A Micro-Economy of Art: Monofonus Press

As with many renovated warehouses on Austin’s east side, you never know which mysterious-looking building contains something magical inside. Sure, it has a rusty tin roof slung over the top. A weedy lawn with dying grass. But once you heave open the metal double-doors, there’s no telling what you’ll discover. Artists prepping their canvases. An indie film screening. A genius poster designer.

That’s the way I feel about Monofonus Press. The mysterious building is a metaphor, mostly – Monofonus Press really is located on the east side – but it aptly describes this local arts collective. You’ve probably heard of Monofonus, but you’re not really quite sure what lies behind the name. At least, that’s the way I was up until recently.

As it turns out, Monofonus pulls together Austin musicians, creative writers, and visual artists to create highly affordable pieces of collaborative art. Here’s a sample:

Everything I just posted – under $15.

These pieces include CD covers, templates for t-shirt designs (and potentially posters), and books. Monofonus culls these artists together for projects, then sells their wares here.

Anyway, what makes this endeavor so cool is that I feel like I’m the type of person who loves, supports, wants to own original art – but I’m broke all the time. You know what I mean? Raise your hand if you’ve been to Christie’s lately. Right, me neither. So Monofonus makes it easier for this recessionista to spend the cash-money on arts.

Monofonus is having an event this Saturday at the United States Art Authority (quite a happening little spot this weekend, huh?). It’s a screening of “The Collections,” an original video series about what people save and why they save it!

Freaky cool.

The screening starts at 10pm, and entry costs $10. Get more details here, and you can visit the Facebook invite here.