PAJ Publications was founded in 1976, with the inaugural issue of the periodical Performing Arts Journal. In 1979, the publishing company began to publish books as well as another little magazine called Performance Art (retitled LIVE with the third issue). Four decades later, these zine-style magazines, edited by arts critic John Howell, are all but unknown to many working and teaching in the field of performance.
The late-seventies in NYC generated a lively scene in experimental theatre, performance, dance, music, sound, video, film, clubs, and festivals. Numerous alternative spaces were opened up and publications started, though none were exclusively devoted to downtown performance, except Performance Art/Live Magazine. Many who appear in the pages of these archival issues are part of the still inchoate histories of performance, including Stuart Sherman, Michael Smith, Joan Jonas, and Cookie Mueller.