Straight pins, gauze, and linotypes: The Cuban post-Soviet artists’ book

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Matanzas’s Ediciones Vigía and Holguin’s Ediciones Cuadernos Papiro construct an arc from the revolutionary 1960s and its investment in collective and communal goods, to the increasingly privatized 1990s and 2000s through their materials and procedures, as well as through their engagement with the figure of the archive. I contend that the books printed by Ediciones Vigía and Ediciones Cuadernos Papiro are both artists’ books – that is, books that are art unto themselves – and books as ‘archives’. Here, I understand the ‘book’ as ‘archive’ in a similar fashion as art historian Hal Foster interprets ‘archival art’: that is, art, in this case book art, that ‘draws on informal archives but produces them as well’ in an effort ‘to make historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present’. The hand-made books of Ediciones Vigía and Ediciones Cuadernos Papiro project a new figure of the reader and occupy social spaces that are radically different from their predecessors. Where Cuban institutional archives have left incomplete territories of the Revolutionary-era and pre-Revolutionary book, the 1990s and 2000s ‘archival book’ incarnated in Ediciones Vigía and Cuadernos Papiro has come to occupy these voids in a compensatory fashion as an ‘archival’ product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-459
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Early online date17 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2017


  • book materiality
  • technology studies
  • commodity culture
  • media studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Straight pins, gauze, and linotypes: The Cuban post-Soviet artists’ book'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this