Monoskop, the collaborative research platform for art history, culture and media technology, have recently published an expansive archive of over one hundred and fifty avant-garde and modernist magazines, all to enjoy online for free. Check them out here.
What is the relevance of avant-garde magazines printed on aging paper to a society which views the world in real time and through networked digital lenses? There are two common answers. Regardless of their age, the art they carry can be looked at anew since it is only its techniques that pale, and on the other hand, they provide us with a historical record of several generations of artists and writers. Although what strikes the eye first is a variety of their fabrics and of workings of the page, something estranged from the relentless linearity of digital bits and the UX of the glowing screen. Here, they also remind us that our lenses matter as well, their properties are variables.