Mystery Spot Books, an artist publications project based in Minneapolis and in residence this spring at The Luminary, seeks Saint Louis-based artists/scholars for a publication exploring the energy landscapes of the Saint Louis area. 

During their residency at The Luminary, Mystery Spot Books will visit a series of locations in the Saint Louis region that are significant to the history and culture of energy. Saint Louis has been an energy and transportation hub since at least 1818, when steamboats first plied the confluence of rivers and connected the city to markets along the Mississippi. Today, Saint Louis is home to the largest private-sector coal company in the world, Peabody Energy Corporation, and coal is the primary source of electricity produced by the area's power plants. 

For this publication project, Mystery Spot is looking to partner with Saint Louis artists and/or scholars to make new work about the energy landscape of the region. Priority will be given to artists/scholars whose work already involves themes of geography, site-specific history, or place-based experience. Group or individual proposals for sites significant to energy production, consumption, or infrastructure are welcome. “Significant” can be broadly interpreted, and proposals illuminating sites related to an artist’s/scholar’s practice or research are welcome. Once a site and collaborator(s) are selected, on-site work will begin May 1st and run through May 15th, after which time collaboration will continue remotely between Saint Louis and Minneapolis. A book launch date will be set for sometime in the fall/winter of 2016.

Project Goals:

1. Create a visual/scholarly publication about the seen and unseen energy landscapes of Saint Louis.

2. Forge connections between like-minded cultural producers in two of the largest Midwestern cities.

3. Establish a template for the creation of an ongoing series of similar projects.

Interested artists should email five work samples (visual) and/or a web link along with a 200-300 word statement describing site(s) of interest. Interested scholars should email a 1-2 page CV and a 200-300 word statement describing site(s) of interest. Please send emails to by April 25. Mystery Spot will contact artists and scholars by May 1 to discuss their proposed sites and make plans to meet when Mystery Spot is in residence at The Luminary, May 1-13. 



Mystery Spot Books produces small-run artist books, zines, and other publications that trace the contours and quirks of place-based experience in the human-altered landscape. Named for the tourist trap wonder attractions often encountered on road trips around the United States, Mystery Spot is a project of Minneapolis-based artist Chad Rutter and Austin-based writer Emily Roehl. Mystery Spot investigates the persistence of place in the face of the abstractions and simplifications of the mass media in a way that resists the easy nostalgia of place-bound identities or mythic unities.



Minneapolis Institute of Arts Shop (Minneapolis, MN)

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (Minneaplolis, MN)

Moon & Arrow (Philadelphia, PA)

Perimeter Books (Melbourne, Australia)

Printed Matter, Inc (New York, NY)

Quimby's (Chicago, IL)

Ti Pi Tin (London, United Kingdom)

Waiting Room (Minneapolis, MN)

Zine's Mate (Tokyo, Japan)



Bethel University Library (St. Paul, MN)

Emily Carr University Library (Vancouver, BC)

The Floating Library (Minneapolis, MN)

The Indie Photobook Library (Washington, DC)

Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, SAIC (Chicago, IL)

Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)

Midway Contemporary Art Library (Minneapolis, MN)

Minneapolis College of Art & Design Library (Minneapolis, MN)

The Natural Collection, Photobook Club (Coventry, United Kingdom)

New York Public Library (New York, NY)

Otterbein University Library (Westerville, Ohio)



2015 Silver Eye Book Fair (Pittsburgh, PA)

2015 Twin Cities Zine Fest (Minneapolis, MN)

2015 Vancouver Art Book Fair (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

2015 Philadelphia Art Book Fair (Philadelphia, PA)

2015 Photobook Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)

2015 LA Art Book Fair, Presented by Printed Matter (Los Angeles, CA)

2014 Tokyo Art Book Fair (Tokyo, Japan)

2014 Medium Cool Art Book Fair (Chicago, IL)

2012 Overbooked @ The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)

2012 MDW Fair (Chicago, IL)



Art of This Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)

Drift Station (Lincoln, NE)

grayDUCK Gallery (Austin, TX)

Johnson Gallery, Bethel University (Saint Paul, MN)

Monash Gallery of Art (Melbourne, Australia)

Peerless Gallery (Omaha, NE)

Soo Visual Arts Center (Minneapolis, MN)

Waiting Room (Minneapolis, MN)



2014 Book of the Day, Self Publish, Be Happy (London, United Kingdom)

2012 Book of the Day, Self Publish, Be Happy (London, United Kingdom)