project

The Outsider Zine

If an archive is a collection of elements, what happens to the elements that don't make the cut? The Outsider Zine was built off of the idea that while most everyone has at one point felt like an outsider, powerful forms of group identity often rise up around common feelings of alienation. Insiders become outsiders, and outsiders become insiders, depending on how you look at it.

In a collaborative effort with Jen Magathan, Mary Banas, and Cameron Neat, we created a zine that played with the false dialectic of the insider and the outsider. We surveyed 20 members of the course Elective Affinities, prompting them to finish the following sentence: "I feel like an outsider because ______."

With the results of the survey, we generated a poster that unified the various reasons for feeling like an outsider, and a series of t-shirts with one survey response printed on each front. The zine contained a pastiche of both images and text, exploring some common forms of outsider culture and the subcultures that have sprung up around them.

The final form of the project was a limited edition of 20 packets, each containing a tshirt, a poster, and a zine. While all the other components were uniform, none of the zine recipients knew which t-shirt they would receive.

Limited edition set: poster, zine, t-shirt, stickers.

The poster contained all the survey responses to the question: I feel like an outsider because _______.

The zine itself was a pastiche in four parts: outsiders by choice, outsiders by force, outsiders by ___, and outsiders by ____.

The outsiders become insiders.