B/W, newsprint

New York and London-based art mag Useless has the old school enthusiasm of ye olden music fanzines like Search and Destroy or MRR. Maybe it's the newsprint or that interviews, profiles, reviews, events and ideas are really packed in here—sometimes there'll be up to four different things on one spread. I love that. I got issues 5 and 6 at the Art Book Fair and still haven't come close to reading every word in them. I've opened up each issue on several occasions and flipped around, reading a bit of this and a bit of that. The issues have themes and, according to their site, the format of the magazine can/will change based on that. Issue 5's theme is "newer than ever" and my most favorite thing in here is a story called Legends of New York where Useless asks four fantastic old school New Yorkers to talk about NYC then, now, and 100 years into the future. Issue 6 is called "there you are" and has a Donald Urquhart drawing on one cover and Todd Haynes on the other. This issue has many highlights, including Joan Jonas, Ann Magnuson, Todd Haynes, Molly Shannon, Dirty Martini, our friends' band Golden Triangle, a random picture of another friend of ours kissing someone, etc etc. I was lying on the floor reading these issues with a friend the other night and we were talking about hype and pr and how underground mags are really no different than the big glossies. Big magazines mostly write about the same people at the same time because they have a movie out or a record or something like that. Cool small magazines do it too but just on a more indie scale. It's tiring. Useless has a little of that, I think, but not too much. I feel like they cover so much and such a wide array—from major names who've been around for years, to people you hear about these days, to people you've never or barely heard from. Well played, dudes.

Comments (1)


I've been talking about the same thing with a friend of mine - the exclusion factor. The difference between a magazine that brings in the reader vs. magazines that make the reader feel like they're detached from the rest of the world because they don't know x person or they don't live in a big city. I don't know if you've ever heard of the magazine "Me" but wow... in a way, I loved the idea of the magazine, but b) I don't ever want to purchase and read it because they've made me feel out of the loop by the people they choose and the people reviewing their lives. It should be called "Our Clique - and you're not part of it, but you can read about it and pretend you care!" Part of this came from finishing reading that new book about Sassy... you get that what made them the success they were was because they weren't trying to exclude their audience - there wasn't a feeling of making people feel like they didn't belong, but it helped in bringing people into various subcultures that they may have never known about.

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