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“Democratic multiples” are inexpensive artists’ books sold cheaply or even given away to as many people as possible. Typically democratic multiples convey a social or political message. The artist wants to get the word out with low production costs and self-distribution, by-passing the art gallery.
This is very much a 1960s “power to the people” phenomenon and a bit subversive. But in a practical sense it wasn’t really democratic. How many people could such a book reach? And an artist can hardly make a living with democratic multiples.
Today, with the possibilities of the internet and print-on-demand, democratic multiples may need to be reinvented.