February 11th, 2008


Material to read and recycle

"Have you met KAREN yet? She's pretty ordinary.

"KAREN is more interested in the weather than what to wear, sell by dates than celebrity. KAREN MAGAZINE serves up a delightful dish of the everyday, gently observed and presented as something quite unique. A glossy magazine without the gloss.... In KAREN magazine fashion is a T-shirt about the emotional world of the potato and beauty is goose pimples on the beach. There's a coalman and a butcher and Roger with his bad feet."

The ordinary is the new special! Roger with his bad feet is the new David Beckham! Or so suggests Bored of the Beckhams? Inside alternative lifestyle magazine Karen. Meanwhile, "cataloging multidisciplinary, below-the-radar contemporary art practice, PAPERBACK Magazine is a lovely and manageable alternative to institutionalized art periodicals," it says here. "This issue is designed with images in the front half and corresponding text in the back. It gives the reader an opportunity to experience a visual narrative separately from interviews and analysis. Pull outs, fold outs, and inserts. Based in London, printed in Eindhoven, NL."

Museum Paper comes from Malmo in Sweden. It "gives invited artists, photographers and creatives from alternative artscenes space to show their work alongside short interviews. With a background as a fanzine, Museum Paper wants to combine its D.I.Y. ethics and aesthetics with the high quality printing of the traditional art magazine. Museum Paper is curated, designed and produced by Museum Studio in Malmö, Sweden. Two issues are published per year." They blog here, and you can buy it online here.

According to Architecture D'Aujourd'hui, "each European produces about 3.5 tonnes of waste per year. Despite all efforts to manage this waste, the quantity of rubbish continues to grow with household consumption levels. Since the turn of the new century, EU member states have declared their wish to decouple the two curves, currently fatally linked: the upward curve of economic growth and the upward curve of rubbish production. Now the European Commission is financing a study with an ambitious title: The End of Waste. This title doesn't do justice to the length of the route we still have to travel, but let's ask a preliminary question: What is waste? The term designates the elimination of substances nobody claims ownership over. Burnt or buried, these substances are, in principle, asked to disappear. In reality, they pollute the air and contaminate the soil.... If not just buildings but also their construction materials were conceived with the idea of a first, second and third use, the materials and the energy initially invested would be better used. By associating itself better with recycling systems, the architectural world can provide proof that environmental and economic requirements are compatible."

But I know you're burning to say that if Architecture D'Aujourd'hui is not printed on recycled paper, we must burn it and buy FHM instead! And also burn its editors, for they are hypocrites, who will, in the remaining course of their lifetimes (if they are not burned) each produce 349389859389 tonnes of waste! Down with all momentum towards the ethical, if it is not 100% pure, fresh and new! No, wait, if it is not 100% recycled and re-used!

Now, to calm you down after your tantrum about purity, here are some "guerilla gardens" in Kreuzberg, already showing signs of spring thanks to global warming!

And here are some splendid lists of issues of interest to Cabinet Magazine and Stanley Lieber:

And here, pictured yesterday at a Kreuzberg bubblesale, is your curator, a man whose birthday is today:

Be gentle in your use of him -- you may want to recycle his basic materials at some point.