Plan Your Trip to Bowling Green (Ohio) — Allied Media Conference Is On for June

Without a doubt, I have to say that the Allied Media Conference is the one conference that I most look forward to, and I’m glad to see that this year’s is scheduled and getting organized. This year it goes down June 17 – 19, in good old Bowling Green, Ohio, as always.

The reason why AMC is so good is because it’s pretty much a low key gathering of independent media makers in a little Midwest college town. It doesn’t seem like much goes on in Bowling Green during the summer months when school is out, so the participants of AMC kind of take over for the weekend. Imagine campus hang-outs overrun with zinesters, filmmakers, indymedia reporters, book publishers, stencil artists and underground rappers. I’m pretty sure it brings a welcome boost to the local business economy, especially the coffee shops, bars and vegetarian restaurant. Frankly, a nice thing about having the conference in Bowling Green is that there aren’t a lot of other distractions making you have to choose between attending sessions or go sightseeing.

The vibe is always very open-minded and you meet people who are very passionate about making all different types of media. Zine culture is where the AMC was born as the Underground Publishing Conference, and I think that fundamentally thoughtful DIY ethic really forms the foundation. As represented by the name Allied Media Conference, it has become a forum for people engaged in all types of communicative creation: film, video, radio documentary, music, zines, book publishing and web publishing. There is always an exhibition hall where creators have tables to sell, show off and give away their wares — I always bring extra cash to drop there.

I’ve met some great folks over the years who I’ve managed to stay in touch with, even when they haven’t been able to make the trip to Bowling Green.

If this sounds like an advertisement, it is. If you’re interested at all in independent media creation you really owe it to yourself to check out the AMC.

In keeping with its grassroots nature, the AMC organizers put out an open call for session ideas and film/video showings. This year I’ve proposed a sesssion on blogging from the independent perspective. I’m fed up with all the blather about whether blogs are journalism or if they’re credible at all. I’d prefer to have dedicated bloggers talk about why they blog at all, and how they do it. To hell with mainstream credibility.

Oh, and there are also two free music shows and a night of free bowling scheduled for all registered participants. Last year one of the bands was the Evens, featuring Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, putting on a very intimate performance. And bowling with an alley full of indy media makers is really something to experience.

Barring calamity, I will be attending, and likely having a table in order to hawk mediageek zines. I plan to have mediageek zine #3 ready by then. I’m also planning some other mediageek schwag to sell or give away.

I always bring a minidisc recorder and a microphone to record interviews for the radioshow. Click more for links to some of them from years past:

  • July 23, 2004 – The Denver Zine Library and Monterrey Localism Hearing
  • July 16, 2004 – Anarchist Magazine Fifth Estate
  • Aug. 8, 2003 – The Independent Publishing Resource Center, Portland, OR. Interview with Pablo DeOcampo, director.
  • June 27, 2003: 28 Pages Lovingly Bound with Twine, an interview with zine creator Cristoph Meyer
  • June 20, 2003 – Zine World and Rejected Band Names, an interview with zine editor Jerianne.
  • July 19, 2002 – Russ Forster has an 8-Track Mind, and the Geek Nation Will Take Over
  • July 5, 2002 – Porland Zine Scene — interviews with Shawn Granton of the Portland Zine Symposium and Greig Means, librarian for Portland’s Independent Publishing Resource Center.
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