Friday, July 6, 2007

Magazine Art

I have been reading a lot lately on the subject of magazine art, or magazine as gallery more- magazine as alternative space for the artist. This Spring's "Art Documentation" bulletin of the Art Libraries of North America has a really awesome article by Susan E. Thomas titled "Zeroing In on Contemporary, Independant Visual Arts Magazines." The article is thorough and fascinating with paragraph headings such as 'Magazines as Cultural Motors', 'Editorial and Curatorial Obsessions', 'Magazines as Gallery Space', 'Contemporary Magazine Design', and so continues to include more library specific issues in acquiring these gems. What is really fantastic about this article is that the author has included a selected list of independent, visual arts magazines not widely held by libraries. Acquiring such magazines would be a fantastic asset for our collection.

I am always searching for ways to mashup and combine my political interests in alternative media with the somewhat lofty politics of art. I began reading about Dada zines in grad school and am pretty excited to have found the above mentioned article on contemporary, independent artists zines. Still what to do with these burning interests of mine. My desire is to consume but also to disperse, guess this librarian will be writing yet another project proposal.

I should also mention that there is a very short article titled "Alternative Art Publishing: Artists' Magazines (1960-1980) by Stephen Perkins on Chip Rowe's website zine book. The bibliography here is short but really awesome as it provides some interesting sub-themes to pursue when researching magazine art. Here is a great quote or two from Perkins' article...

"...where previously art work, texts and documentation were illustrated in magazines, this new 'space' the magazine became the primary site for the works themselves. The magazine becomes an exhibition space, a critical space, a documentary space and an archival space."

In hist article, Perkins defines four distinct (with flexible boundaries) types of artists magazines:
1. Regional eclectic mixes of alternative cultural activities (many funded by non-profits)
2. Magazines allied with a movment: Fluxus, Surrealism, Neo-Dada
3. Collaborative Magazines
4. Activist artists magazines

So many zines, so little time. If anyone has a good bibliography of contemporary artists publications that are only available online, please send my way.

1 comment:

susan said...

Hi, Thanks for your kind words about my article in Art Documentation. Very nice to find your post! I enjoyed reading your comments in general and am happy to have discovered your blog.
Susan Thomas