Other Little Magazines #20 – Ego Trips

As this weblog has been gently qualified as self-serving – which it totally is, but then aren’t they all by the very definition of the medium? – I finally got the nerve to dedicate this section to those little magazines whose première issues featured contributions by this abnegated servant of his very small audience.

I had already referred to Chicote – which brought to quickly consuming glory my first, but apparently not last opinion editorial – and this is finally the occasion to complete the triumvirate of publications that incorporated your humble me, myself and I* in their very first apparitions.

If it wasn’t for my own embarrassment, the first of these mags was long due a more complete reference. DOMA came out already one year ago in Macedonia, edited by Antoino Petrov and Sofija Grandakovska.

While introducing us to a plethora of Eastern European writers and architects, DOMA includes an impressive list of international contributors that ranges from Ben Nicholson or Marina Abramovic, to Michael Meredith, Alison Currie and Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss.

Its contents provide us with an unusual debate on the “(im)material meanings” of doma/home as a “meta-fantastical question.” Thus, its many appealing stories and essays “unfold the confluence of agglomerated meanings and objects that influence the cultural geography of our cities, and hence the production and creation of new terms of DOMA.”

My own contribution – a fictional scenario that was eventually republished online through the CCA’s Infinite Index – dwells precisely on how the aspiration to a European identity, with its territorial equivalence to a fortressed domicile, could be subject to dramatic shifts in the course of coming climate changes.

The other magazine I want to mention here is called Lazlo. It came out a couple of months ago in Berlin and it is edited, art directed and designed by none other than… Lazlo Moulton himself.

As it self-presents itself on Facebook, Lazlo is “a half-yearly independent magazine drawing inspiration and content from (and aiming to reach) the academic chair and the club dance floor, the artist’s atelier and the scientist’s laboratory, the catwalk and the sidewalk.”

This is the kind of other little magazine I enjoy digging out for my readership: transversal, witty, eclectic, personal, ironic, elegant, generous, political, self-conscious, playful, avant-garde, literary, modest, critical. A magazine on everything, which may well feed you through the all of Summer.

Curiously, its issue nº 0 is also “On Dwelling” – as once reflected by Heidegger, but not only. Avoiding excessive intellectualization of the theme, it just welcomes its reader into a self-defining journey through which one can possibly “go home again.” Thus emerges a subjective take on culture as a potential comfort zone for rebuilding the self in an age of fragmented, shattered dreams.

My contribution here is one of a few interviews I’ve given recently to different international media – another was to French magazine D’Architecture, and yet another one appeared on the 2nd online issue of Zurich/ETH-based Architectural Papers. For Lazlo, the conversation was exclusively dedicated to Beyond, Short Stories on the Post-Contemporary.

Dwelling on Beyond is surely convenient, if indeed the series is to survive the current adverse economical condition and the end of print as we know it. While the first issues of Beyond are out and about since 2009 – and seem to have become stuck at the cult status of the “super-small-niche” – perhaps I haven’t been self-serving enough so as to constantly bombard you with news on it.

The truth is that, even if a curator or editor is firstly researching and conveying the production of others, when it comes to commercial matters it is quite hard and uncomfortable for some of us to also assume the role of the marketer.

Nonetheless, other people seem to be gradually picking up on this particular little magazine, with it being included in recent reviews in ICON #94 and Abitare #513. Hopefully, the word of mouth will slowly get across, at least to those who may be potentially interested in it.

The fact is that, although we are speaking of “the rise and rise of independent magazines” one should not forget that these are mostly the result of luxurious ego trips of a handful of people that still believe that generating and sharing content is a fulfilling mission. Unfortunately, and particularly in these tough times, there will always be limits to such unabashed generosity and passion.

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