If you've not heard of Cederteg Publishing by now, get ready for a surreal ride. The company's founder, Tony Cederteg, has been creating 'zines and books—not to mention playing in bands, curating exhibits, and hosting T.V. programs—out of Sweden for several years now, and with an international circulation deal under his belt and an endless stream of ideas flowing through his head, he's indicating no sign of slowing down.
Cederteg drifts from astronomically arty to incredibly crass in the blink of an eye, and that ever-changing energy is what makes him so compelling. One minute he'll be working on an interview 'zine like Harold only to be caught the next with plans for a photography collection of Terry Richardson-esque candid shots or a reprinted sketchbook of sorts.
Anthem gets intimate with the Swedish publisher in a rare interview. Hopefully you'll be hearing and seeing more of the eccentric creative in the pages of Anthem in the near future, too.
Cederteg Publishing has come a long way since it began, but… where exactly did it begin? How did you create the publishing house, and what was the stimulus to do so?
It happened as of a peculiar reaction to my restlessness of seeing bad printed shit all over the place. So the motivation certainly came from the fact of not creating a touch of sweetness with someone that I've tried to make shit happen with before (which have always ended badly). I just contacted the peeps I desired to work with and the rest is bloody history, dude.
Was there any sort of manifesto? Did you begin the company with any lofty aims or overarching goals?
Well, the initial idea was to only make a photocopied fashion 'zine (100 copies black and white—it ended at offset printing with an edition of 1,500 copies in florescent colors, [laughs]), called Harold Magazine. But it easily became definite that I had to proceed with more and more stuff since my restlessness isn't of the tamable type.
Before Cederteg Publishing, what experiences did you have? What other work were you doing? What other outlets were you utilizing for self-expression (and fun)?
I did a zine called Faggots and Retards (Tapettes et Retardés)—the title came from what Todd Solondz should have called his movie, Welcome to the Dollhouse if he had the final say in the production, instead of that fat fuck Harvey Weinstein, because that is what the film is about, Solondz once said [laughs]. I did two issues of those and then [tried it out publicly]. No one knows that I was the one behind them and no one has them, either (although this is not entirely true)… all the artists who delivered shit for it had to make it under new names or to be totally unknown. In each issue there was a CD with [unknown/newly-named musics and artists], exclusively made for this 'zine! The 'zine had an edition of 50 copies [laughs]. San Fadyl (R.I.P.) from Ladybug Transistor and Tiger Lou made some sweet new tracks for it, to just mention two dudes who were kind enough to help out.
What has Cederteg Publishing and your brand evolved into? That is, have you stayed thoroughly true to your roots or did the company become something else since its inception?
I hope that people, costumers and artists feel that Cederteg is a solid ground for trying out new ideas through. The idea has always been—since I figured the idea out [laughs]—to just showcase artists that I care a great deal for. But since the curating part of my life is starting to take off more, we're going to do more catalogs like that as well as our regular artist monographs, of course. But we don't really want to grow that much. There're other companies you can start up to do so with. I'm definitely doing that, yo. Take money take money.
Who do you work with (designers, illustrators, editors, photographers), and, more importantly, how did you select them? Is Cederteg Publishing a family-like enterprise or is more business-oriented, diplomatic?
Friendly, amazing, creative, on time peeps is a plus.
As soon as you've entered the world of Cederteg, then I will be yours forever. Give and take until the casket closes.
Cederteg is four people (kind of): Art Direction duo Sandberg & Timonen, my multi-talented friend Johan af Geijerstam, and me.
People we have worked with so far, to new a few:
James Whitman, Keith Shore, Skye Parrott, Peter Sutherland, Leo Fitzpatrick, Fredrik Skogkvist, Brad Phillips, Yuval Pudik, Kevin Christy, Deanna Templeton, Michelle Cortez, Ann-Sofie Back, Bernhard Willhelm, Nicholas Haggard, Melonie Bonajo, Yu Ukai, Ray Potes, Dan Siney, Hannes Isaksso, Noah Butkus, TwoTom, Terence Koh, Patrik Söderstam, Bruce LaBruce, Jerry Hsu, Jesper Ulvelius, Armen Danilian, Kento Mori, Jonas Isfält, Adam Sjoblom, Glynnis McDaris, Bravehat, Jaret Penner, Jessica Albarn, Kirk Hiatt, Alessandro Di Giampietro, Kristian Bengtsson, Mark Delong, Nakkna, Matthew Lock, Todd Fisher, Magda Lipka Falck, Marco Velardi etc etc etc
How did you start distributing your publications and what was the reception to them? Some of your stuff is pretty risque, some of it is pretty crass, some of it is very sophisticated, some of it is very deep… you never stay still! What the underlying “theme” to your stuff? What ties everything together and how does that appeal to readers and consumers?
I emailed where I wanted Cederteg to be retailed and located, and after that, [more] stores and galleries around the globe did the same to me, emailing and saying that they want to carry our small publications and shit. As simple as that! Well, we live in Sweden so we don't really have any censorship, which is great. And if we did have censorship, then we would have broken it immediately… on purpose. I don't really have any long academic answers to this one. Art is super simple to like or not like according to me. And as a publisher you don't really feel responsible, even though you are.
The thing that ties everything together must be my own taste in art (split personality), all the mosquito's on my butt, and total lack of taking shit easy.
What future and current projects do you have in store for the world? You're working on a new company I understand… and you've been doing some curatorial work, too. Could you talk about those two efforts and anything else that's related?
I'm doing a secret project for something within Public Service, a new series of T.V. shows, a photo exhibition at PHH Fine Art in New York (“I'd Never Willing Do You Harm opens on July 17), starting up a new publishing house (it's secret so far—while it's not really a surprise, I just don't want to tell everyone before something is concrete and ready for the world).
Outside of books and 'zines, what other endeavors are you pursuing?
Well, my day job is very different from what I'm getting interviewed about here. I work with people with autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy and stuff like that. I work there 75% [of the time] and have been doing it for five years now. I'm also doing this fashion show on Swedish national television, called Streetsmart. A friend [and I] are the hosts for that show. I'm also the drummer for a band called OWL. We're going to record and release a records next year. I think it will come out in early Spring, 2009. I'm also doing some consulting within photography and art… and I might open up a gallery in Stockholm or New York in the near future! Loads of thoughts… and ants in my pants. Yay!