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Yuca #3
A mag in five pix

Yuca #3

The third issue of Yuca, the annual magazine from Bogota, Columbia, arrived right at the beginning of the calendar year. Does it stand up to the previous two issues, which were both featured here as Magazine of the Week? We take five pix to find out…

Yuca’s theming is somewhat idiosyncratic: they choose an ‘alibi’ (which in latin means ‘elsewhere’ but has come to mean an ‘excuse’) – in this case sound – and juxtapose it with a theme – in this case time – to see what the result of that collision of ideas creates. The issue continues the typographic layout on the front cover whereby the four letters of the name are placed in each corner, and the two themes written at the top and the bottom. For the uninitiated it’s hard to figure out what’s going on, but it’s certainly striking, and fits in with the ways that the magazine is open to chance and genre-defying crossovers in its pages (note: there are two covers, this one and the green one in the slideshow above).

We’re happy to see that the photographic stories once again get their own galleries in the form of cut-down, glossy pages. As you flick through the pages, your thumb catches in these little nooks and as a result these features tend to get a little more attention. Of note is ‘Unseen Sights’, a series by Douglas Mandry in which he overlaid almost-forgotten analogue photos of Turkish landscapes with colour and collage, to comment on the limitations of our memories and of photography itself.

The design aesthetic of the magazine leans toward the loose and spacious. Titles and leading paragraphs stretch across the page like a satisfying yawn, and images float in generous white space. The often asymmetrical layout isn’t disorganised, but rather has the effect of being quite relaxed. It’s not that this is a diversion from the style of previous issues, but it seems more pronounced here. Considering that the editorial reflects on ‘silence as a primal part of sound’ it’s hard not to read the whole issue in this context.

A running feature throughout the all issues of Yuca has been a double-interview section, one with ‘Him’ and one with ‘Her’. It’s delightful to read a rare interview with Suzanne Ciani – who in the 70s pioneered the popularity of computer generated music in America – as she muses on the spatial elements of sound. David Spergel, a theoretical physicist, may be slightly less recognisable but his work on dark matter in the universe ties in with the result of the collision of themes: that of silence and space. It’s worth noting that the soft pastel pages are blue and pink, but not in the traditional configuration.

Collaboration is an important element of Yuca; all contributors are given a lengthy biog early in the magazine. Notably in this issue the invited editors are Der Greif, the German photography magazine that regards photographs as artworks and treats them accordingly. Here, one of their best contributions is a series of photographs that attempts to deconstruct time and sound, resulting in a colourful, ethereal response that heightens the way your imagination can deploy your other senses when looking at photos on a page.

It’s another strong issue; if we were to sum it up in one word it would probably be ‘sensual’.

Editors-in-chief & Creative directors: Juliana Gómez & Lina Rincón
Art direction & graphic design: Carles Murillo

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