Shy Plumber is an independent international art periodical issued in Helsinki and Berlin. Invented in 2020, the journal is meant as a successor to the tradition of the artist-run avant-gardist and conceptualist magazines, as well as a revision of the genre of conceptualist graphic albums of the 1970s. The editors of the journal are Ilya Orlov (Helsinki), Matthew Cowan (Berlin), and Andrey Ustinov (Berlin).
Focused on conceptual art today in its varied forms, the journal looks at the questions concerning art theory and philosophy of art, with a particular interest in the concepts and definitions of art and its functions. Shy Plumber publishes artworks, considering them a fully-fledged analogue of showing it at a gallery or museum exhibition, as well as texts in art theory, intentionally and programmatically blurring the borders between art and philosophy, word and image, practice and theory. The journal is on the side of the artist, and most of the contributors to the journal are indeed artists.
The journal does not do open calls; all contributors are invited upon the editors’ decision. The artists invited to contribute are expected to share in their works the ethical and political principles of the journal: democracy, equality, respect for others, and rejection of all forms of discrimination, oppression, hatred, and violence.
The journal itself does not currently receive support from any external source and is fully independent. It is circulated free of charge via pdf.
Issue I was published on the 25th of September 2020. Issue II was originally planned for 2021, but the publication has been postponed; it will be released in 2022, after Issue III, and will be announced in due course.