Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guess What, XU? We have a community book/art vending machine!

I know what you may be thinking. You may be thinking what I might be thinking were I to hear about such a project occurring on a campus nearby: "Cool. But...what?" But rest assured, friends--this is going to be fun!

Below, I've included some anticipatory FAQs, along with my responses; however, let me know what further FAQs you have (for real!) and I can also address those in this blog space. But for now, let's get started:

What is a Book/Art Vending Machine?

Simply put, a book/art vending machine is a converted vending machine (ours is a converted snack machine) through which we can distribute Xavier community-created material objects such as zines, artist books, works of art, comics, maps, and pamphlets. I see the vending machine as a venue for XU faculty, staff, and students to apply theoretical and critical concepts in a format that encourages mastery of material, communicative excellence, openness to others’ views and opinions, and rigorous interdisciplinary, co-curricular dialogue, while also promoting the development and value of each student’s individual voice, aesthetic, and intellectual perspective. In short, it's a space for you to make your voice heard, and through which you can hear other community members' voices.

Where is the Book/Art Vending Machine located?

Our machine is currently being housed in the intersection between the Xavier University library 3rd floor and the Conaton Learning Common.

What kinds of things will go in our Book/Art Vending Machine?

Community-generated material objects could take many forms, including but not limited to zines, artist-books, pamphlets, photography, paintings, comics, maps, small art objects, and drawings. These materials could be created within the classroom setting as well as without, by groups and individuals. Free speech and freedom of expression are welcome and respected; however, hate speech (and its visual correlates) will not be tolerated and will be excluded from the machine. Otherwise, the possibilities are pretty open--visit the machine (on the 3rd floor of the library, right as you enter into the CLC) to get a sense of the size of individual dispensing racks (think: bag of chips and/or candy bar sizes). And you can make one-of-a-kind items or small runs/series--it's up to you! Items will be packaged in clear archival plastic with cardboard backing so that they vend properly.

How much do the items cost?

Items will be priced so that they are fairly inexpensive and easily accessible: right now, the highest priced item is $5.00 and the lowest pricing option is free!

How do I buy an item?

The same way you buy items via traditional vending machines--you can enter bills, coins, or use your ALL card.

What happens to the money the machine makes?

As we are getting the machine up and running, some of the initial machine profits will be set aside to cover the costs of future machine maintenance/replacement parts, etc. Additional profits will cover 1. the cost of the archival plastic bags/cardboard that is necessary for proper vending of the items and 2. supplies and materials that interested community members can use to produce vending items. Currently, there are no plans to pay vending machine item contributors, though this may change depending on machine popularity.

When can I start submitting materials for the machine?

Right now! ASAP! Aren't you already doing this?!?! Check out the "Interested in Submitting Material" sidebar for the printable (pdf-format) submission form, and then drop the form + item(s) off at Dr. Kristen Renzi's Hinkle Hall office or address to her mail location (4446). 

When can I start purchasing materials from the machine?

I'm hoping VERY soon. But that kind of depends on you all, too. Get making, creating, and vocalizing--the venue is here. Now we just need your voices!

Looking forward,

Dr. Renzi

The Book/Art Vending Machine (stage one)
Coils: ready and waiting to receive your awesome vocalizations!

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