joanne lee


pam flett press

Words and pictures by Joanne Lee. Designed by dust ISSN 2046-004X

Pam Flett Press is an independent serial exploring the aesthetics of everyday life.

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This fourth outing of the Pam Flett Press emerges from a long time fascination with the sort of ambiguous derelict site to which architects and planners often given the name ‘terrain vague’. It draws upon my encounters with such spaces as abandoned quarries and lead-mines across the North Pennines, Sheffield’s post-industrial topography and the hinterlands of the Staffordshire Potteries. It began as a piece of writing developed for a journal article, which then lay fallow in my computer for several years, an intellectual ruin awaiting redevelopment; it was ultimately colonized by creative and critical flora thanks to a research residency occasioning repeated visits to the former Spode ceramics factory in Stoke.

Mirroring the scatter of heterogenous materials dumped or blown in to such places and the shifting process of use, reuse and abandonment, this publication involves a conceptual conglomeration of different aspects - a series of printed booklets, a collection of photographs - and a process of re-presentation in diverse forms and locations: each exhibition iteration will differ from the last as new ideas take root. ‘Vague terrain’ made its first appearance in Nottingham’s Lace Market Gallery during 2014, in ‘Seconds’ a two-person show with Debra Swann, who had also developed work from the Spode site. It will likely reappear in two exhibitions under the rubric ‘Returns’ in a project devised with Andrew Brown, Chloe Brown, Danica Maier and Debra Swann. I’m currently working with designers at Dust on a version which will be distributed in 2015.



Issue #3 of the Pam Flett Press, features a spoken word essay, listenable/downloadable from Soundcloud. (If you prefer to read rather than listen, you can download/print a pdf transcript of the recording here.)

This third issue fantasizes about luminous constellations of dropped chewing gum on the street, confronts a horrible compulsion to seek out the hard stuff glued under desks or in the recesses of train carriages, before finding itself fixated upon various species of lumps, heaps and piles; ultimately the writing explores creative work as a sort of digestion or composting, and suggests we have quite a lot to learn from worms.

The essay, which runs to just under an hour of listening time, is accompanied by a printed publication featuring 26000 words of excessive, digressive footnotes (about lichen, large format photography, islands, creative block, binary erotics, fiddling, getting side-tracked, stickiness, shit, disgust, using animals to think with, the Katamari Damacy computer game, tumbleweed methodology, hoarding, clutter, impropriety, rubbish...) the generation of which, I realise, have become the point of the exercise...

The print publication comes with 10 full colour photographic images and a postcard. The print run is 500. A limited edition of 10 copies come with a CD of the audio essay.

Email to get hold of a copy.

The bumper 36000 word audio/visual/print publication, was launched in

Bonington Building, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham on Feb 5 2014 in a joint event with Traci Kelly’s Seers-in-residence book, to which I’ve also contributed.  Info here.




Issue #2 is all about misreadings and willful misunderstandings: it explores curious characters encountered on various city streets as well as the names people are given, or (sometimes) choose to go by, before digressing into the unexpected poetry of tagging and abstract paintings on city walls.

The concertina companion of footnotes starts to get a little out of hand, with many entries spawning notes of their own, and some of these generating still further annotation... Amongst these you’ll find a disquisition on the naming of colours, consideration of the biro’s invention and use, a list of recording artistes whose names claim spurious nobility, thoughts on archaeology, the different knowledge made possible by practice, and Hans Magnus Enzensberger on contradiction in essays.





The first issue of the Pam Flett Press, 'Call yourself a bloody professional', adapts an album cover aphorism from The Fall as its title and is something of a manifesto for the rest of the series. It begins with trying to avoid getting a proper job and recognises that the amateur does things out of love rather than professional necessity.

You’ll also find extensive discussion of curiosity and careers, carrier bags and colanders, a consideration of the distinctions between amateur and professional wankers, as well as an engagement with experts and epistemophilia... Francophiles will enjoy name-checking those who’ve inspired this endeavour: Roland Barthes, Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault, Michel de Montaigne, Georges Perec, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Agnes Varda. Northerners will know that none of this could have happened without Mark. E. Smith and the mighty Fall.