Refusing cultural confinement : magazine works then and now

Blacksell, Ruth (2016) Refusing cultural confinement : magazine works then and now. In: Art magazines and magazine art : AAH2016 Annual Conference and Bookfair; 07 - 09 Apr 2016, Edinburgh, U.K.. (Unpublished)


With reference to seminal magazine works produced during the art historical period of 1960s–70s Conceptual Art, notably those of Dan Graham (Homes for America, 1966–; and Aspen No.8, 1968–9), Vito Acconci (0 to 9, 1967–9) and Robert Smithson (Quasi-infinities and the waning of space, 1966; The domain of the great bear, 1966; Ultramoderne: the Century Apartments, New York City, 1967; and Strata: a geophotographic fiction, 1968/9), this paper describes the lineage to ‘post conceptual’ practices that have subsequently been able to position themselves between disciplinary categories in/as activities of both art and editorial design. A close reading of contemporary magazine works by Paul Chan (Badlands unlimited); Dexter Sinister (dot dot dot and the Serving Library), and Triple Canopy ( will consider how the shift into interactive and networked digital publishing contexts has advanced the potential of magazine art to refuse disciplinary and institutional confinement through interrogations of connected platforms across print, digital and time-based forms. These create ever more complex configurations of spectator/audience and reader/user and demonstrate how one needs a precise cross-disciplinary vocabulary to adequately understand the operations of these published magazines as works of art.

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