Paul Chan (BFA 1996) chats with the Believer about his new art e-book publishing house, Badlands Unlimited.
Paul Chan (BFA 1996) chats with the Believer about his new art e-book publishing house, Badlands Unlimited.
January 4

Alumnus Quits Art for Publishing

“I don't know what works. I only know what is worth working on,” says SAIC Alumnus Paul Chan (BFA 1996), reflecting on his current projects. In an eight-page interview featured in the November/December edition of the Believer, Chan details his decision to “quit art” following his most recent exhibition, in order to establish “one of the first, and certainly the most lewd, houses devoted solely to artistic e-books,” Badlands Unlimited.  “E-books seemed like a viable format for people who were interested in reading. And the world of e-books was not, to me, aesthetically interesting or experimental in form,” he says, explaining his new focus.  In the fall, Badlands will publish On Democracy, written by Saddam Hussein in the late 70’s while he was vice president of Iraq. “They are politically perverse but eerily prescient, given what seems to be common knowledge now, that democratic countries aren’t necessarily democratic at all,” he says. “The book reprints the speeches, along with a set of new drawings by me and essays from journalists and contemporary writers reflecting on contemporary notions of democracy in light of what Hussein talks about.”