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In the /Life

08.09.07 | Comment?

Art/Life Cover Art/Life Inside

A week or so ago, I made an oblique reference to Art/Life magazine. Yesterday, my only copy of it, from November, 1989, emerged from my Siberia-like bookshelf after an absence of a decade or more. Kismet!

Art/Life was a limited edition magazine that was hand assembled from original artworks, prints and assembledges submitted to the magazines in editions of 200. Participants received a single issue of the $40.00 magazine in payment. I have a print in this issue that I am too embarrassed by to show, but not to mention.

As a magazine, Art/Life tended towards the lumpy—that’s a real (and miraculously unbroken) thermometer under Art/Life’s white-on-acetate cover, measuring the temperature of my scanner surface at exactly 30° celsius. Other highlights of this issue included something that resembles a dried dog turd, genuine aquatints and silver prints, a fake baseball card, a plastic comb and a Dixie cup squished under a brownish footprint. My piece, a tasteful double-nude printed by 2-color offset lithography (k/red), appears near the back. In short, Art/Life was a lot of fun.

Could A/L be done today? I don’t know, but probably Esopus comes closest. A beautiful short-run magazine with a range of printing techniques, Esopus is more carefully done and more widely distributed than A/L ever was, but still captures some of the same free-wheeling spirit of the earlier magazine.

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