An experimental publishing project and visual research lab based in Doha Qatar. Our work is a funky international mix of historical and vernacular references with dynamic visuals in the form of unique printed books, ephemera, merchandise, and apparel.
That depends on who you ask! The phrase comes from an Arabic saying: "فسّر الماء بالماء" which literally translates to "explain water with water." It is often used to describe a kind of circular reasoning when someone is "talking in circles." For us, it is recursive, something with itself, and self-explanatory. This question has generated a fair amount of discussion. We meet people from many parts of the world, with a broad range of worldviews, and this simple phrase opens up many discursive possibilities. We like that.
Where does w/w/w get funding?
Our publications and projects are primarily grant funded through VCU Qatar or funded directly through sales of previous editions.
Does w/w/w make money?
Distribution is our primary goal, profit is not. This is because we believe that distributing the ideas and stories that our projects represent is more important than generating revenue. Revenue from our sales goes to support our ongoing production and operations.
Where are w/w/w projects produced?
Water with water actively contributes to the "designed in Qatar" and "made in Qatar" movement. We try to produce most of our work locally. Some products and materials are not available in Qatar, and in those cases we also produce work in the US, Europe and the UK. Our aim is to build the creative potential here in Doha and this includes working with local producers. Sometimes our projects contribute to new knowledge in the local industry. For example our collaboration with students at VCU Arts Qatar called "1001 Fantasy Pop Nights" was printed locally by Mr. Vincent at Printec, using water-based neon inks that we imported for the project. We see these kinds of collaborations are opportunities to bring new ideas to the local producers.
Does w/w/w give away publications?
In some limited instances, we have gifted our work to certain individuals and organizations. Often we trade with other sympathetic and relevant publishers in order to build a collection of publications that we can use as a creative resource internally and with students at VCU Arts Qatar. We firmly believe that in our line of research, if something is free it doesn't have value. We price our projects reasonably so that interested parties can take home something meaningful and precious, and so that we can continue to make new work.
Why are w/w/w publications limited edition?
Limited edition in our case means that once something is produced it cannot be produced again. We do this in part as a personal challenge to continue producing new work. Because we are not focused on profit, there is no need for large scale production. If you are able to own something that is of a limited quantity it can feel more precious and meaningful. This is important for us because we believe print and physical products should be few and high quality.
Where can I buy w/w/w works?
Our works are currently distributed by Printed Matter in New York, the Neurotitan bookshop in Berlin and FullyBooked in the UAE. If you live abroad (not in Qatar) the easiest way to get our work is online through Printed Matter, or at an artist book fair somewhere in the world. If we are showing somewhere, we usually post it on instagram.