by Gilda Davidian

I’m excited to introduce y’all to TALEEN KALENDERIAN today. I had the pleasure of meeting Taleen at the LA Zine Fest last week in Downtown where I also picked up a copy of DUM DUM Zine (find it, get it). Here she is telling us about herself, how she started DUM DUM, and some of the things that she’s into.

Hi Taleen! So, tell us a bit about yourself.  I’m a writer, artist and musician living in Los Angeles. I finished my grad degree at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago last year and came back to be with the warm weather and the palm trees. Growing up I remember the Santa Anas being crazy, but for the first time last year I noticed all the palm tree carcasses lying around after the winds…it was terrifying and gorgeous.

I’m really interested in the intersection of different mediums and their hybridity: text and image, word and sound. I write short stories, flash fiction, miniature forms, typo/photographic poems…usually I print them as zines in formats like broadsides, pamphlets, books, even CDs. This fall I recorded prose-poetry with some friends Thee Source ov Fawnation who improvised music in the background–we called it a sonic-literary experiment–and I’ve been adding some vocals in the mix with new collaborations. Oh and I love shoegaze music and I’ll always be emo for The Smiths! MOZ ANGELES.

How did you start Dum Dum? DUM DUM began as a reaction to my discontent with the publishing world. I was doing a lot of freelance writing but the more the industry devolved, the more I self-published. The bountiful pennies weren’t attractive, and neither was the undedicated content that would be spooled out to writers begging for change. So I decided to take a new career route and spend the rest of my time working on making the zine happen. In the beginning, I printed a broadside issue on newsprint with submissions by friends and local artists. Then people started telling me it was something they wanted continued, a venue for multimedia work that was having a hard time finding a home. So we built a website. We put together readings and parties where people could come and share their work and play music. We did a social experiment at FMLY Fest last year. And we’re going to be at L.A. Zine Fest this month! It’s on February 19th at The Last Bookstore in Downtown.

Something that happened to you recently that stuck with you. I was given 3 mixtapes in one day. It was a beautiful day. Now I’m working on a mixtape where all the songs will contain the word “please.” An awesome amount of blues music showed up while I was looking for more songs.

Read anything interesting recently? Last weekend I found Yoko Ono’s “Grapefruit.” I had no idea it was back in print! I bought a copy immediately and I’ve been carrying it around with me ever since.

Thanks, Taleen!