With the publication of S P A C E | ‘Talking Type’ this week, I feel good.  I feel something has been completed. It is quite a nice feeling, one that those who make art, music, write, or do work that they love will understand.

You do what you do and you feel something is finished. I am experiencing this joyful emotion, today. I printed the recent issues of S P A C E, and took this picture of them. Quite satisfying.




‘It’s you,’ said T. ‘You do what you want and you make what you like, and you have time, and it’s you.’ Sighing, she added, I wish I could have time, too. 


Making S P A C E was about making time, not just for me, but for anyone who wanted to co-create it with me. I went to different parts of the world with one big crazy idea: that I could find people, on the spot, to talk to and to make with and then publish it at a local copy shop and do a popup art show, too. Then get people there together. Then get talking all over again.

New world tours & travels

In 2017, Atelier S P A C E popped up for the first time in the fringes of the Singapore Writers Festival, on the astroturf, with S P A C E | ‘Here Comes the Dance.’ It is still one of my favorite stories from all of these years since I started with that one, back then. Going to Singapore to stay at a nice hotel for two weeks and sell zines was a major loss financially, but hugely important for me motivationally. I got to test it, after all. I got to see people respond and react to the real time, fact of it. Me, being there, with printed things that were xeroxed and simply produced. I got to be lectured at by a writer who told me to ‘hang in there because it’s not easy getting published,’ without knowing I did some eBooks already and wanted to try my hand at this kind of thing because it’s just a whole lot more fun. The next year I took Atelier S P A C E to Finland, for an artist residency at a place with many people coming and going over the twelve weeks I was there, a real riot, and some drama, and white night and Juhannus and so, so much to write about, which I did. S P A C E was at the Oulu Arts Festival, too, at a nice yellow cafe where I hosted, ‘Hei Kesa.’ So fun.



The next year I wanted to go to Latvia. I know. It wasn’t the first place you would think of if you were new to travel, I think, if you didn’t have ties to it. But I am not new. And I went. This time it was my own self-styled artist residency, fashioned from ad hoc conversations in real time with real people I met. Many. I found some underground artist bars through these introductions, and managed to (mostly) stay out of trouble. I had saved the Art Deco buildings that I had come all the way to the country to see for my last week, so as to give myself a full 8 of them, in the time prior to going, to simply adjust and soak in the local cultural vibe, begin to note its aesthetic, feel the feelings, by osmosis, and in so doing, to prepare. I loved Riga.

5 tickets for S P A C E | Riga, ‘Miniparty’

And my new friends, there, too. I invited three people to a mini party where I shared the zines, and read from S P A C E | ‘Ludzu’ with I., a superb guest. It was a short play format, so it was super fun.

After Latvia I felt like I could do anything, go anywhere, write whatever, and meet whomever. It was simpler though because it was Malaysia and I was already quite used to the place. I wrote in Cameron Highlands and stuck around for a bit, getting used to things, feeling the feelings. Writing the stories. Making the S P A C E.

From there it was the start of Vietnam, which was an accident, because the first week of March 2020 was when I was there, for a workshop in Dalat that I got to make and that I loved making and delivering, but I could not leave Vietnam after it was done. A week of quiet turned into 20 months of it. It was the longest period of solitude I have ever had, and I learned so, so very much, which I folded into each week’s issue of S P A C E. Now I was going to co-create differently. I was going to have to learn a language. I was going to make friends with neighbors, people who could see I was trustworthy, build trust, and do what I had already done in Finland and Latvia but spread out over longer. Stay. Stay and listen. Learn, co-discover, and when the time is right, co-create. I worked well there with one person, V., and for a time we made issues and sat and talked at the bustling places where you could do that. This was after all he big pie-in-the-sky idea that I had had in 2017, wasn’t it? Go and meet really creative people, co-create issues of a zine, print them, read them together, find a place to do a popup show, and show them, there, at those moments that felt right? Steady as she goes.


Atelier S P A C E Ho Chi Minh City closing reception / July 2021




Which brings me here, to where I am. Cambodia.

Making Atelier S P A C E virtually. Co-creating, in the cloud.

Looking back on 2017-2022, an effort to move around partially supported by crowdfunding, I see a few things more clearly. It was hard. It was exhausting. It was relevant. It was timely. I can’t do that now. I could not travel that much, that freely. Ever again. So I am glad I did it.

This was ambitious, perhaps too ambitious, and there were many disappointments and setbacks and overdrafts of my bank account, too. It’s okay. I am happy with all the results. The results make it what it is: a pile of conversational stories, together with me and myself, and the people I did meet, who gave me time, and listened, while also sharing, so we could co-discover, and co-learn. I like this. It is what collaboration really means. (Collaboration does not mean ‘sales,’ though here in Southeast Asia, I see the word used that way a lot.)

To me, what collaboration means is experiencing a very satisfying, good session, in which you get a high-quality exchange of notes and feelings and ideas. To make something. Together. This happens when we make time and show up for the actual work of being present, fully present, sharing and seeing what we do when we are allowed to simply be. And play. Those things have to be there, together.

If you want to make S P A C E with me, you can apply for one of the Atelier S P A C E virtual workshops. I am starting to do this a little bit at a time, with people outside my innermost circles. I’ll welcome your application. You can let me know you are interested, by filling in the form just below. Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 

Please consider donating to our crowdfunding campaign. See #spacethezine at this page.

Call for applications

You'll have the chance to work from zero to something finished, and publish it in our zine. Dipika Kohli will work with you to bring your piece into shape for publication.
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