"One of the oddest chapters in the annals of the Cold War was its proxy war by magazine, and the oddest Cold War magazine was undoubtedly Tricontinental. Based in Havana and art-directed by legendary poster designer Alfredo Rostgaard, Tricontinental was the official publication of OSPAAAL, one of the many revolutionary acronyms liberated by Fidel’s triumph in 1959. (…)
The magazine did its share of party-line thumping: inspiring tales of 100 percent literacy rates and vaulting social and technological progress, with occasional missives from communist luminaries like North Korea’s Kim Il-sung. But the bulk of Tricontinental’s editorial content was aimed at Third World militants, practicing or potential, for whom it served as bulletin board, guidebook, and lifestyle magazine. (…)
What made all of this truly strange, however, was Tricontinental’s design. Compared to dismally drab Soviet attempts at cultural propaganda — or the comically guileless efforts of the Chinese — the Cubans had something uncontrivable going for them: it looked like they were having fun. Tricontinental resembled an underground zine from San Francisco more than an information vehicle for Third World liberation, and that juxtaposition had an effect comparable to that moment in Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil when a gang of black nationalists in a municipal junkyard read from a stilted manifesto while necking with white women in abandoned cars. Tricontinental’s covers were deliriously poppy, with bright, eyecatching graphics, making it just the sort of thing Marighella’s urban guerrillas should never be seen carrying in public.” - Babak Radboy, Revolution by Design, Bidoun.
"This publication is an autonomous compilation of projects that question book display and exhibition as well as interviews and texts around the notion of perpetual ‘mise en abyme’ in books about books." - OpenBooks (Volumes), Hato Press, 2011.
“If the tone of magazines has gotten more gossipy, direct, and conversational, the post-2.0 web has been characterized by a general sense of passivity and indirection in the way people themselves write and interact online: we don’t talk to one another anymore so much as talk at or around one another through an endless series of taps and swipes. Some of my dearest friends and colleagues are people I first encountered online. Where we once held heated written exchanges in streams of comments whose audience I could count on both hands, now we “endorse” one another’s professional skills, tweet, retweet, “like,” and “favorite.” We lurk now more than we ever did, watching vigilantly but failing to say much more than 140 characters will allow.”
— Beyond the Scene and Herd Effect is a piece on the social web’s impact on art magazines that I wrote for the December 2013 issue of Artpapers. Guest edited by Paper Monument editor Dushko Petrovich, the issue is dedicated to artists’ magazines, writ large. (via forwardretreat)
"Parallelograms is an online artist project exploring the relationship between images and interpretation. Invited artists are given a set of images taken from deliberate web searches and asked to create a web-specific piece in response to one of them."