Join us for the second Conversation in the 2012 series of Conversations on Creative Practice: A Reading and Conversation with Al Burian, of the zine Burn Collector on “How to be a Famous Writer Without Making Any Money or Having Anyone Know Who You Are” Al Burian is the author of the long-running personal zine Burn Collector. His work has garnered praise from such legitimate institutions as the Utne Reader and McSweeneys Best Nonrequired Reading. Beginning in the mid-nineties, Burian has distributed his work through the tight-knit network of the DIY punk music/art scene. He has published 16 issues of the zine, two anthologies, and a book of comics. He has been doing reading/speaking performances since the year 2000. Burn Collector #16 (April 2012) is sub-titled “Music and Mania,” and examines the intersection between creativity and losing your marbles. Street musicians, arena rock, classical vs. computers, Little Richard vs. Elvis, and a wide variety of other topics are discussed as Burian contends that “the modern musician is essentially a maniac, living on a delusional dream, whose basic project– putting forth a unique voice into the general din and calamity of the oversaturated information age– has so little chance of success as to make it an act of ultimate, incredible optimism.” The zine contains comics, essays, reviews, and interviews with musician Tim Remis and radical mental health activist Sascha DuBrul.
Born 1971 in New Hampshire (state motto: “live free or die”); grew up in North Carolina (state motto: “to be and not to seem”); was an iconoclastic character at an early age. In his early twenties he began touring incessantly with bands, simultaneously producing small-run photocopied pamphlets (“zines”). He has published two collections of his zine output, Burn Collector (2000) and Natural Disaster (2007), as well as a book of comics, Things Are Meaning Less (2003).
He lives in Berlin.