Shelf Shelf is a Chicago-based publishing imprint and collaborative design practice founded by Lucas Reif and Austin White.

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ss-005: Rooms 1–6
ss-004: A Book that is a Bag
ss-003: ON / Being Read
ss-002: Poetics of the Ordinary
ss-001: Disruptor Issue Five

Contango Issue Two: Sanctions
ON / The Art of Failure
Disruptor Issue Four
Contango Issue One: Auctoritas
Disruptor Issue Three
The Designer as a Creator of Content
Disruptor Issue Two
Disruptor Issue One

Contango Issue Two: Sanctions July 2018

$18.00 USD



126 pages, perfect-bound, color laser, 6.75 x 4.5 inches, first edition of 200 copies

How does an individual or group of individuals enforce their will upon another without the use of violence? In government these procedures are referred to as sanctions, often foregoing or preventing military intervention. These measures rarely result in the desired change, meaning their implementation is far less effective than their proposition.

When two parties negotiate power, a threat can play out in several ways. If a dominant force threatens the weak, it exercises its position as enforcer in an attempt to maintain the dynamics of the relationship. But if the weak calls the threat to action, it can potentially subvert those dynamics. In most cases, when two nations play this scenario out, less developed countries statistically benefit from imposed sanctions as their dependence on the outside world is reduced, thus creating a more stable economy and diminishing opportunities for outside economic coercion.

This second issue of Contango presents contributions from writers and artists whose work undermines dominant power structures through research, aestheticization, activism, and self reflection. It explores variations on the negotiation of power, the strategy behind legislation and the art of the bluff.