Athenaeum – The Library Re-imagined

Athenaeum: The Library Re-imagined: MONDAY 1 MARCH 2:00PM: Join us for the launch of Athenaeum: The Library Re-imagined, a collaborative publication created by the RCA MRes Communication Design Pathway who set out to rethink the idea of the library during the pandemic era – as a site not only for encountering and categorising certain kinds of knowledge, but also a space (virtual or not) for dialogue and community.

“Athenaeum: The Library Re-imagined, is a collaborative publication created by the MRes Communication Design Pathway at the Royal College of Art, and is part of their Research Biennale 2021. How does the definition of the library change when we move beyond its physical walls (or does it)? How might we design more equitable, sustainable, imaginative systems for creating and facilitating the sharing and creation of knowledge? Within this publication, it is not only the library as conventionally construed – shelves of books housed within four walls – that has been subject to reimagination by the Communication Design Pathway. The contributions in Athenaeum reflect on the act of reading, for instance, what constitutes a safe space, and what it would mean for books to ‘perform’. They pilot new modes of thinking about what the library could feel like and sound like, what new opportunities for community building might emerge if we searched for books via memes rather than the Dewey Decimal System, if we encountered library collections serendipitously while walking outdoors, what a library of emotions and experiences might look like, and much more. The word ‘athenaeum’ has been lent to many types of institutions with the collection, generation, and sharing of knowledge at their foundation, including libraries. The ancient Roman Athenaeum, however, was a school. This merging of library/school is at the centre of the Communication Design students’ publication. Together, the chapters in Athenaeum act as a kind of ‘how to’, not in the sense of a definitive set of steps for achieving a single defined outcome, but as a set of shimmering possibilities, guiding us toward someplace new.” – Emily Candela, pathway leader

For the personal project component of ‘Athenaeum – The Library Reimagined‘ I produced: Apotheosis which connects with one’s inherent inner-tacit wisdom and hidden-knowledge, through the self-archival process of documenting both fictional and non-fictional memories, thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Through the act of sharing and disseminating the inner-voice via modern verse, the internal then becomes the external. Apotheosis is symbolic of: ‘a library of the self’, which when presented as part of a group project then becomes a ‘library within a library’.

Apotheosis Chapter within Athenaeum: RE:Birth:

Athenaeum – The Library Reimagined:

The Research Biennale 2021 (22 February – 1 March 2021) is a showcase of student research at the RCA. This brings together for the first time PhD, MPhil and MRes students from across the College, highlighting the urgency, vitality and ambition of research across art, design and architecture. The Biennale platform takes the work beyond its final outcomes, to consider the processes, methods and contexts for this array of research. What you will encounter will include finished works/outputs, text pieces, written texts, workshops and provisional thinking. This is one of the largest concentrations of art and design research students within a university setting. The RCA hosts an extraordinary community of nearly 300 research students, undertaking research projects across the expanded fields of Art, Design, Architecture, Humanities and the Applied Arts.

The students featured here are a special cohort of researchers, having navigated their way through the current global pandemic; we are proud to present them to you here and hope that you enjoy exploring their work as much as we do working with them to realise their research ambitions. The world of art and design research is full of potential for changing the world and more. Across the week there are a number of opportunities to meet with the students and research graduates from the RCA as well as other events and activities; please visit the Events page for details. Come and join us for these and find out more. You can navigate the platform using the keyword picker, by name and by discipline, allowing different routes through this rich and powerful work.

Interview with Cat

In this interview with ‘Exceptional Individuals’ I talk about graduating from a Master of Arts degree at the University of the Arts London, some of the ideas behind my art and the challenges of overcoming Dyslexia.

Unfortunately the MA Book Arts Course at UAL: Camberwell College of Arts (which ran for thirty years) is now closed as of July 2020. However, if you would like to see the course reinstated at UAL in the near future do please sign the petition >>HERE<<


‘Exceptional Individuals’ specifically work with neurodivergent people and support neurodiversity awareness. For more information please visit:

If you are interested to find out more about what constitutes dyslexia there is a book called: The Gift of Dyslexia: Why Some of the Smartest People Can’t Read and How They Can Learn (Revised and Expanded), by Ronald D. Davis with Eldon M.Braun. Published by Perigee Books 2010. Book Finder: ISBN: 978-0399535666 

First published in 1994, Ronald Davis theorises that dyslexic individuals do not think in words and are picture thinkers. I would go a step further and postulate that it is a kinetic combination of absorbing and processing information that results in visual tapestry or collage of information to which the individual will keep updating and adding to for the rest of their lives. This often gives a Dyslexic an overview of the bigger picture and how certain elements mesh together.

For example did you know that Agatha Christie, Albert EinsteinAndy Warhol, Auguste Rodin, Cher, David Bailey, Erin Brockovich, Jennifer Aniston, Leonardo da Vinci, Jim Carrey, John Lennon, Keanu Reeves, Kiera Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Curie, Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Thomas Edison, are also dyslexic achievers?

More info:

Camberwell Summer Show 2019

Why I think Art is important in society today and why everyone should go to Art School:

Holiness of the Heart: A Concrete Poetry Art Installation and Artist’s book featuring my ‘Holiness of the Heart’ poem printed upon the feathers of the wings, one wing in English and the other wing in Spanish, which I photographed and printed up large 2.2 m x 1.5 m utilising the room as book, with the walls as pages and the corner as the spine or fold, exploring: The Viewer as Performer / Reading the Gallery Space like a Book /  Leading the viewer through the space / The importance of language and translation / The concept of unity – ‘We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another’ – Luciano De Crescenzo / and the concept of spiritual integrity- ‘I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of Imagination–what the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth’ – John Keats. In this piece each viewer becomes an Angel on Earth.


How it began:

What I have produed:

My aims and goals:

The viewer experiences and engages with the piece by wearing a viewing device, (3D-Spex) to read the affirmations which are designed to create new neurological pathways in the brain that are totally supportive. The prints are available as an Artist’s Book from the Book Art Bookshop in Pitfield St., Shoreditch with a free pair of 3D specs.

Sequence: An Artist’s Book inspired by my mother who has Dementia on the subject of memory, self-identity and intergenerational change, reframing the past to serve in the present, through the materiality of the Artist’s Book and analogue photographs. It is also about the processes of looking. The Summer Show exhibit was accompanied by a series of framed prints which featured only the backs of the analogue photographs, as unique objects in time and space in their own right, which have their own story to tell.

A hardback copy of this book is part of the special collection of Artist’s Books at The British Library, and a saddle-stitched copy of ‘Sequence’ is part of the special collection of Artist’s Books at The Wellcome Library, The Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths University, London, and The Tetley’s special collection of Artist’s Books in Leeds.

The hardback version will be on display as part of the MA Select Show at the Camberwell Space Gallery, 45- 65 Peckham Road, London, SE5-8UF until 23rd August.

Grateful thanks to everyone who came to the show and engaged with the bookworks.

Summer Shows 2019

MA Flier square dots July AMA Flier square dots July B

Camberwell Summer Shows: July 11th – 17th

MA Visual Arts: Book Arts • Designer Maker • Fine Art Digital • Illustration • Printmaking

Thursday: 6–9pm
Friday: 10am–8pm
Saturday: 11am–4.30pm (last entry 4pm)
Sunday: Closed
Monday to Wednesday: 10am–8pm

Camberwell College of Arts, 45–65 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UF

PAGES New Voices: A Gathering of Artists’ Books Tour

Unknown-1In February my Artist’s Book: ‘Sequence’ was acquired at the 22nd Annual International Contemporary Artists Book Fair held at the Tetley in Leeds and is part of the PAGES New Voices collection of Artists’ Books, which has started a short tour of three Yorkshire venues at the Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance (Below).

PAGES is coordinated by artists and researchers John McDowall and Chris Taylor. Founded in 1998 and operating around the hub of an annual Artists’ Book Fair, the initiative has provided numerous and wide-ranging opportunities for the development and awareness of the book as primary medium in art practice. Manifestations such as exhibitions, workshops, open calls and curated projects have facilitated experimentation, dissemination and engagement for audience and makers. In 2019 in association with the Fair’s host venue, TheTetley, and with the support of Arts Council England, PAGES has under taken a series of major new projects.

Tetley Collection of Book Artists

ROAR, Rotherham:
Talk on Wednesday 13 March at 6.30.
The books will be on display until Thursday 21 March.

Doncaster Art Gallery & Museum:
Talk on Saturday March 23 at 11.00.
The books will be on display until Friday 29 March.

The Cooper Gallery, Barnsley:
Talk on Saturday 30 March at 11.00.
The books will be on display until Saturday 6 April


Camaradas MX-UK 2019 Exhibition

I have been invited to take part in The Mexican Embassy’s Camaradas MX-UK / Comrades UK-MX 2019 Exhibition due to take place at the Menier Gallery, London, March 12th-16th. I will produce a concrete poetry Diptych featuring a poem I wrote entitled: Holiness of the Heart which was inspired by John Keats quote: 

‘I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the hearts affections and the truth of imagination’.

The purpose of the poem is to remind people of one’s spiritual wellbeing through the medium of language, which is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development. The wing-shaped diptych is inspired by another of my favourite quotes by Luciano De Crescenzo:

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another”.

It will be accompanied by a limited edition Artists Book / Zine featuring the poems translations into French, Spanish and Italian.


‘Ways of Seeing’ – Solo Show of Photographic Prints @ The Hanbury Hall in Spitalfields

From Sunday 12th August 2018 I shall be featured in a month-long solo exhibition of photographic prints all of which were taken within a period of a year on my walks around London. It will be held in the upstairs gallery of The Hanbury Hall in Spitalfields, London.


The Hanbury Hall has a fascinating history that dates back to 1719. Originally built as a small Hugenot chapel, it has accommodated many different East London congregations over the years eventually becoming part of Christ Church in 1887. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor in the 1800s using the building for public readings of his works and in 1888 the Match Girls held their strike meetings here as they prepared to protest against working conditions at the nearby Bryant and May factory.

Hanbury Hall, 22 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR
Mon – Fri: 8am – 5pm
Weekends: 11am – 6pm.
Tel: 020 7377 6793
They also have a nice coffee shop and free WiFi.

MA Book Arts Summer Show

Looking At Looking / Sequence Reframed

This piece is about analogue photography, memory and identity, neuro-diversity, intergenerational change, sequence, reframing the past into the present and the art of looking, as in looking at the processes of looking which in turn reframes the past. The way this particular piece is presented invites the viewer to pick up the book and hold it in their hands while leafing through its pages. The act of handling the book activates the piece. As the viewer looks down upon the book they can see their own hands echoing a similar handling of the book as demonstrated in the photograph below. The hand in the shot belongs to the same women in the photograph. The age difference symbolises the passage of time. What I hope to encourage is a dialogue on the importance of ones memories for a sense of self-identity. How does memory-loss impact ones sense of self-identity? And how can one reframe ones memories so that they may better serve oneself in the present moment?

12th – 18th July 2018: UAL: MA degree shows.

Ab-normal Exhibition – May 23rd


Artists: Cat Miller, Helen Ji Hyoung Gong, Lawrence Blackman, Marton Nemes

Curators: Ileana Tu, Jie Qiu

Opening times: 23th-24th May, 2018  10am- 8:30pm

Private View: Wednesday, 23th May  6pm- 9pm

Place: Chelsea College of Art  SW1P 4JU

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas, I am frightened of the old ones.” —— John Cage

Exhibition online:

Altered States – book art – by Cat Miller

Xhibit 2018

I am currently featured in The Xhibit 2018 Show – Championing Future Creatives – running from April 19th to May 12th @ The Bermondsey Project Space London SE1.

ALTERED STATES :: The ‘Altered Book’ piece was about challenging the traditional concepts of ‘what the book represents in our culture today’ in the changing times of electronic devices that simulate the book right down to the colour and texture of the paper. Traditionally the book has been a revered and trusted object upheld throughout history and culture, where entire religious philosophies and political ethics are delivered as fact, presenting complex methodologies to be adhered to and codes of conduct for living ones life. Significant sized buildings of stature and status are still dedicated to their housing for archival, lending, and research purposes. This piece entitled ‘Altered States’ was made from a large ex-government hard back book that has been repurposed with a series of sequential cuts and reverse folds, which all together formed sculptural indented shapes where pages were compressed together. The pages were not destroyed in any way and so therefore could be unfolded to become a normal book again, representational of the division between the two worlds that we live in; the world of imagination and the world of outer reality. The shapes represent the personal inner emotional spaces that are created when the imagination is activated which can transport one to an alternate parallel reality.

Click HERE to see my PHOTOS from the PRIVATE VIEW.

More images taken by Zaigham Butt:

Images taken by Paola Gabrielli (Bermondsey Project Space):




Roisin Sullivan, BA Fine Art (4D), Diploma of Professional Studies CSM will be performing her performance titled ‘My Autism’ at 4pm on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 9th May
  • Saturday 12th May

The performance which takes place in the gallery window consists of the artist sitting in a bath of Coca Cola for 30 minutes interwoven with a spoken word piece which reflects on their life from 1 to the present day.

In the words of Roisin ‘The work itself explores my oppression as a women with autism. The absurdity of this act is a demonstration of the constraints within society, and within my experience of existing. There’s a disposition between determinism and free will composed in the structure of capitalism, patriarchy and western society which impacts myself, and is relevant throughout history. The systematic oppression of my autism and gender is represented by submerging my body in the Coca Cola, something which I have addiction to – this act calls into question whether this characteristic forms part of my Asperger’s or is a result of further political hierarchies’.


‘iVend’ is about the normalisation of art and the accessibility of ideas such as social unity, environmental awareness, spiritual enlightenment and emotional evolution, and that it should be as normal and as effortless as being able to buy a bar of chocolate, a packet of crisps or a can of coke. So by replacing commercial snacks and beverages with a range of Poetry CDs, DVDs and books, the vending experience may provide intellectual food in the form of inspirational ideas for the mind and a visual feast for the eye, thus defying the traditional museological experience, for here the vending-machine becomes its own self-contained gallery, independent of an exhibition space for exposure or accessibility, where the act of buying the art and poetry becomes part of the piece itself.

The iVend installation contained copies of a book of poetry especially designed for the installation with an audio CD of spoken word (containing 15 tracks), a DVD of five visual poetry videos and a selection of individually wrapped poems, in handmade envelopes made from recycled cotton rag, sealed with sealing wax. All content featured my own original material.

The installation was open from 14th May until 17th June 2012 in The Foyer, Central House, 59-63 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7PF.

Previous art/poetry site specific projects in public spaces include work featured on The EDF London Eye, The London Underground and The Tate Britain.

Brief History of Vending Machines 

The earliest recorded coin-op vending machine was invented by Hero of Alexandria an ancient Greek mathematician and engineer who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt. It dispensed hot sacrificial water in a Greek temple for five drachmas through a slot on the top of a machine that resembled a Greek urn. When the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened up a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counter-weight would snap the lever back up and turn off the valve.

Although the idea of ‘coined consumerism’ did not catch on for another 1,700 years, people are now completely familiar with the use of vending machines as they are firmly embedded into the fabric of the community upon their introduction into the UK at the beginning of the 17th century. These early devices in England were for the sale of tobacco and snuff until in 1851 beverage-selling devices were demonstrated at the Great Exhibition in London. Vending was first introduced properly in England in the 1880‘s, selling postcards with scenic views of London.

In 1897, the Pulver Manufacturing Company added animated figures to its gum machines as an added attraction.

Inspired by the invention of the post card vending machine, Richard Carlisle, an English publisher and bookshop owner decided to vend books from his own shop. As a result  Carlisle invented the first book vending machine which held six books at a time. The concept of the book vending machine has since transformed into the invention of newspaper vending machines and magazine vending machines.

The first patents for vending machines were granted in the United States in 1886, and in 1887 the first commercial firm for the sale of goods by vending machines was established in Great Britain.

In 1888, the Thomas Adams Gum Company introduced the very first vending machines to the United States. The machines were installed on the elevated subway platforms in New York City and sold Tutti-Fruiti gum.

The round candy coated gumball and gumball vending machines were introduced in 1907. Soft drink and nickel-candy machines followed in the 1920s and 30s.

In Philadelphia, a completely coin-operated restaurant called Horn & Hardart was opened in 1902 (and stayed opened until 1962).

Vending machines like this  Nestle chocolate bar machine (left) were situated in busy foot traffic locations such as railway stations, bus stops and dairies and were operated by the “column and drawer” principle. The chocolate bars were stacked one above the other inside the machine. A glass window on the front allowed the customer to see the amount of stock left. A coin inserted in the top of the machine activated the mechanics until the purchaser could open the drawer at the bottom and remove the chocolate bar. Closing the drawer re-locked the system.

English companies such as the Postcard Automatic Supply Company and the Sweetmeat Automatic Delivery Company, developed some of the earliest machines dedicated to the supply of a particular brand. Cadbury and Nestle were well-known names on chocolate dispensers.

Vending machines were chiefly restricted to selling penny gum and candy until 1926 with the invention of a cigarette-vending machine by American, William Rowe.

Sir Allen Lane with his Penguincubator

Shortly after in 1937, inspired by cigarette vending machines the inventor of Penguin Books Sir Allen Lane invented a machine called the Penguincubator a vending machine for his paperbacks in keeping with his pledge to offer classic literature at affordable prices, costing just sixpence, the same price as a packet of cigarettes and was situated at Charing Cross station.

As conflict in Europe drew closer, Penguin Specials such as ‘What Hitler Wants’ achieved record-breaking sales. One of the bestselling titles during the war was ‘Aircraft Recognition’, used by both civilians and the fighting forces to recognize enemy planes. Penguin also started an Armed Forces Book Club, bringing entertainment and comfort to soldiers cut off from friends and family. ‘A Penguin could fit into a soldier’s pocket or his kit bag … It was especially prized in prison camps’ Martin Bell.

Also in 1937 an important vending milestone was the introduction of the soft-drink machine of the Coca-Cola Company. In coordination with Vendo Company of Missouri, Coca-Cola could vend their drinks in a coin operated cooler. Another company called Vendorlator Manufacturing Company of Fresno California made a series of classic vending machines during the 40s and 50s that mostly sold coca-cola and pepsi. Famous Vendorlators included the VMC 27 and the VMC 33. By 1950, around 400,000 automatic Coca-Cola machineswere in use. Vendo and Vendorlator merged in 1956. Bottle vending machines were supplanted by can-dispensing machines by the early 1960s because cans didn’t break and cooled faster.

In the USSR, series production of vending machines was begun in 1956 and by the 1960‘s vending machines were a successful phenomenon worldwide, not just for cigarettes, newspapers, coca cola, snacks and candy but for anything one could fit into a machine.

Today ambient vending machines (non-refrigerated) have moved up into state of the art gadgetry and are common place in Japan and America with peak usage in airports selling high quality merchandise such as iPods, iPhones, digital cameras, Nintendo DSi, USB sticks, chargers, headphones and other electrical goods, although in the UK machines are still mostly only refrigerated for the purpose of vending snacks and beverages due to the antisocial youth culture problem of vandalisation.

Brief History of Vending Machine Art

Vending machine art started with and was made popular by the Fluxus movement. Fluxus, a name taken from a Latin word meaning ‘to flow’, was an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s, sometimes described as intermedia. They were the first to recognize the creative potential within vending machines. Fluxus artists took up the task of re-embedding art within everyday life, picking up where Dada and Russian Constructivist artists left off after World War I.

In 1963 Fluxus artist Robert Watts used a stamp vending machine to vend “Fluxpost” stamps and in 1966,

“I would like to see the sky machine on every corner instead of the Coke machine. We need more skies than Coke.” – Yoko Ono, 1966.

Yoko Ono created ‘Sky Machine’, a vending machine that sold “pieces of sky.”

Other Fluxus artists also used vending machines in their artwork, ‘blurring the line between art and the selling of the art’. The act of buying the art became part of the piece itself, echoing my own intention.

Robert Piser‘s The Daily Palette which involved a series of newspaper vending machines in the San Francisco Bay Area which were filled with weekly silk-screened art editions that sold for 25 cents, or, as Piser put it, “Significant art works at popular prices.” This was significantly different from the Fluxus artists as The Fluxus artists vended work by single artists inside a gallery. For Piser, the vending machine sold work by a variety of artists on street corners, locations that are not typically associated with art. According to Piser: “I was a young art student and was frustrated with the straight / closed gallery scene in the bay area and was just looking for a way to show my work and it was a cool way to do it. I was part of the bay area underground music and art scene of the late 70’s and 80’s. The Ant Farm, Survival Research Laboratories, Flipper, Dead Kennedy’s, Cramps, etc. I taught lithography and silkscreen printing at Berkeley and was part of a group of alternative printers and artists who were involved with the “mail art” movement. (The Mac and email weren’t designed yet). The machines were $55 and I had 8 of them at one time. The cost of the operation wasn’t close to the money I got back at 25 cents a piece, but a quarter seemed like the best price someone would actually let go of at the time, besides, it wasn’t the point really. It was the cheapest gallery in the world. People liked the concept and I showed all kinds of people’s work , (too many), and people mostly stole more than they paid for. The UC Berkeley police actually confiscated some machines as they said they were on university property and I had to bail out the machines and I had a show accordingly at UC Berkeley art museum. Too many stories… I ran it for about 6 years and got tired of it. …”

Blumenautomat Gallery

The Blumenautomat Gallery was curated by Georg Glueckman and Suwan Laimanee and operated from 1987 to 1992 in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. Glueckman and Laimanee repurposed a retired flower vending machine and used it to vend small sculptures: Glueckman and Laimanee had operated more traditional art galleries before, but discovered that this left them with no time to create their own art. With the Blumenautomat Gallery, they had “the only European gallery open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Hayvend Laboratories

Operating out of London, Hayvend Laboratories has been selling “affordable, desirable and collectible” artworks since 1995, which makes it one of the longest running art vending projects we know of. Currently run by John Hayward and Bee Kreskin. John Hayward is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, a vending pioneer. John’t grandfather recognized a need. People still needed hay for their horses at night, or on holidays, when the hay sellers were closed. He set up a hay vending method that used an “honesty box” so people could get hay whenever they needed it. The current John Hayward has found a way for people to get art when the galleries are closed: by selling it from shiny yellow vending machines: Hayvend machines can be found in many areas throughout London and in the UK. According to their website: ”All the artworks are affordable, as well as desirable and collectable, making the Hayvend experience last long after the coins drop and the draw opens. John believes that art can be ubiquitous, for everyone to enjoy.”


Art*o*Mat ® was started by Clark Whittington in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA in 1997. It’s arguably the most polished, professional. longest running and most successful art vending machine in the US. It’s birthplace is significant, since Winston-Salem is also the birthplace of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. It’s really a city that was built on tobacco smoke… and lung cancer. Bans on selling cigarettes to minors have made many cigarette machines in the USA obsolete. Fortunately, Clark has found a new use for these old machines.

Art*o*Mat ® rehabilitates cigarette vending machines, and the machines are works of art unto themselves. They completely redecorate and refurbish the old machines, making them fresh and new while still honoring the historical context of the period the machine was created in. Check out their gallery! Currently they have 82 machines around the US other countries. Better still, they give artists a generous 50% cut of the sale.

What is an Art-o-mat? Art-o-mat machines are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art. There are over 90 active machines in various locations throughout the country.

What do you get from an Art-o-mat? The experience of pulling the knob alone is quite a thrill, but you also walk away with an original work of art. What an easy way to become an art collector.

Want to be an Artomat artist? There are around 400 contributing artists from 10 different countries currently involved in the Art*o*mat project. We are always searching for fresh work.

Distroboto Distroboto

Distroboto Distroboto, started in 2001, by Louis Rastelli in Montreal. Distroboto also uses cigarette vending machines. In fact, Rastelli got the idea in 1999 when, on a trip to North Carolina, he encountered an Art*o*Mat ®. Remarkably, Distroboto vends for $2 and gives the artist a $1.75 cut! Unfortunately, (for those of us living outside of Montreal) Distroboto is run by Archive Montreal:
“Archive Montreal is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by local writers, artists and publishers. Its mandate is assisting in the promotion, distribution and preservation of local independent culture.Archive Montreal appears to be totally focused on Montreal. You can only get Distroboto from vending machines in Montreal.”

Gumball Poetry

Gumball Poetry was published by Laura Moulton and Ben Parzybok from 1998 to 2006 in Portland, Oregon. Like Callithump!, they used 2″ capsule toy vending machines to sell poetry and other contents. Smartly, their main focus was poetry, printed in black & white on plain paper. This would lower costs and reduce production time over the elaborate way we do it! They even included an actual gumball in the capsule, so even if you didn’t like the poem, you still got your money’s worth. Gumball Poetry had a good run of it, with 19 machines throughout 8 states in the Pacific Northwest. Happily for them, but unfortunate for the rest of us, Laura and Ben have moved on to other creative endeavors (like having children and writing books).

Gumball Poetry was published by Laura Moulton and Ben Parzybok from 1998 to 2006 in Portland, Oregon. Like Callithump!, they used 2″ capsule toy vending machines to sell poetry and other contents. Smartly, their main focus was poetry, printed in black & white on plain paper. This would lower costs and reduce production time over the elaborate way we do it! They even included an actual gumball in the capsule, so even if you didn’t like the poem, you still got your money’s worth. Gumball Poetry had a good run of it, with 19 machines throughout 8 states in the Pacific Northwest. Happily for them, but unfortunate for the rest of us, Laura and Ben have moved on to other creative endeavors (like having children and writing books).


In 2001 the 4th Earl of Iveagh, Aurthur Edward Rory Guiness, heir to the Guinness fortune, formed a business alliance with writer and broadcaster Alexander Waugh, grandson of novelist Evelyn Waugh, to put literature dispensing machines alongside the chocolate on a variety of UK station platforms. One was successfully installed at South Kensington tube station.

Travelman was created as the result of a conversation with master short story writer William Trevor. ‘The thing about short stories, Waugh and Trevor agreed, is that although they are written to stand alone, in practice they very seldom do. The reader must approach them through the medium of a collection or anthology, where there is a danger of what Trevor calls ‘cancellation’ – one story nullifying the effect of the next.’

And so the idea of the Travelman Short Story was born – a library of individual, unabridged short stories, printed on a single broadsheet which concertinas neatly in pocket size. The concept in some ways looks back to the hugely successful two-penny short stories that Rudyard Kipling used to sell on the Indian railways in the early 1900’s. The Travelman logo is a distinctive pre-war illustration by George Marrow of a man in a tailcoat carrying a stack of books.