Soup Press

June 24, 2021

thomas macie is a multidisciplinary artist located in Long Beach California. He is interested in the absurd combination of objects: a christmas tree in a trashcan, a lifted truck with scissor doors, layered images, and latent meaning—the over-stimulation and bombardment of images/information experienced in late capitalism. His interdisciplinary practice includes traditional and non-traditional approaches to printmaking. He also makes works on paper, paintings, sculpture, occasionally video, and books. He also runs Soup Press, which produces zines, artist’s books, and printed matter. A soup that satiates the mind as well as the body.

Could you tell us a little about yourself and what you do? 

I’m thomas macie, I’m an artist and printmaker. I run a small press called Soup that makes limited runs of artist’s books, zines, and printed matter. In my own practice I make work across a multitude of mediums that explore how we interact with images and the overabundance of information present today. I’m currently living in Long Beach, but was born and raised in San Diego. 

Could you talk about how and why you started Soup? 

I started Soup as a project to publish zines and artist’s books that would exist separately from my own personal art practice. I want Soup to be an evolving project, one that cannot be simply defined. I was receiving a lot of requests for help from friends on how to make a zine so I thought creating a platform that could help others publish their creative projects would be fulfilling and a way to give back.

image description: This is a photograph of a book published by Soup Press in 2019. The cover of the book is pictured it has a very high contrast photograph screen printed in brown ink onto white paper. The image features an obscured window and shelving units.
14 Photographs: New York City(2019) by Thomas Macie.

All of the Soup editions feature a screen printed cover, what is the significance or conceptual concern of this choice? 

The screen printed cover elevates the art object to an extent, in the sense that each one is printed individually. The process also limits the amount of color one can use, making the significance of the color choice important to match the content of the edition.

image description: this image features the front cover of a book published by Soup Press in 2020. The book has a yellow cover with a thin black rectangle surrounding text that is printed vertically which reads "I need fragile things around to be strong for", the book's title.
“I need fragile things around to be strong for” by Alex Severino. Published by Soup Press in 2020.

What have you been enjoying reading lately? 

I’ve been enjoying this biography, Piero Manzoni An Artist’s Life. I also like to keep up on the curated selection of articles shared on New Models—there’s always something interesting to explore there.

image description: this image is a scan of a drawing featuring the word Soup written on white paper. The letters look like they are drawn using kelp plants. The image is obscured as it is a heavily distorted scanned image .
Soup Press(California Kelp) promotional material(2020).

What does your work space look like? 

Crammed, like a semi-organized hoarder’s den. My room in the apartment I share acts as my studio and workspace so there’s not much breathing room. I’m hoping to find a more conducive studio space to continue growing Soup as well as my own practice soon now that I’ve graduated from school.

How important is humor to your work at Soup? 

Humor helps in my attempt to not take myself too seriously. I want this project to be fun and leave the existential dread to my own art practice haha

image description: this image features the cover of a book release by Soup Press in 2020. The book cover is pictured. It is made from red paper and has a photograph of an old fashioned doctor's scale screen printed in black ink with a halftone pattern and text ready "1234567890 lbs" beneath it.
1234567890 lbs, published by Soup Press in 2020.

The Soup Press instagram account will seldom feature short, promotional videos, could you talk about the efforts surrounding these posts?

Those are mostly me having fun and an oddball attempt at creating promotional material to fill the Soup instagram. I’ll maybe see a funny meme or image and think of a way I can promote Soup, so I’ll quickly mess around in photoshop making a quick animation.

What has been your most memorable moment while tabling at a book or zine festival? 

Too many to choose from, but I would say the joy of interacting with people that cherish printed material in the form of short run zines and prints as much as myself. It gives me a sense of purpose in what I’m trying to share through Soup.

image description: this image features the cover of a book published by soup press in 2020. The artist's name: Ian Edward White is printed unblock ink near the bottom of the front cover and the title "Deep Fried Hope" is printed in red ink, back letter of the title is enclosed in a red box. On the left hand side the lower half of the book's spine is exposed.
Deep Fried Hope by Ian Edward White. Published by Soup Press in 2020.

Do you see Soup growing or expanding into making other editioned objects? If so, what direction would you like to see Soup grow in? 

I’d love to make limited one-off pieces of clothing in the future. I think working with artists to make print editions is a direction I see the project moving towards. As a printmaker I am excited about the challenge of working with an artist to create a limited edition run of prints whether it be as simple as a multicolored screenprint or a more complex etching or relief print. 

Who are some people that you would like to collaborate with for future releases? 

I hope to work on a project with the ceramic artist Narumi Nekpenekpen in the near future. She’s a joy and is constantly sharing her sources of inspiration on her instagram. I hope we can take those sources and transform them into a small zine that will exist outside the screen. I also am hoping to work with this rad bmx rider Declan Murray. He makes some crazy drawings and paintings and has such a creative approach to bmx. His whole style is a breath of fresh air, especially in a time when a lot of people seem to be doing the same thing. 

Interview conducted and edited by Sam Dybeck.