n+1, the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, along with Astra Taylor and Sarah Leonard, has recently published a 40-page newspaper regarding the topical “occupy” protests. OCCUPY! was printed as a limited run and distributed in downtown Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. For everyone else who couldn’t grab a copy, the publisher has made it available as a free PDF download on their website.
My praise of OCCUPY! has to do primarily with its content and the importance of documenting this event. It was only a short matter of time before a semi-major publisher would collect and distribute a response to the protests, and I’m glad that n+1 stood up to the plate. This isn’t to say that other texts and DIY zines aren’t readily available, but this one has a thoughtfulness and accessibility that I find to be unique.
The document is structured into chapters of historical perspectives, true accounts from the field, informational statistics, and visual depictions from a short list of contributors. The format is dynamically put together in an almost nonlinear fashion, where articles run through one another with the only distinction being a subtle shift in typeface or font weight. The choice of red and black juxtaposed with a condensed sans serif is slightly reminiscent of the work done by Aleksandr Rodchenko for the constructivist and productivist art movements of the early 20th century—which I think is very much in-line with the social activism of all parties, regardless of specific agenda. Oh, and did I mention there’s a songbook?
While the complexities of OCCUPY! can’t be shortly summarized, I’m envious that they were able to quickly produce a well-designed, yet not over designed, collection of invaluable work. There’s no doubt that we’ll begin to see similar releases of documentation through various mediums, and I can only hope that n+1 has set the standard for public availability with the visual respect it deserves. Go get it!