Juan: They’re a lot of different things. In creating them, they’re a way of making something that doesn’t have to hold the same weight as a fully-fledged photobook—they can be a way of exploring more experimental ideas quickly or act as sketches or drafts of something bigger.
It’s also a way of having a built in community—there are many small zine fairs across the country and it’s so easy now to meet people who share the same passion for creating them. There’s a pride that comes with having made something by hand and that’s a shared sentiment among those who make them.
Carlos: We use the term zine in a very contemporary manner that respects its roots but also attempts to explore its current state. A lot of the energy that went into producing the “fanzines” of the late 20th century is now residing in the blogosphere, where fans can indulge in just about any obsession instantaneously. People that are making zines today are as obsessed with zinemaking itself. The process relies on its independent, artist-made nature. Zines tend to connect the artist more directly with its intended audience, as opposed to a trade publication or a bespoke edition where the imprint of the publisher or gallery or other institution bodes heavily in that connection.