|A well used minimum suffices for everything
||[Jul. 10th, 2009|07:59 am]
Nemesis To Go
Even though I fling a sprawling and oddly-shaped webzine into the face of the virtual world at irregular intervals, I've always been a fan of the old-skool hard copy fanzine. |
The role of fanzines as essential channels of underground information has now been largely superseded by the web. The days when you could only find out about new, cool, weird and noisy bands via the John Peel show and stroppy bursts of paper polemic like Kill Your Pet Puppy are long gone. These days, it's all on the interweb, and the only problem is how to sift through the sheer volume of information. We've certainly gone from famine to feast in that respect.
But ye olde paper fanzines haven't died out. Interestingly, some of them seem to be shifting ground to become artifacts in their own right. By way of an example, here's one that I rather like. This is Panda Eyes. It's a 'mini-zine'. That means it's really rather small...
It's a mere 9.5cm tall. You can wear it in your top pocket like a silk handkerchief. To demonstrate these compact dimensions, I have snapped a few photos of the mini-zine alongside certain everyday household objects.
Here's Andy Warhol's breakfast [I didn't have a can of Campbell's soup handy, alas]:
Inside the mini-zine are certain thoughts on music and art and literature - one thought per mini-page - from the proprietor, editor and constructor of the zine, Alyssa Thralls. Curiously, although the content is fairly minimal, and the thoughts-per-page are quite brief, I often find myself picking the zine up and flipping through it. It's like a self-contained art object.
Here's the mini-zine alongside another everyday object - my face:
Alyssa Thralls also does some rather nifty podcasts - of which I'm rather jealous, actually. That's exactly the sort of thing I'd like to do, but I've never found a way of doing it that didn't put me in the way of the copyright police. She's also got a blog where in true minimalist style she simply posts one picture per day. The individual pictures are always worth a look; the cumulative effect works rather well.
Here's the mini-zine amid some tiny monsters. What d'you mean, monsters are not everyday objects? They are in my house:
If you'd like to obtain a mini-zine for yourself, you can put your address into a handy box on the web and the zine will be sent to you, free, gratis and for nothing. It cost 99 cents to send mine, and at a guess producing it probably costs about the same. So you're getting 2 dollars' worth of ART delivered to your door for nowt, an experience which is effectively part of the art itself. If you produce any subcultural art objects yourself, maybe you could send one back as a swap. I swapped my mini-zine for my webzine, which is possibly cheating a bit, but then again, maybe not. After all, mine is free, too. Can't get it into your pocket, mind.
And finally, to reward you for reading this far (we'll have no minimalism around these parts) here's a comedy cat photo. Raoul likes fanzines too:
There doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of mini-zines Alyssa Thralls is prepared to make and send out - which may be a bit of a hostage to fortune situation, but hey - so by all means fill in yer details and you'll get yours. Long live hard copy!