American Samizdat

Sunday, December 02, 2007. *
High quality scans of each individual page of OVO issues 1-14 (1987-1992) are now online. These images were used to make the PDF and OpenOffice editions of OVO. Additionally, there are more than images that have never been seen online before. Some are color scans of original art to compliment the previously available monochrome scans of multiple-generation photocopies. Some are previously unpublished collages made during those years. Some are relevant photographs.

When I started publishing OVO I was just a self-important hayseed living in a small town making a dumb little zine among thousands of others. But OVO did accomplish a few things in the first fourteen issues. OVO was the first to publish several essays by Hakim Bey that later appeared in his book T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone. OVO published work by Mike Diana long before his work drew the attention of State and Federal employees. Photographs of body piercing appeared in OVO two years before the Modern Primitives issue of Re/Search. The phrase 'phone tag' appears in print for the first time in the first issue of OVO. 'Liberating Wednesday' by PM, author of bolo'bolo, appears in OVO for the first (and only) time; this is nearly a decade before and fifty-two times more radical a suggestion than 'Buy Nothing Day.' Crop circles and the Men in Black are referenced at a time when they were still obscure. The first appearance of Ride Theory in print occurs in Ignatz Topolino's contribution to OVO. And OVO was aware enough of the outer edges of scientific ethics to mention gene patents in the same year they first were granted.

OVO has a second life in the 21st Century. The contacts and content that informed the original photocopied editions remain active. At the same time, new issues are available that take advantage of the distribution capabilities of home computers, the Internet and print-on-demand services. Hundreds of thousands of pages of OVO have been distributed and new issues are in production.

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