About

Founded in 2010, Badlands Unlimited publishes e-books, paper books, and artist works in digital and print forms. Historical distinctions between books, files, and artworks are dissolving rapidly. We publish and produce new works by artists and writers that embody the spirit of this emerging dissolution. We make books in an expanded field.

PRAISE FOR BADLANDS UNLIMITED

“Iconoclastic” —Publishers Weekly

Defies all labels except subversive and kickass —The New Yorker

“[Breaking] down the distinction between print, digital files and art.” —T Magazine

“Changing the nature of arts publishing” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“Deliciously subversive” —Rhizome

“An extraordinary experiment in publishing” —ArtReview

“Wide-reaching” —Art in America

“The Independent Publishing House Revolutionizing Erotica” —AnOther Magazine

“Badlands Unlimited is forcing several lines of inquiry: who decides what constitutes an art object or a book, when art and digital publishing meet?” —Frieze

Distributed in the Americas by
ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York, NY 10004
Phone: (800) 338-BOOK
www.artbook.com

Distributed in Europe by
Buchhandlung Walther König
Ehrenstrasse 4
50672 Köln
www.buchhandlung-walther-koenig.de


CONTACT

Badlands Unlimited

24 Rutgers St
New York, NY, 10002
USA

(646) 450-6713

General and press inquiries
wholesale inquiries

FAQ

Where are you located?

Our flagship retail store,Y.oung P.ublishers 99¢ & Up, is located at 24 Rutgers Street. In addition to books, Y.P. features artfully-designed displays of kitschy merchandise, such as a series of mannequin heads displaying various hats and wigs alongside a shelf of books. The Badlands office is by appointment only.

What do you publish?

Books in an expanded field. Writings and works by artists and writers in paper and digital forms. We also produce artworks in the form of editions and unique pieces.

Why e-books? Why downloadable files? Why not just publish paper books like normal people?

Because you can’t publish a .GIF or digital files on paper. Also because reading an e-book on e-readers like the iPad or Kindle means you only have to use one hand to read, freeing your other hand to do whatever you please.

Where can I buy your books?

Our website, Y.P. at 24 Rutgers, all fine independent bookshops, Amazon, and Apple. Our paper books are distributed by D.A.P. in the Americas and Koenig Books in Europe.

I’m a book buyer. Can I buy books directly from you for my shop?

Yes you can, and with 50% off! Search Wholesale to find out how...

Will you publish my book? Or my art?

We do not accept solicitations.

Why is it called Badlands Unlimited?

Because Unknown Unknowns was taken.

Because Phaidon was taken.

Because Facebook was taken.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes. However, customers are responsible for the cost of international shipping for the individual item being delivered.

Do you offer promo codes for e-book downloads to press, reviewers, bloggers, students, etc?

We do offer free review copies of our e-books via promo codes for downloads. If you are press and want a review copy feel free to contact us [email protected]

Do you offer consulting services?

Yes. Email us [email protected] to let us help you understand, plan, and implement your next publishing project.

Do you offer internships?

Right now, yes. We are looking for a techie programming intern. Email brief intro and cv to [email protected]


HISTORY

Artist Paul Chan established Badlands in 2010 in his New York studio during an extended hiatus from art making. Chan's ambition was to publish books and works by artists and writers in the arts that reached beyond the "sanctuary" of contemporary art. From the beginning, ebooks were Badlands’ primary mode of delivery. But the press has expanded to limited edition art works, downloadable files, erotic novellas, and a stone tablet. Historical distinctions between books, files, and artworks are dissolving rapidly. Badlands wanted to publish and produce new works by artists and writers that embody the spirit of this emerging dissolution.

The first employee at Badlands was Ian Cheng. Cheng programmed the first ebooks and helped Chan oversee the business and media aspects of the company. Cheng became the co-director of Badlands in 2011 and held that position until 2015. Micaela Durand was the second Badlands hire. Durand managed the social media platforms and directed the multimedia production. She became the director in 2015. Other notable past members include Matthew So, Badland's "CFO," assistant editor Parker Bruce, Gavin Kroeber (special projects), Cassandra Raihl (production), Nickolas Calabrese (production), Ambika Subramanian (R&D), Madeleine Varner (tech and programming), Angela Brown (research), Sean Wehle (intern), Giana Gambino (intern), and Jessica Jackson (intern).

"By refusing to repeat tired, over-hyped strategies of modernization and creating a showcase of artistic strategies within digital culture, Badlands Unlimited provides a welcome edition to a forum of imagining the future of the book," wrote Rhizome in a feature about the press.

When Badlands first participated in Printed Matter's 2012 New York Art Book Fair as the event's first primarily digital publisher, reactions were decidedly mixed among visitors, who felt that creating ebooks were tantamount to burning traditional books. Yet, as Mark Sladen noted in Art Review, Badlands’ "most radical ebooks are more akin to artworks than to conventional publications; and although they do not revel in interactivity or animation for the sake of it, they are completely a product of the digital age."

Badlands began to publish in almost all formats imaginable. The Wht Is? series by Chan consisted of "unlimited" editions of ebooks alongside a single handmade paper edition. Paper books (a collection of Yvonne Rainer's Poems with an ebook of video and audio inserts) were published alongside acclaimed interactive ebooks (the digital group show How to Download Your Boyfriend, Adbook by BFFA3AE, Petra Cortright's celebrated HELL_TREE) — all of which Badlands considers "books," defined by the unique form of attention it commands.

Other notable Badlands titles during this time include Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews by Calvin Tomkins (2013), On Democracy by Saddam Hussein (2012), Think Like Clouds by Hans Ulrich Obrist (2014), and The Best Most Useless Dress by Claudia La Rocco (2014).

In 2015, Badlands announced the publication of an erotic fiction series called New Lovers. Inspired by Maurice Girodias' legendary Olympia Press, New Lovers features the raw and uncut writings of authors new to the erotica genre. Each novella has its own unique take on relationships, intimacy, and sex, as well as the complexities that bedevil contemporary life, culture, and art today. The experiment quickly became Badlands' most notorious series of publications, featuring the work of emerging and celebrated female writers. The Paris Review called New Lovers, "A series of erotic novels written by women for a new generation’s sexual imagination." Nine New Lovers titles have been published so far.

With increasing demand from the general public, Badlands opened the doors to it's first retail flagship outlet store in 2016: Y.oung P.ublisher's 99¢ & Up. Located in a Chinatown dollar store, Badlands bestsellers shared retail space with toilet paper, vases, colorful plastic flowers, Woolite®, vanity mirrors, lottery tickets, and wigs. Badland's collaboration with Y.P. dollar store has since ended (July 2018).

The election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. president in November 2016 marked a turning point. Badlands responded by pivoting from publishing books to posters and signs to support and advocate for the political organizing against Trump and his administration. New No's (2016) was first creation to come from this pivot. Written two weeks after the election, New No's was a poem that first appeared in Artforum as a collective response from Badlands about the election. It was then published as a 24" x 36" poster and made available on the Badlands website, with part of the proceeds from sales going to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. New No's has gone on to enter into several collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, where it was featured in the exhibition "An Incomplete History of Protest" (August 18, 2017 - August 27, 2018).

The Million Women's March in Washington D.C. and New York (January 21, 2017) were the sites for the premiere of the New Proverbs, an exclusive line of protest signs printed on corrugated plastic. Beautiful and provocative, the New Proverbs signs were inspired in part by the posters of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, arguably one of the pioneering Christian hate speech groups in America, the New Proverbs takes visual cues from the color combinations and typographic treatments of the original church signs. But the messages do not disparage the LGBTQ community, Catholics and other Christians, Muslims, Jews, American soldiers and politicians—like the Westboro signs. Instead, the New Proverbs are directed at President Trump and his administration, who also happen to demonize the LGBTQ community, Catholics and other Christians, Muslims, Jews, American soldiers and politicians.

Images of the New Proverbs signs were initially banned by Facebook and Instagram after they were posted online. The images were subsequently reposted by the companies after growing outrage and media attention over the ban. The New Proverbs have since appeared at the LGBTQ solidarity rally at the Stonewall Inn in New York (February 4, 2017), the General Strike rally in Washington Square Park (February 17, 2017), the ACT UP 30th Anniversary Rally (March 30, 2017), The National Student Walkout Against Gun Violence (March 14, 2018), and many other public protests and acts of resistance around the U.S. and the world. Like the New No's, the New Proverbs were made available on the Badlands website, with part of the proceeds for sales going to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, along with Black and Pink (a support and advocacy group for LGBTQ prisoners), and The Ida B. Wells Society (dedicated to supporting journalists of color in the field of investigative reporting). New Proverbs have been featured in New York Magazine, Frieze, Purple, W magazine, Artsy, Hyperallergic, and other media outlets.

Badlands returned to publishing books in 2017 with Into Words: The Selected Writings of Carroll Dunham, the first collection of the celebrated artist's essays and reviews. In February 2018 the press published Craig Owens: Portrait of a Young Critic by Kate Horsfield and Lyn Blumenthal, which is based on a never before published video interview given by the influential art critic and theorist in 1984.

In May 2018, Badlands published Aruna D'Souza's groundbreaking book Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts. At the time of its public debut, it was the only book published by any press that dealt directly with the debates that erupted around issues of art and race during and after the 2017 Whitney Biennial. To date (November 2018) this is still sadly the case. Whitewalling has been reviewed by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Times Literary Supplement, and many other publications. The New York Times called Whitewalling, "A laser beam of a book, unwavering and on target."

In July 2018, Badlands closed its office in the lower east side and shut down its website. The website was relaunched on November 20, 2018. But Badlands have deleted all of their social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter since the return. The office is undergoing renovations and will return as an exhibition space. The first and perhaps only exhibition will showcase the artworks, archival material, and ephemera made by Badlands during its run as a publishing enterprise. The show is tentatively titled "Publish And Perish: Eight Years of Badlands Unlimited," and it is scheduled to open in May 2019.

(Updated November 2018)









READ MORE

FAQ

Where are you located?

Our flagship retail store,Y.oung P.ublishers 99¢ & Up, is located at 24 Rutgers Street. In addition to books, Y.P. features artfully-designed displays of kitschy merchandise, such as a series of mannequin heads displaying various hats and wigs alongside a shelf of books. The Badlands office is by appointment only.

What do you publish?

Books in an expanded field. Writings and works by artists and writers in paper and digital forms. We also produce artworks in the form of editions and unique pieces.

Why e-books? Why downloadable files? Why not just publish paper books like normal people?

Because you can’t publish a .GIF or digital files on paper. Also because reading an e-book on e-readers like the iPad or Kindle means you only have to use one hand to read, freeing your other hand to do whatever you please.

Where can I buy your books?

Our website, Y.P. at 24 Rutgers, all fine independent bookshops, Amazon, and Apple. Our paper books are distributed by D.A.P. in the Americas and Koenig Books in Europe.

I’m a book buyer. Can I buy books directly from you for my shop?

Yes you can, and with 50% off! Search Wholesale to find out how...

Will you publish my book? Or my art?

We do not accept solicitations.

Why is it called Badlands Unlimited?

Because Unknown Unknowns was taken.

Because Phaidon was taken.

Because Facebook was taken.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes. However, customers are responsible for the cost of international shipping for the individual item being delivered.

Do you offer promo codes for e-book downloads to press, reviewers, bloggers, students, etc?

We do offer free review copies of our e-books via promo codes for downloads. If you are press and want a review copy feel free to contact us [email protected]

Do you offer consulting services?

Yes. Email us [email protected] to let us help you understand, plan, and implement your next publishing project.

Do you offer internships?

Right now, yes. We are looking for a techie programming intern. Email brief intro and cv to [email protected]