Another month and another round-up of the best self-published zines and journals that have crossed our doorway - and what a bunch it is.
Plateau was so popular when it first arrived from the American University of Paris that it had to be left off our first list as we were completely out of stock. But we’re back in business with this, The Blueprint Issue. The editors describe the concept of the magazine as a blueprint in that, as opposed to the formless experiment of Issue 0, this issue works as an initial construction towards the building of a journal, the first steps of a tentative route. This uncertainty, however, does not come across in the quality of the finished product, which draws on the best artists projects and writings loosely around the theme of the blueprint. Expect drawings, poetry, photography, tattoos, architecture and literature. Bravo Plateau, we await your next move.
'Lupus non mordet lupum’, proclaims the back of Volume 1 of this brand new materialist feminist journal based in Oakland, CA, but with cells across the planet, ‘A wolf does not bite a wolf’. Materialist in the sense that it takes as its root a rigorous analysis of the conditions of life under capitalism, the collection of texts that form this book-sized edition fall into four sections: not-sex and social relations, a worker's inquiry, notes on struggle and identity, abolition, communisation. Drawing on existing struggles from Occupy to Oaxaca via the London riots as well as a healthy dose of theory and a couple of poignant re-printed texts from the archives, this is an absolutely essential read and hopefully the first of many such volumes.
Nyx, the journal borne from the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, continues its trajectory of increasing greatness with their latest edition, this time themed around Skin. Drawing on gender, affect, sexuality, pornography, self, ego and the other through interviews with the likes of Stewart Home, Federico Campagna and Catherine Malabou, fiction from Mira Mattar and Inga Hoonte, artwork from Alice White, Finn Jackson Ballard and Superm and writing from Hedi El-Kholti, Trish Mctighe on psoriasis, Kathleen Scott on skin in Black Swan and The Skin I Live In and Richard Sawdon Smith on representing AIDS through tattoo artwork. Another eclectic collection that leads you to question what this weird substance that hugs your muscles really is, and what it means.
'A new art magazine?' you say, 'But I’ve too much to read as it is!' – well, ditch one of the others because The Burning Sand is something you’ll want to be paying attention to. Straight out of Glasgow, The Burning Sand has a focus that transcends the ‘local scene report’ as summed up beautifully by a quote from Kenneth Frampton; to ‘mediate the impact of universal civilization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities of a particular place’. It’s art-writing, it's art-work and it's writing on art. It’s about synchronicity, dance as sub-linguistic expression, a phone call from a friend and its relation to a video work by Ed Atkins, it's artists reading texts from sheets of paper, it's Rob Churm, Tom Worthington and Giles Bailey, Chris Johanson, Ashanti Harris and Sarah Lowndes. It’s lots more. It’s well read, well designed and well good.
The third collection of the best known and soon-to-be-known poets and illustrators on this planet (and a few not-quite on this planet) is a stonker that nails it yet again. It’s been a while coming but now it’s here we can all rest easy and then bubble over with jealousy at the precisely placed words and flowing syntax. With work from the likes of Wendy Xu (tumblr celeb), Sam Riviere and Emily Berry (who just the other week filled our bar with words through a PA), Sam Buchan-Watts (the editor of this glorious tome), Sophie Collins (who used to live with my friends), as well as Harry Burke, Daniel Barrow, Rachael Allen, Alice Malin, Sam Donsky (another tumblr celeb), Lawrence Giffen and a billion others. The artwork comes from the talented hands and heads of Ellie Andrews, EKTA, Kyle Platts, Thomas Slater and Rachel Maclean (my fave pal’s cousin). Get it and read it.
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