Pilot Publishing was initiated by us (Ella Gibbs and Amy Plant) in 2004 following a work we made together: Laburnum Pilot – A Street Magazine. It’s been flexible – constantly on the move, finding temporary homes and collaborators in different locations: allotment gardens, urban streets, art galleries, building sites, underground stations, parks, schools and further education institutions. It has a very expanded idea of publishing. Thinking of publishing and public space as the same realm. Questioning who, how and why these spaces are controlled. Activating alternatives inspired by and for communication. Each project is guided by a ‘rule’ or set of rules.

Some projects have been small and fast but within all this moving around the ‘Pilot’ part of ‘Pilot Publishing’ comes from our wishes that the energy and expertise invested in the collective work can continue to glow and generate in some way, after we’ve gone (like sowing ‘seeds’). So the larger projects are often prototypes, experiments or tests…with longevity in mind…

Ella Gibbs is based in London, UK
Amy Plant is based in the Pacific Northwest, US from Sept 2011

We are both available for projects/skype consultations/conferences and are keen travelers.

Ella & Amy also make work outside of the Pilot Publishing ‘umbrella’. Some projects include:

Amy Plant: www.thesquarecircle.net

Ella Gibbs: www.commonroomproductions.org

Pilot Publishing: A brief history:

May – June 2004
Laburnum Pilot – a street magazine, made by people who live, work and pass through Laburnum Street.
Edited by Amy Plant & Ella Gibbs, contributions by Laburnum Street residents, designed by Åbäke. Commissioned by The Drawing Room, London.
Pilot Publishing used the gallery space as a publishing house for 6 weeks. A team of street residents joined us for workshops led by design team Åbäke to make the magazine. We made a rule: all the images had to be drawn. It turned out to be 68 pages.


We initiated the first Laburnum Street Party to launch and distribute the 3000 print run. Later we handed out Laburnum Pilot at the Self-Publishing Fair, Cubitt, London. The residents now close the street and make a party every summer.


July 2004
Bonner Road Pilot
Seminar & workshop with students from UMEA, Norway – part of Elin Wilkstrom’s exhibition, Showroom Gallery, London
(black & white photocopy, gallery distribution)

August 2004
Otara Pilot
Workshop with fine art students at Manukau School of Visual Arts, Auckland, New Zealand
(black & white photocopy, in house distribution)

January 2005
Free Pilot
An exercise – about all things free with students at Newcastle University (life, work, art)
(black & white photocopy, in house distribution)

March 2005
Autopilot – made in five days!
A magazine making workshop with 15-21 year olds at The Sackler Centre for Arts Education, Serpentine Gallery, London. During the exhibition ‘My Playstation at the Serpentine’ by Tomoko Takahashi, commissioned by The Serpentine Gallery
(full colour A3 landscape, distributed at launch through raffle event and mailing lists)


April 2005
Start It
Pilot Publishing workshop: Fine Arts Graduation catalogue.
Portsmouth University, Portsmouth UK
(Fine Art Catalogue, distributed during exhibition and mailing lists)

June / July 2005
Street News (one year later) & Street Cinema
Pilot Publishing in residence on Laburnum St (again) for Laburnum Street Party (2)
(Film made in 3 days featuring Laburnum Street residents and their news)

August 2005
Pilot Publishing Presentation
for Curating Summer School, Central St. Martins

October 2005
Pilot Publishing Poster Making
Studio Voltaire, London
For Notion Nanny by Alison Smith/B+B
(Hand-drawn poster-making event)

October 2005
Pilot Publishing Poster
Participation in Pilot 2, London
(Hand-drawn poster)

November 2005
Random Locations
Pilot Publishing workshop: Technical School of Copenhagen, Denmark
(black & white photocopy, in house distribution)

November 2005
Happy Birthday Kajsa
Part of Reunion initiated by B+B, Wysling Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire:
Weekend to kick start exchange & projects between artists from Eastern Europe & UK
(Chocolate Cake and Birthday Moment)

December 2005
A Station Musical for Stratford
Commissioned by Platform for Art:
48m temporary window frieze for Stratford Station proposing a Musical at the station. Material, song lyrics and dance routines gathered through workshops with Carpenters Primary School, station staff and passengers. Design process with Åbäke. Launched with a musical performance by the school children and Urban Development. Installed Mar 2006 – 2008



May 2006
The Talk is Canceled – come to a film screening instead
A film by Pilot Publishing made in the different departments of the Royal College of Art for ‘it is the work rather than about the work’, Invited talk, Royal College of Art, London

May 2006 – September 2007
Demo Plot – the plot continues…
Manor Garden Allotments, Hackney Wick
Pilot Publishing were donated a plot on this 100 year old allotment site. The allotments were under severe threat due to Olympic Development plans and we helped run a campaign to try to save it. Throughout the seasons Demo Plot experimented with growing food in the city, learning from the other plot holders and holding occasional campaigning events. www.lifeisland.org


Nov 2006 – 2009
Ijbuild: Pilot Publishing in residence at The Blue House, Ijburg, Amsterdam


Nov 2008 – Apr 2009
Energy Cafe
Part of The Art of Common Space, commissioned by LANS
Gunpowder Park, Essex

Jan & Mar 2009
Energy Cafe talks
University of East London
Architecture and Visual Arts Foundation Course

May 2009
Energy Cafe Talk
Falmouth College of Arts
RANE (Research in Art Nature and Environment) Lecture Series

Sept 2009
Energy Cafe Talk
This Weekend Seminar: Context: nostalgia, poetics or politics
BOSarts, Cornwall

December 2009
Energy Cafe Presentation
University of the Arts, London
Artsquest talk on commissioning public art for graduates

Pilot Publishing in the Press

– Bridport News and Dorset Echo – April 2011 – articles about Energy Cafe on Powerstock Common

The Mercury and Waltham Abbey Guardian Newspapers Jan-Mar 2009 various articles about Energy Cafe

Platform for Art: Art on the Underground2008 Featuring A Station Musical for Stratford

– Open Space: Art in the Public Realm2007 Arts Council book featuring Laburnum Pilot

– Metro – 27th March 2006 Article about A Station Musical for Stratford

– BBC London, Robert Elms ShowMarch 2006 Radio Interview about A Station Musical for Stratford (Tamsin Dillon)

– LBC NewsMarch 2006 Radio Interview about A Station Musical for Stratford (Tamsin Dillon)

– Time Out – Young People’s Guide to London – June 2005 Review of Autopilot – 15-21 Crash Course at Serpentine Gallery

– Lodown, BerlinApril 2005 Parasite, insert magazine about Laburnum Pilot by Åbäke

– Resonance FM9th June 2004 Radio show about Laburnum Pilot

– GrafikJune 2004 Laburnum Pilot featured in article about Åbäke


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