The Magazine as a Medium, organized by NYU Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Draper Program Lori Cole, is a three-part series exploring the interview, the questionnaire, and the letter to the editor—three frequently overlooked forms that are nevertheless constitutive of many magazines. Each of these genres serves as a site of interaction between editors, contributors, and readers and is often used to assert or reinforce a magazine’s platform. The series will contextualize the development of each seemingly minor form and investigate its present uses in order to consider the role that it has had in articulating the identity of print publications across history.
Date: Thursday, 9 April; Monday, 11 May; and Thursday, 18 June 2015; 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary
Organized by Lori Cole
The Magazine as Medium 1: The Interview
Panelists: Lorin Stein and Betsy Sussler
Moderated by Kim Conaty
Thursday, 9 April 2015
From Interview magazine to the Believer, interviews have long defined the identity of publications, demonstrating how enticing the voice of the artist or writer is to readers and scholars. This panel will consider the history and legacy of two premier venues for author and artist interviews—The Paris Review and Bomb—through a conversation with their editors, asking: What is at stake in a magazine choosing to foreground the voice of the author or artist?
The Magazine as Medium 2: The Questionnaire
Panelists: Hal Foster and Silvia Kolbowski
Moderated by Lori Cole
Monday, 11 May 2015
“What is the avant-garde?” “What constitutes political art?” “What should Latin American art be?” These are just a few of the questionnaires issued by editors from the late nineteenth century through the present in publications ranging from La Révolution Surréaliste to the Partisan Review to Artforum. This evening’s panelists will examine both the impulse to issue questionnaires and their relationship to aesthetics: Hal Foster will discuss several questionnaires from October—on visual culture, the contemporary, and recessional aesthetics—while Silvia Kolbowski will focus on the difference between the questionnaire on feminism she issued in October in 1995 and her use of the form in the context of her installation “an inadequate history of conceptual art.”
The Magazine as Medium 3: The Letter to the Editor
Panelists: Dan Fox and Ruth Graham
Moderated by Carey Snyder
Thursday, 18 June 2015
Why do people write letters to the editor? As one of the only democratic platforms embedded in the magazine, the “letters to the editor” section anticipated the interactive media forums of today by enabling readers to participate in the public sphere—whether through rants, corrections, or expressions of admiration. Historically, this section has also been a place where editors intervened pseudonymously in their own publications, a practice that Dan Fox will discuss in a contemporary context in relation to satire and art magazines, while Ruth Graham will examine high- and lowbrow letters as particular genres and the differences between reading such letters online and in print.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Lori Cole is assistant professor and Faculty Fellow in the Draper Program at New York University, where she teaches art history. She received her PhD in comparative literature from New York University in 2012 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University, where she organized the symposium “Print Culture: Past, Present, Future” in 2013. She has published widely on art and print culture and is currently writing a book about questionnaires issued on art and national identity across the Americas in the early twentieth century.
Kim Conaty is the Sue and Eugene Mercy, Jr., Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art, where she recently organized the exhibition “Abstract Generation: Now in Print” (2013). Since 2008, she has collaborated on several exhibitions at MoMA, notably “In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976″ (2009) and “Print/Out” (2012), and contributed texts to numerous catalogues. A PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Conaty was a Clark Summer Fellow in 2014 and is currently completing her dissertation on Avalanche magazine.
Hal Foster teaches art history and theory at Princeton University. Foster was a founding editor of Zone magazine and Zone Books, and he writes regularly for October (which he co-edits), Artforum, and the London Review of Books. His new book Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency will be published by Verso in the fall.
Dan Fox is co-editor of frieze magazine. His writing has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues, and his book Pretentiousness: Why It Matters will be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions later this year. He co-runs the music label Junior Aspirin Records, which has recently released two LPs by his bands Big Legs and the God in Hackney. As a teenager, he once had a letter published in the Times objecting to the London newspaper’s coverage of contemporary art.
Ruth Graham is a contributing writer at Slate and the Boston Globe. As a freelance journalist, she has reported for Al Jazeera America, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She once had a letter to the editor published in New York magazine.
Silvia Kolbowski is a New York–based artist working with time-based media. Her work addresses questions of historicization, political resistance, and the unconscious. Kolbowski is on the advisory board of October, where she was a co-editor between 1993 and 2000, and her writings have also been published in Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, Documents, and Parachute.
Carey Snyder is associate professor of English at Ohio University. Her essays on modernist magazines have appeared in the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies and the Modernist Journals Project website. She is the author of British Fiction and Cross-Cultural Encounters: Ethnographic Modernism from Wells to Woolf (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and the editor of the Broadview Press cultural studies edition of H. G. Wells’s Ann Veronica (forthcoming 2015).
Lorin Stein is editor of the Paris Review.
Betsy Sussler is co-founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Bomb.
Beer for this event has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery. Refreshments courtesy of Sprizz-O.