices. She received her B.A. in art history from the University of Chicago, where she focused on the relationship between art, technology, media and politics. She is the curator of a private collection in Dallas.
Recipe Oak Cliff is a food venture of The Susu Cultural Business Incubator, dedicated to addressing food security issues and supporting health food entrepreneurs in South Oak Cliff.
The Hamon Arts Library serves SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the arts community. Its circulation and reference collections contain more than 180,000 items relating to the visual and performing arts. In addition, the library has some 300 subscriptions to arts periodicals and provides access to more than 40 online resources that are specific to the arts. The purchase of the risograph books and zines in conjunction with the Riso Bar exhibition is possible thanks to the Gail Turner Fund, Hamon Arts Library, SMU.