Flash Flood is an online magazine and media collective dedicated to promoting photography and culture in New Mexico. In its most recent issue, Santa Fe Verve Gallery Director Jennifer Schlesinger interviews David Chickey on Radius’ inception and upcoming projects:
JS: Radius Books was launched by four Santa Feans in 2007. Can you tell me what brought you all together to form Radius? Had this been something you all were contemplating for a long time?
DC: The four of us (Darius Himes, Joanna Hurley, David Skolkin and I) started talking about forming Radius a couple of years before the official launch of the company in the fall of 2007. We had different — but overlapping —backgrounds in the book world, and would often see each other at publishing events. Since the larger publishers seemed to be shying away from what we saw as great projects, we all felt there was a need for a publisher that could take on these projects. And so we started investigating the viability of creating a company that focused on this.
In the initial stages, we spent a great deal of time planning how best to put the company together. Ultimately, we decided on forming a non-profit organization for a couple of reasons. First, as I think many people realize, art and photography books are not, as a general rule, economically profitable. They are expensive to produce and sell in relatively low quantities. A non-profit structure put us in the position to subsidize projects in tandem with other institutions (like museums and foundations), thereby making them more viable. More importantly, however, we wanted our books to reach a broader audience, and with the non-profit structure we also created a library and school donation program. Radius donates at least 300 copies of each book to a network of institutions, which means a very diverse audience gets access and introduction to our books. This mission adds a much more complex dimension to what we choose to publish and how it gets disseminated.
Click here to read the entire interview. The issue also features photography by Joel Peter-Witkin, Sharon Core, Joel Lipovetsky, and Nicholas Gottlund.