Bored Of Works is an artist-run imprint. It produces limited runs of artists editions, with the aim of making them so affordable as to be accessible to anyone.
The project was conceived in late 2018 from personal experience. For several years I had been making artwork with a social focus, which was publicly funded and non-commercial. Often this involved collaborating with communities and making something together - a film, or public artwork, for example. At the end of the project there would be an exhibition. These events were always amazing experiences: a celebration of what we’d made together, and a chance to show it to an audience. I would often make flyers or posters for the events, just as a fun thing to do.
I visited some friends I hadn’t seen in forever. As I walked into their kitchen, there on the fridge was a poster for a film screening I’d organised years before. They said they’d just liked the image, the feeling it evoked, and had kept it there ever since. It sounds stupid, but it was a real honour to have been part of someone’s daily life for years without even realising. It made me think of friends who are musicians: I listen to their music all the time, and they don’t even know it.
I was making ‘socially engaged’ work, but this important part of how people engage with art - just having it there in your home, on your stereo, above the kitchen table - was completely missing. After an exhibition is finished or a film has screened, there’ll be some remnant online somewhere, but it’s essentially gone. I wondered if there was away that the kind of work I make might have a life beyond that. A way to remember a shared experience, or bring new people to the work, years later.
What I DIDN’T want to do was shift to commercial work. Bored Of Works is an experiment, unlikely to make any money, and the plan is it will release work by a diverse range of artists. It embodies three values:
- Bored Of Works editions are genuinely affordable. I’ve never been able to afford paintings, and most people I make work with can’t either. I’ll never have the space in my flat, let alone the money, for a sculpture. Not everyone has say, £20 to spend on non-essentials, but if something is that affordable and you really want it, you can usually find a way. And if you can’t afford it, please get in touch.
- Editions are of the highest possible quality. They’re made from the best materials, working with the best people, and attention to detail has been paid at every step of the production process, overseen by the artist.
- Finally, each edition adds something to the work, and lives its values. Whatever the public work intended to do, the edition does too, or extends further.
The easiest way to illustrate this is by example. Our first release, Intermission Music, is the soundtrack from the film An Intermission, which was made over a year and a half with a group of young people experiencing homelessness. The soundtrack to the film was made collaboratively with the film’s participants. Composer Tom Haines, who co-facilitated the music workshops and mixed the film’s soundtrack, reworked and remixed the film’s soundtrack into a standalone piece of music that we feel genuinely proud of. We then worked closely with small suppliers in the UK to press a limited-edition run of 10” black vinyls with full-colour sleeves, each individually numbered and priced at £15+p&p. All profits from its sale go towards a fund supporting the young people who made the film and soundtrack. (Get yours here).
Over the next few years, we aim to release a steady stream of high-quality editions from a range of artists that are accessible, of the highest quality, and live the values of the artistic projects from which they were born. They’ll take different forms: vinyl records, poetry books, instruction manuals, posters, carefully worked out with the artist. If you like what we do then join the mailing list (we don’t spam), follow us, and help to spread the word.
Edwin, November 2020