Screen Shot #1
Screen Shot is a new London-based project that attempts to combine the reflectivity of traditional publishing with semi-short and digital-friendly content. Twice a year it will transform into a tangible magazine featuring what’s gone up online, and this is its very first such issue.
The idea behind the platform is simple and clever: writers review London-based events, aiming to ‘screen grab’ moments that otherwise get forgotten, and then these pieces get pinned to an engaging online Timeline for a user to scroll through. These commissioned pieces are published once a week - reflecting on topics raised at various events.
In some way, the magazine reminds me in its approach to The Real Review, which also seeks to emphasize the importance of the review as a format for sparking collective thinking and discussions around topical subjects. While titles like Delayed Gratification also provide a space for reflection and review, Screen Shot's decision to document events and talks in the city is especially interesting because of its specificity. There’s so much going on every day in cities around the world, but these moments simply end up vanishing as the weeks whirl on, becoming nothing more than a tick mark on Facebook saying you’ve ‘attended’. Screen Shot reminds us to pause and think back.
The web and print designs have enough in common for them to feel related, in particular the chronological approach. But while the online version has an instant visual appeal, its functionality is poor once you try to use it. The complex overlays are unintuitive and frustrating. In contrast, the print version is open, spacious, and easy to follow. It makes the most of the medium, expressing clearly the scope of the project.
The first print edition is a selection of content featured on Screen Shot’s online timeline between January and June 2016. It’s a document of what’s passed: there are discussions on virtual reality and universal basic income, and also on the political chaos and social shifts that have taken place. By honing in on talks that have had these themes, Screen Shot takes a conversation beyond a event, but not in the fleeting style of Twitter. It lingers and it considers, providing an antidote to the fast-pace online world but simultaneously working within it instead of rejecting its impulse.