In 1990 the artists Nayland Blake and D.L. Alvarez produced BRAINS: A Journal of Egghead Sexuality. Lasting a single issue, BRAINS combined a frank celebration of queer sexuality with tongue-in-cheek intellectualism. This project revisits BRAINS in a (re)publishing project that packages a reprint of issue one together with a facsimile edition of materials related to the never-produced second issue.
Drawing inspiration from the vibrant queer zine community and network, which flourished during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Alvarez and Blake set out to create a publication that would define the kind of guy that they were looking for. Soliciting contributions from friends, they coined the term “egg-chaser” (for someone who seeks out intellectually-endowed partners) and even inspired Kate Sorensen and friends to create a lesbian counterpart called “I.Q. The Sex-zine by Girls who like Girls who wear Glasses.”
After putting out a single issue and a spell of ads in various zines and magazines, starting to gather contributions for a second issue, and even laying out various materials, the project was curtailed, and boxed up until recently.
The new anthology Brains: The Journal of Egghead Sexuality includes a reprinted issue 1 and a copy of the compiled but unpublished issue 2, alongside a richly illustrated anthology of ephemera related to the project: reader-submitted correspondence and personals, unused collages and artwork, and an interview with artist and co-editor Nayland Blake.
Brains, like many other queer zines of the era, such as Bear, aimed to create a counter cultural community of queers. Many of these artists, writers, and readers congregated at A Different Light bookstores in San Francisco and New York in the 1990s. The zine’s perverse intelligence and distinct design pre-dates contemporary queer publications, such as Butt Magazine, which in recent years has defined the alternative gay sensibility.
Brains: The Journal for Egghead Sexuality was commissioned by curator Nathan Lee at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. The publication was complemented by an archival display of ephemera at the CCS Bard Library, and a lecture by Nayland Blake, and is currently available exclusively at Printed Matter, and soon at other outlets on and offline. BRAINS is part of a larger project curated by Lee that you can read about here: http://www.bard.edu/ccs/exhibitions/joe-brains-lamar/
32 pages, 10.5 x 7.875 in
2-color Newsprint saddle-stitched staple binding
First Edition 2012
Includes two 32 page 8.5 x 5.5 in photocopied zines