Out now: Subway #4
Zines have always been a cut and paste medium, a choppy format that re-arranges material in the Dada spirit of montage, like recent Under Pressure ‘mag-zine’ (which we looked at last week). Subway is edited by zine-making wizard Erik van der Weijde (the Dutch artist behind the publishers 4478zine) and it injects the format with a clean, understated design and a 21st Century relevance. The pages of Subway are an assortment of Wikipedia and eBay entries combined with written work and photo-shoots by contemporary artists – a printed montage that reflects the montage that is online browsing.
Subway captures the random nature of the internet, jumping from matter-of-fact encyclopaedia articles about bird-life or tourism (above) to a homely shoot by enigmatic minimalist Go Itami (below). In his online manifesto, Erik asserts that ‘the spread contextualises the single images’ and ‘the sequence of pages may provide yet another context’. The flow of the content is a jarring process as you switch from the context of the single spread to the juxtaposing context of the overall sequence. The pace shifts and darts in tone, stopping and starting like an erratic subway journey. Erik approaches the printed format from the perspective of an art piece, considering a magazine a flowing, evolving experience – the perfect medium to evoke how we consume information today.
The randomness and lively content of Subway makes it a work of art that seems in tandem with computer artist Rafaël Rozendaal’s hypnotic designs (above). As an artist who creates joyfully arbitrary art from the most banal corners of the web, Rafaël’s work is at home amongst the pages. He discusses his new ‘Abstract Browsing’ extension that turns any website into a colourful abstract composition, a project comparable to Subway itself, which also takes online content and re-arranges it to mean something new.
Also inside the ‘five-minute-fun ride’: a story of the AK-47 (above), bananas, tourism, plus quotes from Jerry Sallz and Jerry Seinfield. Subway is in many ways meaningless, but imbedded in this joyous nihilism is boundless, fruitful meaning.