I used to publish a zine called Flotation Device. That’s where the name of this site came from. I don’t make it anymore. Except sometimes I do.
Zines in print:
Issue 17 is about music. I guess three of the last four have now been about music in some way. But this one is from the perspective of music listener. Listening to specific music at specific points in time. A few shows I saw in person and things that happened while I was at said show. Music and memory. Also a bibliographic accounting of all the shows that I’ve attended (probably mostly complete). If you are interested you can find it over at ye olde etsy shoppe.
Issue 16 is about my experiences living with and learning how to live with anxiety and panic. Maybe you are curious to read detailed descriptions of panic attacks? Maybe you enjoy reading the thought processes that arise in the midst of panic episodes and times of extended anxiety? Perhaps you also are interested in reading descriptions of the acceptance process? If yes, then this is the zine for you. You can find it here.
Issue 15 is about the second band I played in. In order to tell the story properly I used words, sentences and paragraphs. Lists. Portraits. Etc. Photographs and reproductions of collaged photographs. I even included descriptions of events, shows, practicing, practice spaces. Sound like your jam? Hit me up!
Having never read Flotation Device, I have no idea if this structure is typical, but the result is as fragmented, poetic, and ephemeral as memory. Events and recollections occur in a space that they may not truly occupy together. Details rise and fall, as half-glimpsed by the reader as they are half-remembered by the author.
A delicate narrative forms in the tenuous connections between events, emboldened by the specificity of show dates, the recurring characters of band mates, and the rhythm of Keith’s poetry. Like if Italo Calvino wrote a perzine.
…This is an impressionist narrative, feelings and colors and details conjured from memory and strummed into a beat on the page. Reading the words literally evokes the act of remembering, the sudden and sometimes confusing connections between objects and moments and sensory input. – Matt Fagan, Xerography Debt #44.
Laid out like diary entries, Keith’s attention to tiny cracks of sensory experience create a narrative out of each load in, pre-show, red-boothed Chinese restaurant, and afternoon light that piques his attention. Though the majority of the texts track the movement of his band —finding a drummer, that drummer’s tardiness as he runs a drug errand prior to first practice, their first living room show debut— there are also moments of heightened consciousness turned inward.
Helt traces the movement of his psyche. He writes, “Losing my mind and my body in the car while my partner drives. Still unaware that these are panic attacks.” It is moments like this that make Flotation Device 15 so personable, that reach beyond the dynamism between a group of death disco musicians (though lord knows this is my shit). Helt’s psychic expansion crawls into the tiny moments before a set, while on stage, and the bit afterward, when he finds out who accidentally took the keys after the show ended. – Jenna McClelland, Broken Pencil, August 27, 2019.
This is a slow motion accumulation of thoughts, phrases, sentences, and events that I thought, encountered, and experienced between 2014 and 2017. Maybe you’d like to read about it? If you are interested you can get a copy over at thee ye olde etsee storee. Or just get in touch somehow.
Issue 14 is about a band I used to play in and a store I used to work at. If you are interested in getting one, you can do so here! $2. Cheap. It covers postage.
The zine is split into two linked pieces composed of text fragments, illustrated by photos taken at the time. The first piece recounts the relationship dynamics of playing in a band, tensions around songwriting, pre-show nerves, divergent musical ambition, and the realities of practising in a comic shop after it has closed its doors for the night.
The second section focuses on the years Keith worked in a comic store. Keith’s writing is sharp enough to allow you to visualise the shop in detail – the stacks of old comics, the trashy knickknacks that are branded collectable, but you also get to understand it’s rhythms, the personalities of the staff, the particularities of the customers. There is stuff in here too about zine making, running festivals, and workshops.
It’s not an easy task to draw you into a stranger’s life and make you care. Flotation Device does that effortlessly. There is an unflinching honesty to the writing too – about not fitting in, how anxiety can form itself around even insignificant interactions. – Nathan Penlington, Syndicated Zine Reviews, October 20, 2018
Zines out of (physical) print:
Where is issue 13? this is the great mystery.
Issue 12 is all about trees and the experiences leading up to turning 30. Warehouses! Mexico! Apartments! Self awareness! Flashbacks to treeforts! It’s all here. It’s 72 pages and you can read the whole thing for free right here.
Issue 11 is an all comics issue. I wrote about how I got into zines and self publishing and had friends and artists that were inspirations/influences on me draw them. You can download it here. It is a huge file – so I don’t recommend trying to open it in yr browser. Just download it. Or you can read it here at issuu. Neat.
Zines out of print:
Issue 10 was all about my extended stay in Costa Rica where I stayed with a family for a couple of months to learn Spanish. It’s outta print.
Issue 9 had Converse All-stars as its thematic link. A lot of growing up and life happened in my cons. It’s a double issue. It’s outta print.
There were earlier issues of course. Some embarrassing, some had okay moments, some sucked. They’re outta print too. Such is life.
Bored to Death 1 – 1994
Bored to Death 2 – 1994
Bored to Death 3 – 1995
Bored to Death 4 – 1995
Bored to Death 5 – 1995
Bored to Death 6 – 1996
Bored to Death 7 – 1996
Vacuum Cleaner – 1996
Flotation Device 1 – 1998
Flotation Device 2 – 1998
Flotation Device 3 – 1998
Flotation Device 4 – 1999
Flotation Device 5 – 1999
Flotation Device 6 – 2000
Flotation Device 7 – 2000
Flotation Device 8 – 2001
Flotation Device 9 – 2002
Flotation Device 10 – 2003
Flotation Device 11 – 2005
Flotation Device 12 – 2008
Flotation Device 13 – 2015
Flotation Device 14 – 2016
Flotation Device 15 – 2018
Flotation Device 16 – 2019
Flotation Device 17 – 2021
Want Want Zine –2006
Starfish – March, 2018
you are coming / going April, 2018
Netlabeler 1 – 2019
Consumption Journal 1 – 2019
Mira Martin-Gray – 2019
Brief Text Descriptions of Everyday Events – 2020