This article originally appeared in PureHoney Magazine. Check them out here.
Don’t be surprised if you start finding white, floral “Zine Machines” throughout the tri-county area. They will be filled with a broadsheet newspaper made possible by EXILE books, an experimental project space and artist’s bookstore located in Miami’s Little Haiti.
Founded by curator and visual artist Amanda Keeley in 2014, EXILE produces publications and helps artists realize their print concepts and ideas. Their main goal is to bridge the gap between print and art. “We’re doing our best to give these opportunities to artists and represent Miami’s diverse community through this medium,” says Phil Lique, programs manager at EXILE.
The shop is sandwiched between Extra Virgin Press and the Emerson Dorsch art gallery on NW 2nd Ave., quite literally in the mix of fine arts and print publications. In addition to hosting site-specific events like performances, exhibits, and workshops, EXILE works with institutions like the Perez Art Museum to advance the world of print.
After canceling the Miami Zine Fair, their largest event, in 2020 due to COVID-19, the team realized they needed to go in another direction. Since the collective is all about experimentation, EXILE decided to go even further into community engagement and create one all-encompassing project. “While most institutions filtered programming into Zoom presentations and video, we felt like we had to stay true to print,” Lique says. “Switching to a digital platform didn’t really make any sense to us.” In place of the annual fair, EXILE is commissioning nine artists (including Edny Jean Joseph, Terrell Villiers, Nick Mahshie, and Beatriz Chachamovits) to create a newspaper that will be distributed among six Zine Machines. Restored and decorated in vinyl, each machine will be strategically located in high foot traffic areas. They’ll also be mechanically modified so that people can read the content for free.
Zine Machines can already be seen in Boca Raton, Miami, and at Sweat Records in Little Haiti. The rest should be installed by July. Lique feels that print’s accessibility leaves it without the pretentiousness normally seen in museums and galleries. With the Zine Machines, EXILE hopes to support artists, provide culture to various neighborhoods, and remain active in promoting artists’ publications throughout the pandemic.