1792 The 1st phase of S U N begins in 1792 with John Heriot launching the first Sun newspaper on October 1, 1792 in London. Newly freed by changes in the libel laws in England ( which allow newspapers to print content without as great a fear of prosecution due to libel) Sun quickly rises to become the second most popular newspaper in Britain.
1830 With the slogan "It Shines for All” the 2nd phase of S U N comes to America with the arrival of the New York Sun in 1830. Started by a legendary 23 year old publisher named Benjamin Day, Sun is a pioneer of the penny press ( Sun only costs a penny when most papers cost six cents). The Sun's high circulation is made possible with its use of steam-powered printing presses, allowing the Sun to print tens of thousands of copies cheaply for the masses. The Sun also uses an innovative means of distribution to dramatically increase circulation — it is the first paper to use newsboys sell issues on the street, shouting headlines for everyone to hear.
Sun helps to change the way that newspapers use storytelling to convey the news. Sun focuses on “human-interest” and sensational stories, newspapers up until this time mostly list facts as they are known about an event - relying on readers to send in information or simply making unauthorized copies of stories from other newspapers. Sun is the first to actually hire a stable of reporters to go out and collect stories to tell reporting crimes and personal events such as deaths and divorces. It is the first paper to print an account of a suicide - which is the first of its kind about an ordinary person helping to change journalism - helping the newspaper to connect in a more emotional way to the lives of its readers.
In 1835 Sun's sensationalism gets ahead of them as they embark on one of their most infamous moments in what is later to be known as “The Great Moon Hoax". In a series of 6 articles the Sun fabricates a story in great detail about an alien civilization on the moon seen through the lens of a high powered telescope. Most of its readership takes the account for fact as the Sun falsely attributes the discoveries to the renowned astronomer Sir John Herschel and first published in the prestigious Edinburgh Journal of Science. The articles describe animals on the moon including bison, goats, unicorns, bipedal tail-less beavers and bat-like winged humanoids called Vespertilio-homo who built temples. There were trees, oceans and beaches. These discoveries were made with "an immense telescope of an entirely new principle”. Eventually the authors announced that the observations had ceased because of the destruction of the telescope by means of the Sun causing the lens to act as a "burning glass" setting fire to the observatory.
The accounts quickly set the cities media landscape on fire — within a week close to 100,000 copies of the account had been printed — at a time when New York City only had a population of around 300,000. After seeing the intense interest in the story other papers in the city quickly reprint the accounts by the Sun, helping to turn "The Great Moon Hoax" into the world's first mass - media event. Word of the discoveries spreads fast to the rest of the country, and in less than a month it has crossed the Atlantic to Europe where the story is translated and published broadly across the continent - with new illustrations and commentary about the momentous discovery.
When the Sun fails to reveal the hoax the editor of its rival paper The N.Y. Herald, issues a blistering public rebuke "We mean now to show up the Sun — the impudent Sun — the unprincipled Sun —the mercenary Sun — the low bred Sun — the Sun that hoaxes the public — that tells untruths for money — that makes fools of the wine — that cheats the whole city and country. The revulsion of public sentiment is fast accumulating. Its astronomical hoax will touch the Sun yet to the quick." But it takes nearly a month after publication for Sun to finally admits the story of a civilization on the moon has been a hoax. And in the end the public seems generally amused by the whole thing - it becomes legendary — sales of the paper don’t suffer.
1928 Sun takes a turn towards the literary as it turns darker in its third phase with The Black Sun Press. In 1928 Harry and Caresse Crosby re name their boutique publishing house The Black Sun Press in keeping with Harry's fascination with the symbolism of the sun. Most of his often Concrete Poetry references events of the sun. The press rapidly gains notice for publishing beautifully bound typographically flawless editions of its unusual books. They take exquisite care with the books they publish choosing the finest papers and inks.
Black Sun publishes the works of many great early modernist writers such as James Joyce, Hart Crane, D. H. Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway. Addled by heroin Harry dies in a suicide pact in New York City with a young socialite named Josephine Noyes Rotch in 1929 in what was consider to be the story of the century.
Caresse Crosby continues Black Sun’s work at the highest levels of quality with its publications into the 1940s.
1967 Sun turns psychedelic in its fourth phase when The Warren-Forest Sun, founded by John Sinclair, begins publication in Detroit Michigan in April of 1967. Beginning as the Warren-Forest Sun ( named for the neighborhood between Warren Avenue and Forest Avenue in Detroit ) it soon becomes the Ann Arbor Sun when Trans-Love Energies moved to Ann Arbor in 1968. Trans-Love, founded by John Sinclair his wife Leni Sinclair and the artist Gary Grimshaw in 1967 sets up shop in two large communal houses where Sun is produced and edited by the members of the group.
Early issues of the paper are printed with the silk screen and mimeograph equipment of the Artists Workshop Press which Sinclair brings with him from Detroit to Ann Arbor. The paper celebrates a growing hippie, anti-police, pro-drug laws, counter culture lifestyle - with articles, interviews and collaborations with groundbreaking artists of the time, activists and musicians such as Sun Ra, R Crumb , The MC 5, The Stooges , Bob Dylan and many others
The Ann Arbor Sun is at its heart an anti-establishment , Pro Marijuana legalization newspaper with deep connections to The White Panther Party. Over the years the newspaper transitions to being more or of a traditional independent left-wing city newspaper, with a continued focus on music and the arts. Publication of the Ann Arbor Sun continues until 1976.
2014 The 5th phase of S U N begins in New York City on the summer solstice of 2014 with the emergence of the NYC based publishing house called S U N . The house fuses many of the aesthetic and conceptual concerns of previous phases of S U N - often working with complex versions of the truth, as well as collaborating directly with artists to create unique and beautiful artists books.
Functioning less as a traditional publishing house S U N becomes more of a publishing network helping to produce publications and artworks directly with artists. Adopting the Internet domain thesun.solar S U N operates as something like a renewable network for creating artworks. It helps to produce unique publications and other artworks with artists such as Bill Sullivan, Corey Presha, Anthony Tafuro, Dan Cook, Timothy Briner, Charles Johnstone, Aaron McElroy, Yoshi Kametani , Daisuke Yokota and Thomas Hauser among others
S U N also focusses on bringing to print obscure, hard to find and at times notorious archival images & texts. Over the last decade Sun has brought to publication such archival titles as The Black Panther Coloring book, Be Here Now by Ram Dass, Reckless Spring : poems by Hồ Xuân Hương, The Family Acid, 47 Fly Flyers from the early hip hop era in NYC and Sergey Merkurov’s Letters of People.