Other little magazines (#05)

I think it is more than time to clear my desk of a pile of magazines that has been waiting for some kind of mention, some kind of memory, before entering an archive where they will lay buried under a growing layer of micro-dust for many years, before they will eventually be again discovered by some visual archeologist from the future…


With distribution systems being what they are, one absurd goal of my traveling is to dig for new publications to incorporate into my by now impossible-to-catalogue magazine collection – alas, one of the reasons why moving to a new place would be considerably painful…

So what did I gullibly gathered this time?

First, there is New Geographies, the new Harvard-based journal, the collectible issue 00 of which I traded for Beyond #01. Since we are here and there touching on the same themes – and sometimes sharing the same authors – this was fair trade and the beginning of an hopefuly fulfilling exchange…

In New York I grabbed Evolo and The Play Ground.

Picture 16playground


Evolo is another architectural magazine somehow coming from the American Ivy League. That is, it is created by a group of ex-students from Columbia that suddenly discovered that there was a crisis out there and thus what the world needed now was yet another architectural magazine.

The curious thing is that, while the “famous architects” housing projects that make the supposed appeal of the publication seem like more of the same, and thus dull and unrevealing, some of the contributions and smaller stories do uncover that there’s something coming off from this growing presence of South American students in major architectural schools around the world. A hint of what I’ve been calling post-colonial trans-geographical knowledge exchanges… But I’ll keep that question for a future post.

The Play Ground is another matter altogether. A “celebration of family”(!) in times of “separatism and isolation,” as the editorial has it. While coming from London, it is wildly amazing that such a familiar endeavor finds its way into a cornershop in Soho… But then again you open it and you come across the amazing work of Terunobu Fujimori and all of it suddenly kind of makes sense.

Also the Freestyle Magazine has quite an unbelievable theme, considering that it too is making it to the world’s mag circuit. Yes, it is dedicated to Frisbies and it even comes in the form of one. Plus, you get the real thing as a gift, that is, the mag comes in a real frisbee ready to take to the beach.



After Karen, and other magazines dedicated to nothing in special (just like Seinfeld), imaginations will have to be stretched to come out with yet another fresh perspective for a new publication.

Back to London, the zinorama city, the Publish and Be Damned event proved to be a small paradise to a premiere issue collector. It was indeed one of those moments in which the fiercest gatherer had to refrain from an engulfing zinappetite… Typically stressed by the so-called syndrome of overabundance, …. I kept to only four #01 titles.

Proximity, is an art magazine from Chicago that apart from graphically impeccable seems to reflect a certain conditions of our times. Most of the articles in the publication are more concerned with the art world – its context and its phenomena, the episodes from the everyday life of artists and the anecdotes of collectors and artophiles – than with artistic objects themselves.

And this detail, being somewhat more disguised or subdued in other publications, seems to make a lot of sense in an increasingly reflexive world. It is only logical that today you should go to art or design or architecture school not truly to understand how art or architecture are made but more so to learn how their respective worlds function. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu was never so up-to-date as today.



Other art premières present at the event were Monika, a small-sized arts journal from London with a first issue that focuses on anonymity; Corridor 8, a big-sized art journal from Manchester with a first issue featuring artist and writer’s takes on the idea of supercity; and Garageland, a medium-sized arts journal also from London which started in 2006 with a take on machismo.    ………………………………………………..

Mise en page 1

Finally, in Amsterdam, I still had the courage to fill my overweighed bag with yet another first issue: on this occasion, a novelty from a Parisian “brand” that has already come up with four or five different titles.       Now it is time to welcome the again stylish and exquisite Les Cahiers Purple – a new yearly edition, which for its 2010 première, puts together stories and artwork that are more than enough to make you go through the whole winter.

Who said there was a publishing crisis going on? aasss ffffff ssssoosod sslssms. And with so much stuff out there, how can one ever get bored?


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