Hi there! We’re still here. We just needed some time to decompress. Call it a post-lockdown fatigue, if you will. After speed-publishing our first eight issues, the team and I realized what a hell of a year it’s actually been. But we’re back now – albeit with a shorter format, featuring a mix of people / ideas / projects / things that we came across and think you should know about. This new format isn’t based around a single theme and – dare we say it – may even be slightly more news-y. Not to worry though: our full-on, content-heavy issues will also be making a comeback.
To kick off this new cycle we’re looking at two publishing projects – one past, one current – which highlight the fact that publishing is always a reflection of its time. For better or worse, outside pressures – both financial and emotional (possibly enhanced via, say, a pandemic) – can be huge. No matter how innovative the concept.
When we started EX LIBRIS No News News in April 2020, we didn’t know how many issues we were going to do or whether we’d even be still here over a year later. But we cherish the fact that we are independent, and therefore free in all our choices. Taking an unannounced sabbatical is just part of the fun!
Thanks for reading,
REINVENTING FASHION MAGAZINES AT THE TURN OF THE SEVENTIES
If magazines are like a good party – one where you meet a whole bunch of new, inspiring and fascinating people – then Rags was that gala that guests are still talking about 50 years later.
The magazine, founded by Rolling Stone photographer Baron Wolman, only existed between 1970 and 1971. But through its thirteen issues, published in print runs of between 50,000 and 100,000 copies, its San Francisco creators invented a completely new kind of fashion reporting. You see, Rags was the first magazine to go where clothes were actually worn. With columns like ‘On The Street’ – which featured stories about workwear as everyday clothing, say, or else tattoos, which were still very much taboo at the time – Rags was light years ahead of the established media. It can even be considered the inventor of street style as a fashion genre.
Due to a collector’s edition released just in time for Rags’ 50th birthday, its story is finally becoming known to a larger audience. It also comes in a variety of versions, from lavish box sets containing the archive in full – even including dummy issues – to a bound, softcover overview of the magazine’s run called The Very Best of Rags.
The collector’s edition is released via The Waverly Press.
A SOFTSPOT FOR A HARD WORLD
The outcome of a collaborative process between James Taylor-Foster and London-based design studio OK-RM, “softspot is the result of an organic, confusing and enriching series of conversations. The project began when the pandemic was simply a ‘faraway’ fear, but I can see how the effects of it have bled throughout the book,” says the writer and curator.
Conceived in a state of fragmented flow, softspot is a handy assemblage of prose, verse and visual work that looks to the recent past to make sense of a complex present. The book contains references to the works and words of Kate Bush, Simone Weil and Ingmar Bergman, among others, and here at No News News we’re big fans of the mantra-like one-liners that tackle the big questions and help you get through the day:
In a state of emotional relief – discharge and recharge – feelings arrive.
To accept fragmentation, catechise the chaos, and then compose the clutter.
There is so much nowness to the now, in which the future seems impossible and all before a frail fiction.
Light a cigarette. Who gives a fuck?
A soft yet powerful antidote to the anxieties of doomscrolling, softspot is published by InOtherWords.
DIGGING THROUGH THE ARCHIVE
In No News News #5 author Cameron Cook took a look at “How Tumblr Germinated Contemporary Visual Culture” – from inventing a kind of post-post-irony, to its current state as a haven for Russian trolls. Cook writes: “Every time you see a rainbow gradient, or a pastel skyscape with pink clouds, or a dewy Polaroid of a gorgeous nonbinary model, or really something, anything, that feels like it could only have existed in this current century, there’s a good chance that its seed germinated on Tumblr – its creator uncredited but their anonymous influence still as relevant as ever.”
Editor: Hans Bussert (V.i.S.d.P.)
Art Director: Enver Hadzijaj
Copy Editor: Redfern Jon Barrett
Web Development: Bruno Meilick
© 2021 EX LIBRIS Hans Bussert
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