Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Bareing Skine

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site: http://pahomepage.com/palive-details?nxd_id=278842

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Bareing Skine by Rachel Dispenza (http://bareskine.tumblr.com/).

Once upon a time, in the days before the internet and blogs, creative people with opinions still wanted to find a way to express themselves and share their thoughts with the world. Out of the pamphleteers of old came the idea of "zines": home-made, hand-made, self-published magazines, usually photocopied and stapled together and distributed free or for a small price.

Zines had a heyday in the late 1980's, but faded away somewhat as the internet offered other ways for people to express themselves: user groups and bulletin boards, later blogs, and then things like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

But starting a few years ago zines started to make a comeback as people began to embrace this lower-tech means of expression that had a real presence in the bricks-and-mortar world. Blogs could be edited and posts deleted,  but once a zine was in someone else's hands there was nothing you could do to change the content.

The Scranton Zine Festival is an annual event held to bring zine creators from all over under one roof. On the event's blog they list the participating creators and publishers who will be sharing their zines there, with links back to their personal websites or blogs. One of those was Rachel Dispenza of Tunkhannock, creator of the zines Progression and Progression: Part 2. On her blog, Bareing Skine, Rachel shares sample pages from her zines, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into making them. She also provides links to places where you can buy the few remaining copies of the last print runs of her zines. In the sample pages you can see the striking combinations of images and words that make up every page of her zines. Reading these zines can be a gut-wrenching experience, and Bareing Skine can help to prepare you for it - or it can set you up so the emotional impact is even greater.

Bareing Skine and the related zines, Progression and Progression Part 2 remind me of an incredible bit of experimental literature from the 1970's, Joseph Pintauro's The Rabbit Box. If this blog and these zines are any indication, Rachel Dispenza is someone whose works may someday make a huge impression on a broad audience. Progression Part 3 is in the works, and you should definitely check out Progression and Progression Part 2 while they're still available. Visit Rachel's blog, Bareing Skine, and get a taste of what her zines have to offer!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at nepablogs@gmail.com!

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