decentre – a book in development

Books start out in different ways. Generally, someone comes in with a proposal or a manuscript. Guidelines are available on the press webpage (at YYZ Artists’ Outlet > YYZBOOKS). Publishers also sometimes more actively suggest ideas to people who might be interested in doing a book. And sometimes they initiate books themselves.

We had the idea of doing a book about artist-run centres, or as it is now sometimes called, artist-run culture. The publisher, the artist-run centre YYZ in Toronto (see “Wikipedia: Canadian artist-run centres” for more information), was approaching it’s 30th anniversary (2009) so it seemed timely and possibly useful to do a book that would look at where artist-run centres find themselves at this moment.

Artist-run culture being what it is – a network of artists working in organizations that are artist-centric and collaborative – it made sense to begin such a project in a collaborative way, by consulting with others about the project.

What followed was remarkable; an editorial group spread across Canada and Quebec, a wiki, online forums, Facebook and other groups, and a host of other networking tools. The idea and hope was that this networking would stimulate dialogue, discussion on the many facets of and issues facing artist-run centres today.

Thanks to the hard work and imagination of this group, we are poised to publicly launch a process that we hope will result in a manuscript. The hub of the network is a webpage at

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