Two Takes on Two by Two
by Two by Two
2.1: Two by Two, or 2×2, is two sides of a sheet of paper put together by two people on a monthly basis. Some call it a one-pager, some call it a newsletter, some call it a periodical—no matter what you call it, 2×2 is a submission-based publication that is distributed for free at book stores, coffee shops, record stores, restaurants, by hand-to-hand exchange, and wherever else we think to leave some copies. It’s something to come across and fold up and put in your pocket to find later when you need something good to read on the train. It’s a fanzine + variety show + notes to selves + drawing in the margins when you’re bored of the real task at hand + essays + rants + poems + comic strips + trying out new things. Anything goes.
2.2: Two by Two is by two (2) people who collect but in different ways; have a love of paper-text/text-on-paper, kinda anachronistic; enjoyment of sharing; we had friends who also loved paper, and put things down on paper, maybe stapled it up, and handed it out; we were reading magazines; sometimes I would drop the New Yorker in the bath; I was like, lets make some paper that’s like a soggy New Yorker.
Each month we meet up at the Two by Two rhizome and gather:
- Found images and writing (poetry, prose, nonsense, etc.)
- Whatever submissions we may have received from friends and/or readers
- Whatever writings or drawings each of us may have made and wish to contribute
We then combine it all together and add and subtract things until the page of stuff feels like the new issue of 2×2.
- Find a friend
- Find a copier + toner and paper, tape, scissors, sharpie, pens, white-out, etc.
- Find some books/material to share
- Don’t be afraid to steal stuff
- Don’t care about what people will think, act like you’re making a mixtape for a friend
- Don’t stop until the page feels like a complete thought
- Make sure it’s legible (usually size 8pt font or larger) and that nothing will get cut off by the printer’s margins
- Print as many copies as you want
- Write or stamp “FREE” on it somewhere
- Distribute—if you meet someone who seems like they’ll like it, offer them a copy
The scans below are the two sides of Issue 33 of Two by Two. By the time you’re reading this, copies of this issue will be out and about, finding their way into people’s hands and pockets.