A Short History of Xexoxial Editions
Just weeks after meeting in Madison Wisconsin in 1981, Miekal And and Elizabeth Was and their friends began making little one-of-a-kind books. With the help of photocopy technology some of these were produced in mini editions of 5 or 10 copies. Soon they started collecting manuscripts of other obscure mail artists, writers & other creative folks working on the fringes of the mainstream. Was & And became creative editors, forming collaborations between people who had never met, turning verbal work into visual/verbal with their design input -- collaging; playing seriously with typefaces & placement & other lay-out considerations; experimenting with xerographic techniques such as enlargement, reduction. degeneration, & movement on the glass; & self-taught hand-binding the finished works. In an effort to get some of these little books into libraries, Was/And applied for ISBN numbers for what they were by then calling "Xerox Sutra Editions." Well Xerox Corporation had some interest in Bowker Books, who is somehow in charge of ISBN numbers & the next thing they knew, Was/And got a very official letter of reprimenad & warning from Xerox Corporation. Yes, they'd been using their verb, & yes, they'd been selling these books, a few here & a few there, on the street, in their house, in the mail; gross income might have hit $50 annual total in those early years!
Xerox Sutra Editions was in no stretch of the imagination a money-making endeavor; it was strictly a labor of love, an obscure & serious obsession, an inherent part -- alongside noise, mail art & performance -- of a visual/verbal polyartistic lifestyle on the fringes of modern culture. By 1984_____ Was & And were producing tiny editions of over__ artists/authors including Michael Helsem, Malok, Martin Rosenblum, K.S. Ernst, ______People kept telling them, you guys are providing a great service to the public: These creative art &literary works are SO obscure as to be virtually inaccesible, if it weren't for your generous efforts. You guys should incorporate & obtain tax-exempt status for the work you make accessible to the public & the activities you help organize. So we did:
We chose a new name, one that suggested the word "xerox" but didn't outright use it. We still relied heavily on xerographic technology to reproduce works from what we began to understand was a precious ARCHIVES of experimental visual/verbal literature. Always excited too about the SOUND of language & about the creation of new words ["neologism"], we invented the musical-sounding word "xexoxial." We choose to pronounce the first two "x's" like "z's" & the third as "ks," but we encourage you to play with it & prnounce "xexoxial" any way you wish! Xexoxial "Endarchy" takes the second word of its name right out of the dictionary: "formed or taking place from the center outward" (Webster's). This word was chosen to refer to the polyartist's approach to the creation of a work, where a single idea or image might manifest itself in a variety of ways, many defying the traditional divisions between partforms. The 90's counterpart of polyartistry could be"intermedia" or "hypermedia."
new way of reading (quote ancient libraries)