I Have Witnessed First Time Experiences
is a publication of writing by ten artists based in Rotterdam.
Launched at San Serriffe, Amsterdam
What does an artist’s writing practice look like, and where can it sit? Increasingly I find myself surrounded by, and drawn to artists with active writing practices. These practices are not always intended for print, often words are generated in order to create performances, to be exchanged with peers and collaborators or for artists to better understand their visual output for themselves. More often than not, these texts remain in folders on desktops, personal blogs or notebooks, sometimes with half an eye for opportunities to be polished up for the page or to be read aloud.
In I Have Witnessed First Time Experiences, I wanted to show the varied ways these artists are using writing; from narrative storytelling, to note taking, or as a space to acknowledge the work of others. As a first time editor I have encountered the complications and trials of working with other people's texts, and begun to learn what an editing process looks like for me. Conversations had, and edits given both in person and online have helped me understand what these artists want their writing to do, how it works for them and where they might put it.
By creating this space, here in this book, and placing these texts between, before and after one another, I can offer the contributors one possible way to be witness to what they have made. And to the reader, to encounter these texts together for the first time.
The ten artists in this publication are all currently attending, or have recently graduated from the Fine Art department of the Piet Zwart Institute. I would like to thank all the contributing artists, Vivian Sky Rehberg, Kate Briggs and copy-editor Katherine Macbride for their encouragement, advice and support.
Editor, Connie Butler
Copy-editor, Katherine Macbride
Proofreading, Liz Allen
Design, Rosie Eveleigh
Printing, Publication Studio Rotterdam
With thanks to the Piet Zwart Institute