Ramblings, Rants and Redundancies Archives
How irritating that its raining today. I was actually going to go off to the Union Square Barnes & Noble to focus on reading horror stories, otherwise known as Condé Nast magazines. I don't want you to think I'm advocating either monstrosity... but this location of B&N is simply the best cruising ground in Manhattan (besides Trader Joes) and for reading magazines without paying (the only reason to read a Condé Nast Magazine). You can actually grab a stack of mags and/or books and take them to the unmentionable cafe on the 3rd floor and sit around for hours reading. I'm still debating on wether or not I should go.... I mean, I don't really look forward to reading Vanity Fair quite enough to get wet for it.
Back in 1998 I saw the tight little package that was Purple magazine at Tower Records in New Orleans and I lusted after it immediately. It was the first magazine I had ever seen that encapsulated an art, fashion and 'zine sensibility all in one. Most spectacularly it was small (8.5" X 6.25") and fat - with a shocking (at the time) number of matte, single color pages. It satisfied all my print desires - even the ones I didn't know I had. It had excellent fiction, avant guard fashion, art photography and illustration. Purple magazine is what really began to make me think about the possibilities of what a magazine could be and do.
Continue Reading The Plague of Vincent Gallo
Please do send us your wonderful 'zines. Also any information on you or your friends projects. I also wouldn't mind if some fabulous, upscale magazines from Europe sent us a free subscription. Free stuff goes a long way, let me tell you.
send wonderful things to:
200 Centre Street 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10013
We are also looking for flyers from the world over that don't suck (is the art of the flyer disappearing?), so if you see any good ones - scan them and send 'em in.
These blogs are immensely entertaining and informative. Please do click them.
Fiveoclockbot - Jason
Team Murder - Brian
Going Somewhere - Aren
Grass Roots Modern - affordable furniture and housewares design
Graffiti Research Lab - open source tools for urban communication
The Wooster Collective - a site dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world.
Tropolism - Sort of news, opinions on architecture, love cities.
Check out this little something something article about Sassy on Women's Wear Daily's site. It discusses the upcoming book by former Sassy editors - that we shall definitely be reading and discussing.
Link via Brassmonkey
It's Christmas time, so we all should be buying stuff. I was out wandering through my favorite bookstores yesterday and came up with some gift ideas I want to share with you.
For your little brother or sister:
A project about Tags, DIY-Craft & Subcultural Globalization
The cardboard covers were cut by hand. This thick volume shows you how to make a fat marker of your own and is full of pictures of people writing graffiti from all over the world.
For any zine-maker, or for me, because this thing rules:
The Gocco Silkscreen Kit is a mini silkscreen making kit. It takes no time to burn their little screens and it's nowhere near as messy as the real deal. The company is going out of business and these are getting harder to find. Some people started a Save Gocco campaign. Check there for updates and look on ebay for the kits. And when you find one, send it to me.
Also for me or your coolest family member:
0-9 The Complete Magazine: 1967-1969
Vito Acconci and Bernadette Mayer
Collection of the 7 issues of 0 to 9, Vito Acconci and Bernadette Mayer's mimeographed magazine. Their aim was to explore the relationship between language and the page and the contributors list is full of major artists and writers of the time, including Sol LeWitt, Adrian Piper, Dan Graham, Robert Smithson, Yvonne Rainer, and the editors themselves.
The 2nd Cannons website has been advertising the upcoming Julie Lequin book for a while. First it was supposed to be out by summer, then fall, now they're hoping for sometime this winter. So instead of actually finishing the book, Julie made a video detailing the reasons why it isn't finished. What a great idea! I wish I'd thought of it. Usually when I'm avoiding my deadlines (sorry to all my editors past and present), I turn off my phone, have nachos delivered, and read magazines on the couch all day. Then I clean the apartment, thinking I can't work without a clean space in which to think. Then I get bored with that and go see a movie.
Omg. So now that I'm back in New York mode and have finally listened to my voicemail messages and caught up on email, I've discovered that school starts Monday and I have to sort out a million details. And um find some work. So I'm off to do that. In the meanwhiles, here are some online zine-y resources: ZineWiki, Zine World, and the Chicago Underground Library. Go play with them. And we're back on Monday with a week full of interviews, reviews, and rantings. XO! And happy new year.
Good Magazine has a story up called The 51 Best Magazines Ever. Smartest, Prettiest, Coolest, Funniest, Most Influential, Most Necessary, Most Important, Most Essential, etc. The following is our chat about it.
Mr. Mcginnis: A "top" list of any kind is surely an indicator that a magazine is no good.
Ms. Keough: Heh. I agree. I hate that stuff. They're meaningless. "top 10 albums of the year" "100 hottest women." Ugh.
Mr. Mcginnis: When you read this list, you get the impression someone is trying to get work.
Ms. Keough: Isn't the list by Graydon Carter? I think he has a job.
Mr. Mcginnis: No, he wrote the introduction. Ms. Keough, don't you read? Anyway - The sidebar insinuates that this is a list compiled through a poll of professionals in the industry. You don't pick magazines like Loaded, People or Lucky as "The Greatest" unless you're retarded or want to schmooze up to a publisher or editor or something. I mean REALLY.
Ms. Keough: Dude. Lucky? Really!?
Mr. Mcginnis: Number 44.
Mr. Mcginnis: Well, I do like some of these. But I would say only 13 on their list are (or WERE) any good at all. Esquire, Details, Life, MAD, Interview, The Face, The Paris Review, Ray Gun (iffy), Rolling Stone, Sassy, Colors (also iffy).
Continue Reading Best Ever?
Omg so, I just woke up and I have to do laundry, organize my life, make a quick website, pack my suitcase/camera bag, go to yoga, and have dinner with my mom. Ack! I'm going to Paris tomorrow for an art show and as usual I waited until the last minute to do everything. While laundering I'll drop by Spoonbill & Sugartown and get something to read on the plane. I'm behind on my New Yorkers and Harper's so I'll bring a couple of those I guess.
Anyway, dear readers, if you live in Paris or have been there, give me some tips. What magazines and books should I buy? Where should I go?
P.S. I got a converter thing for my laptop plug so I'll be posting from there.
How truly irritating that Ms. Keough is going to Paris today! How dare she. She was meant to post this morning, but got frazzled. I too am way too busy today to do more than this quick note. We'll be back on track tomorrow. Paris!
Do we read magazines to waste time on the train or the toilet, to stay informed, to appreciate pretty pictures or thoughtful writers? It's hard to subtract my love of magazines from my professional interest - so I'm curious what motivates other people to pay good money for something that is basically disposable. I'm also curious to know about other people's rituals for reading magazines. I look all the way through a magazine without reading anything, then return to the front and read everything cover to cover. I usually read them in bed late at night, or sometimes I take one to a coffee shop. I usually have a little notebook by my side to make notes on people or things I find interesting. I don't buy magazines unless they are the kind that I would never throw away - so I've become very selective in what I purchase. If I get my hands on a so-so magazine, I'll tear out the most interesting images and put them in a box. Right now I literally have a 2 foot stack of unread magazines to get through over the weekend - this blog has made my love and ritual into homework. So while I get to work, discuss amongst yourselves. Have a good weekend.
Time actually gets designed.
Everyone is talking about founder of Wallpaper Tyler Brûlé's new magazine Monocle like it's not only business relevant - but artistically and journalistically important. As though he's some kind of magazine Jesus sent down to save us from all the mundane print. Personally - I am totally disinterested. Wallpaper ceased being of note after it's first year, when issue by issue it became ever more a caricature of itself. Reading Monocles "concept" mission statement my initial reaction of boredom is vindicated - It's as though the opening paragraph from a business plan aimed at clueless investors had been copied and pasted. It's a completely vapid concept that doesn't actually say anything other than it will be great and smart for people who are bored with everything else. I'm afraid a "need for a new brand" is not enough. I'll be waiting for copy sighted in the trash before I get to this one.
What is it with magazine people and lists?! Check out The American Society of Magazine Editors list of top 40 magazine covers of the last 40 years. HALF on the list are AFTER 1990! Ludicrous.
Mr. Magazine's list of The 30 Most Notable Launches of 2006. MORE damn lists!
Read Oliver Reichenstein's 10 Newspaper Myths Deconstructed.
On May 1st magazine industry types gathered at Jazz at Lincoln Center for ASME's National Magazine Awards. I don't do much more than glance over the list every year because it has little to do with the magazines I love or even the ones I just read regularly. This year was no exception. New York Magazine won 5 (5?!) awards. Maybe I'm just not getting something but in what universe is NYM actually an excellent magazine? I mean, sure, the site is helpful and I use it when I'm hungry and need to know about a restaurant and there's some funny dumb stuff on there like the look book, and I have no idea why but I like looking at the shopping section. But these things do not make the print magazine worthy of an award or five. Esquire also always wins. Esquire? This magazine hasn't been good since the 1970s. I constantly forget it's still publishing. My eyes pass over it every time I cruise the newsstand. The covers are ugly confused messes. The mag has totally lost its focus. So many formerly great magazine giants have this problem and the ASME seems happy to give them awards for it. Some of this list reads more like the Magazines Who Should Have Stopped Publishing Years Ago awards. I mean, Rolling Stone got one. I'm glad to see The Nation win for reviews and criticism. I think The Believer should have won for their music issue. I have some different ideas for the design nominations but if I had to choose from the ones on the list here, I'd go for The Believer for that too. Definitely not NYM or GQ (grode).
The full list of nominees and winners is here. Read it and feel free to snark and/or add your own opinions in the comments!
Pretty self-explanatory. I would never pay good money for these, but If I see them on the sidewalk, I'll snatch them up to see what's going on. Despite the presence of good writers and photographers - I have a lot of disdain for these magazines. Perhaps I'll rip-out a few pages to go into my image box, but these magazines do not fit into my Print Fetish, so soon they will return to the street.
New York Magazine
W (actually, I WILL occasionally pay for a copy of W - except that my neighbor throws it out when it's still on the stands, so why bother buying it?)
Other lists to come: Magazines I Read At The Bookstore But Don't Buy and Magazines I Steal From Ms. Keough
Living in both worlds, I see the similarity of comic nerds and magazine obsessives. Colophon 2007 is undoubtedly the magazine version of Comic-con. With the advent of the internet, magazines will be fetishized as objects in much the same way as comics. Magazine stores will soon be selling mylar bags and Fabien Baron statuettes. I think this might be the first magazine store modeled after a comic book shop. Also, my previous post has sparked a conversation between myself and Search & Destroy that is very reminiscent of a nerd fight over the liberties Sam Raimi took in translating Spider-Man to the screen. BTW... Search & Destroy, I love the character of Spider-Man - but the writing of the current comic book is absurd and the art of questionable skill - therefore, I won't be buying it anytime soon. However, if I see it lying around, I'll check it out. Go Spider-Man!
It is far easier for a poor black kid to grow up and become a doctor or lawyer than it is to become a professional visual artist. Statistics, logic and achievement can often overcome the barriers in many professional fields. In the arts however, social biases and a lack of empathy with the artist and their work makes professional barriers almost completely insurmountable. An emotional and intellectual connection between the gatekeepers (gallery owners, museum curators, patrons, magazine editors) and the artist is required for success. One would think that in the supposedly progressive field of Art, people would make an effort to relate to the work of people who don't look like, talk like or think just like themselves. In fact, the Art world is the industry MOST guilty for excluding minorities. It is excessively upper-middle class, male centric and white. It's not an obvious sort of racism or sexism - it's simply a club mentality. Like some tired, white high-school English teacher saying that great literature "needs to be universal," while coincidentally his list of 'universal' novels is overwhelmingly written by dead white men. The art world fails to acknowledge, let alone confront, how it's education and social standing skews perception of art. It mistakes what it relates to as the benchmark for quality.
While I have enjoyed the New Yorker's New Orleans Journal - which definitely shows compassion for my home city, I think it is completely obnoxious and hypocritical for them not to have hired someone who already lives and writes there (which there are plenty of). A simple thing The New Yorker could have done to help New Orleans would have been to give someone who lives there a job. Their compassion for the city is betrayed by their lack of empathy and their perpetuation of an industry of exclusivity.
The truth is, media and art success in New York happen because of what parties one has gone to and/or who one went to school with (or slept with). Its a perfectly reasonable method - after all, hunting is hard work. Also, moving to NY and doing what it takes illustrates a persons ambition - a good thing. The problem is that only a certain kind of person, from a certain kind of background can make it into the situation where they can then try to make a career. The increasing expense of living in New York is only exacerbating this situation. To combat exclusion, economic oppression, racism and sexism I do think it is the job of curators, editors and art directors to hunt for talent, not just take who flows through their NY circles. They must continuously question their own standards and methods. They must have empathy.
p.s the authors of the New Orleans Journal are writing a book about their experience - don't buy it - buy this instead: Coming Out The Door For The Ninth Ward by Nine Times Social and Pleasure Club
At the very end of last year magazine distributor Publisher's Group West declared bankruptcy, which was a pretty serious drag for small publishers. McSweeney's, who was distributed through them, lost about $130,000 on the deal. They're auctioning off some of their stuff on ebay to try to recoup the loss. Their online store is also having a sale. Go check it out and show some support. (link via James, via Gawker)
Painting, painting, painting for the last few days at Ms. Keough's. I'm totes obsessed with decorating, and I've been picking at her for YEARS to paint some color on her dirty white walls. My big, dark dirty secret is that I love stupid home magazines like Domino, Dwell and Blueprint. They're all very trashy and don't measure up to my standards - but they're like porn to me! Gay powers erupting... can't... stop... looking...at product... placement... MUST rearrange knick knacks.... on shelf.... must criticize friends furniture choices...
Ok. Off to the Homo Depot.
Today is the last day before the fabulous relaunch of my kitchen and living room. Mr. Mcginnis and I are cranky and exhausted yet tickled pink at our handiwork. I just want to give a quick shout out to Apartment Therapy and Make: Zine for their inspiration. If they weren't there to give Mr. Mcginnis a million cool ideas, he wouldn't harass me constantly about my messy apartment which in turn wouldn't have inspired me to tell him to do something about it! So, Apt Therapy and Make, I owe you one. Back to our regularly scheduled office hours tomorrow!
Holy crap, it's hot out. At this rate I'm going to have to rethink my summer look—tight jeans just aren't working out in this heat. I'm at a newstand cafe thingy looking at stuff, guzzling iced coffees, and typing to you on a loaner laptop while mine gets a new hard drive (*sob*). Even with everything backed up and organized elsewhere, I couldn't help but feel some sense of loss as I signed the paper saying go ahead, delete everything. With temps reaching 90 today, my attention span has gone from short to ridiculous—I can't get through a whole music review, let alone a New Yorker article. Seriously, it's like a wet t-shirt contest out there.
In the spirit of scattered summer brains, here are links to some random things:
Conscientious: A pretty good fine art photography blog here by curator/scientist Jorg M Colberg. He co-curated a show that opened last week at Jen Bekman called A New American Portrait. Some good stuff in there. Go see it if you're around. Standouts include: Todd Hido and Benjamin Donaldson.
Salon article on McSweeney's money issues, the woes of other independent publishers, and how the internet may or may not be able to help.
All is quiet... it's gray out and the 4th of July. Where are all the raucous BBQers in my hood? I think the fact that it is our nations birthday is a good time to see if there is anyone out there in another country who would like to contribute to Print Fetish. Please, insert your big lady liberty on our shores!
What we are looking for isn't going to be easy - we want someone, somewhere in Europe who can write about non-English magazines. Therefore, they will probably need to speak multiple languages AND be able to write well in English. It goes without saying that whoever it is must have good taste and read more than just commercial magazines. If you are interested please send us some writing samples and a short but sweet bio.
Basically I have problems with a lot of things, especially Condy Nasty.... but I do like The New Yorker. I think the supposition that the staff are editorial perfectionists is absurd—I've yelled out loud over the crappy things I've read within it (they are as guilty of fuck me for an article as any NY magazine), but basically I'm a fan. Strangely enough, I have less of a problem with the design of The New Yorker than it's writing. I love that it has illustrations on the cover, is ACTUALLY legible and doesn't bombard me constantly with garish layouts and photography. I find it fascinating that just as serif typography has come back into (pardon me) vogue and McSweeney's has ushered in a sea change of editorial design, KT Meaney argues for a re-design of The New Yorker.
Meaney uses a 1992 cover (pictured above) to illustrate her point—Edward Sorel's illustration of a punk rocker riding around in a horse-drawn carriage. She argues that the text of the magazine is all forward thinking and up-to-date, but displayed in an out of touch, clunky design. Firstly, this women obviously doesn't appreciate this awesomely absurd drawing (which perfectly encapsulates NY in '92), secondly she doesn't appreciate how wonderful it is when funky people take over old-fashioned things. Being up-to-date with an eye for quality should not mean demolishing what came before. The design of The New Yorker is like a fine old building, that is of course impractical for some purposes, but therein lies it's charm. If anything, this kind of charm only emphasizes the quality and urbanity of the writing. Personally, I would rather live in a nice old Victorian house (years ago I squatted in one, mirroring Sorel's cover) than live in one of those new, hideous glass towers sprouting up all over New York. Please, please New Yorker, resist—don't succumb to all demands for change, especially from a designer who is responsible for a magazine design that is 10 years out of date. Better to be 82 years out of date.
August was a laaaaaazy month here at Print Fetish... we've also been on a tight budget, so the magazine/comic/book buying has been kept to a minimum (This problem would be solved if more people sent us free stuff!). We DO have some half written reviews lying around, so we'll try to get them out next week.
We are still looking for a European correspondent to review non-english mags and books, so we can present a more balanced picture of the print world–and have more posting of course. If you are interested, contact us.
This weekend is The 2nd Annual Brooklyn Book Festival, Sunday the 16th at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza. Check out readings and discussions from a variety of authors all day and peruse the books of nearly a 100 booksellers and publishers, big and small. It's outdoors on a cool day and all events are FREE. I like free.
The New Ugly? This is an interesting subject that really forces me to consider and vocalize my personal philosophies of art and design. I am a fan of the messy, raw and passionate–I like design that eschews the crisp, studied and CLEAN work of the educated and professional. I love scissors, photocopies and typewriters. People who don't WAIT for approval–just create, produce and distribute are my heroes. Why do people need to be validated by some boring rich white person in an office in New York (or London, Berlin etc.)? Fuck 'em.
I also believe it is the artists (and I do include designers in that category) duty to make the world a more beautiful place–this is not in conflict with my love of DIY. Design with passion and point of view is beautiful. Professionals often become so encumbered by the rules of THE CORRECT way to do things, they become a little dead inside. That is NOT to say I am for "thinking outside the box," or breaking the rules MAN! Beware anyone who asks you to think outside the box, or asks you to be cutting edge–they are idiots. No, what I am interested in is giving in to heart and hand, giving in to the nature of your abilities, as much as you struggle for technical perfection. The manicured, symmetrical garden is beautiful, but so is the wild countryside.
Continue Reading The New Ugly?
Everyday I scream, "DESIGN OBSERVER IS BORING!" Do we designers hope that something will rub off on us if we keep reading these lackluster established designers? Do we believe that their list of credentials and validation by (boring) publications and (boring) big-time clients somehow imbues them with talent? Why do we doubt our own taste, only in the presence of these professional mundanities?
Continue Reading Design Observer Sucks PLUS Two From The Vault
Good morning everyone. I about to head out of town for Thanksgiving and will be taking the week off. I hope you all have a great week and I'll be back to my regularly scheduled program on Monday, November 26th.
Yeah.... we haven't been posting enough... we feel so guilty. Especially since we got written up in the current issue of Paper Magazine (with Daft Punk on the cover) and my counter tells me we have a lot of new hits. All I can say is I'm giggling like a schoolgirl.... although I feel like they haven't looked very hard into our archives. Hint.
Anyway, we've been busy. Ms. Keough is in school and madly completing projects while I'm overwhelmed by watching cartoons. We also just launched a new design of our site, R&S Media and are in the throws of completing our zine, which will be coming out in early December (We decided to put our money where our mouth is).
ALSO, Ms. Keough has photography in the current issue of Famous Magazine, which is available at better magazine stands and bookstores.
One of Mr. McGinnis's magazine stacks this day last year.
Print Fetish is 1 year old today! What have we learned? The Internet only means the end of particular business models... corporate media and newspapers will shift almost completely online, while print media will target smaller audiences with more specific interests. Point of view, the quality of design, editorial selection and arrangement will improve to appeal to more refined tastes, while advertising will have less influence over content. Print is NOT dead, nor will it die. In fact, hand made book-arts, 'zines, small press and independently owned magazines are more prevalent than ever, even in the face of horrific media consolidation.
Its cheaper and easier to print full color on high quality paper than its ever been. Print is thriving because of new media technologies, not in opposition to it. Computers and scanners make it easier to layout and prepare files while the Internet forms a symbiosis with printed matter. A few magazines are ahead of the curve and already working this symbiosis like Dazed & Confused's Dazed Digital.
The cool kids, not just the old dudes, still want to hold their own work in their hands. They still want the finality of their art and words on paper, and so does the audience. Print forces one to make choices in their art because they must conform to the structure of an object. They must proofread, color correct and edit length–and unlike the internet, once it's out there, its done, there is no going back to fix it. The audience appreciates this effort, and still respects and craves it.
Our pals over at The Pop Manifesto have a new issue up. It's bright, it's fun, it's full of short interviews with artists and musicians and photos and stuff. There's an interview in here with Serps Press guy Thomas Jeppe about his obsession with/books on homemade tattoos.
David Hepworth's Review of the Year: Magazines in The Guardian asks "Have the glossies lost their shine?" (link via MagCulture)
ASME's names Best Magazine Covers of 2007. Ho hum.
North Drive Press #4 is out. I checked it out at a friend's house and it looks fantastic. As soon as I get one, I'll review it.
Lately I seem to be writing too many comments on other peoples blogs when I should be writing on my OWN blog! Especially about all this Editor Vs. Art Director (started by a simply competent editor on a completely disposable magazine) hullabaloo. I'm just going to put up one of my comments. I mean, If MagCulture can quote me, I can quote me. Read the comment thread here.
Posted on the Folio site:
"Just because someone is a good editor of the written word, a skilled writer and proofreader, does not mean they are good at editorial arrangement and editorial concepts. “Editorial,” in the sense of periodicals, includes everything about a magazine. A magazine that has a staff that sees “editorial” and “art” as separate, opposing forces is a poor, poor magazine indeed. So, yeah… the majority of magazines, though their contributors may be highly skilled, are pretty crap. There is an art to putting a magazine together; someone who is skilled at cutting text and assigning articles is not necessarily the best at accomplishing a brilliantly conceived and arranged magazine. Conversely, someone who is good at “making it look pretty” may not have the best interests of the editorial whole in mind, and is therefore useless. To be a great magazine the art director and editor must have equal power - but only of course, if they are completely on the same page. If not, the solution is a “Creative Director,” who is equally qualified in the visual and narrative, who has the best interests of the editorial whole in mind and who can reign the disjointed impulses of the art director/designer and the editor."
Also I'll swipe magCulture's link: Designing Magazine's funny and well considered argument
Ms. Keough was wearing a vintage Gucci tuxedo this weekend performing the wedding ceremony of her sister to some dude. I didn't even know she was ordained. Life is full of surprises. Sorry for not posting, but we've been all stressed out and working a lot, so blogging has fallen to the wayside. Plus the weather is amazing, so I've been walking around more, and sitting in front of the computer less. Ms. Keough just finished college (!!!) and is running all over the west coast marrying people and operating a cross-country piano moving business. More in a bit.
For some ridiculous reason, Ms.Keough and I kept missing the Kate Moss covered relaunch of Interview. All the hype seemed to cause the magazine to disappear from every magazine stand we frequent in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I was feeling anxiety over not finding it because for the last summer the takeover of Baron and O'Brien had made me feel hope. Hope that the very first magazine I ever became obsessed with would return to greatness, hope that a commercially viable American magazine could actually be interesting.
Ms. Pace, my 9th grade English teacher, looked like a 1950's pin-up. She had big red hair, bright red lipstick and usually wore a sleeveless breast popping blouse, over sized fake pearls, skin tight capri pants and 4 or perhaps 10 inch heels. I remember her rushing into class late, wearing horn-rimmed sunglasses and maybe dropping her papers, bending down to gather them while asking the class if we remembered to write in our journals the night before. Ms. Pace was the kind of teacher who wanted her students to figure out things for themselves. She always asked questions and never gave any facts. In the back of the classroom was a box filled with years and years of Interview. "You should totally read that, it's Andy Warhol's magazine."
Continue Reading Where has all the fierceness gone?
I have two equally powerful aspects to my personality: the helpful optimist and the pissed-off cynic. As an artist I want to make the world less ugly, express what is in my heart, and what needs to be said. Making a living is the secondary motivation for working in the arts. Art is primarily about learning and discovery - the final product isn't the most important thing.
I can't really divide my thoughts on art, and my thoughts on the workings of the world, so bear with me. When I look around at how fucked up the world is, I want to do what I can to make the world a better place, and what that first means is to be true to myself and actually do what I believe. 'Making a living' can never supersede the reasons for making art. When I look at a magazine, for instance, what I love to see is an honest passion for the subject presented - not an excuse to sell advertising. Also, as you can see, I consider making magazines an art form - and if the creators of a magazine don't think of it as an art form and just a job they do - it really shows in the magazine. I am not interested in a world that just does its job - not interested in just surviving. Life has to mean more than that.
Recently, the relaunch of Interview really depressed me, because it accurately express the state of the arts - which is crass, unimaginative, formulaic, devoid of inquisitiveness, and most importantly-completely dishonest. I definitely think this sad state of the arts is directly correlated to the selfish state of our country, which is obsessed with celebrity and spectacle more than with issues, where people care more about buying things than with helping people. It makes me angry, it makes me frustrated and it makes me want to give up.
I don't even know how to describe what I felt last night. The lack of empathy, the selfishness, the hatred, ignorance and greed that I see and feel has made me angry, has made me hopeless - but when I heard them announce Obama winner, it smacked my cynicism away like a red-headed stepchild. I could not stop crying. Reason, judgement and compassion has triumphed over hatred and greed. It is the most monumental example of this in my lifetime so far.
So all you zinesters, discount fashionistas, ranters, photographers, drawers and shit-talkers: None of us has any excuses. Keep doing what you believe. Don't give up. All things are possible. Make it happen.
Blender folds, editor goes to Maxim, Maxim folds. So do Arena, Tokion, King and Genre. The Guardian weighs in on Maxim and Arena (via magculture). UPDATE: Despite my best efforts to find someone who still works there, I cannot say for sure that Tokion has folded... Only that they were acquired by Nylon in January.
San Francisco-based art site, Fecal Face, is looking for a Berlin correspondent. So if you live there and are involved in Berlin's art sceney-scene, you should email info about yourself with some samples of writing and skill set to: news(at)fecalface.com.
Something is seriously wrong with the arts when older people are more outrageous, more fierce and more confrontational than the kidz. When Ms. Keough and I did the objectification issue of our college mag 10 years ago, there was such an outcry of offended students over an erect penis that we had to defend ourselves before a packed art and ethics class. One student stood up and professed that if his 10 year old brother was on campus and picked up a copy, it would be as though we had raped him. No teachers seemed to have a problem. In fact, my 80 something painting teacher walked up to me in the street and complimented my art direction.
I guess this rant is a symptom of my getting older, because I grew up in the age of zines and the sounds of "fuck shit up." In fact, I rebelled against that a bit, because I was always interested in taking from anything and everything. But it seems to me that the pendulum has swung too far, and that too many twenty somethings seem totally satisfied in doing things the way they were taught to. And what's worse - they completely believe in it.
It seems to me that artists are being too polite in their desperation for approval. When they are being "outrageous" i.e Lady Gaga, its innocuous and contrived. I'll take a bitchy Ms. Jones any day.
So please, lets have some more obnoxious bullshit, lets get our hands dirty and please lets not give a fuck.
In that vein, get inspired by Horseshit: the Offensive Review, a late 60's magazine out of California that covered politics, religion, the military and sex.
Q: I have always been willing to aid those around me with helpful suggestions, therefore your purely destructive attitude disgusts me. Just once why don't you offer some constructive criticism designed to make people happier?
A: Okay. If you will stop making suggestions, everyone will be happier.
This is getting annoying. Oh, and there are way more.
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