The Brooklyn-based magazine Clog takes one particular subject that they feel is most relevant right now, and explores it from a multitude of viewpoints and means. Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the focus of the 16th issue.
Flick through and you’ll notice two things: the neon green highlight pages (and matching bookmark), and the text-heavy nature of the pages (above).
One small colour section contains a few trippy pages that look like an AI high on acid drew the surface of Mars (above). It is in fact the result of an experiment with Google’s Deep Dream software.
The editorial acknowledges that talking about AI often results in more questions than answers. The contents page (above) is an enormous list, indicating that while the essays and interviews are mostly short, they are varied and numerous, and can be browsed at your leisure as particular sub-topics catch your eye: the oddly satisfying rise of the slime economy, anyone?
There’s something about the neon lime green vs black & white look of it too: it’s reminiscent of retro computer aesthetics and the kind of neo-noir seen on-screen recently in reboots of ‘Blade Runner’ or ‘Tron’. However the minimal treatment manages this subtle nod to technology’s past without falling prey to the romanticism of the retro-futuristic approach that might otherwise lessen the prescient questions that many of the commentators bring up.
This issue examines the speculative and the real, but also the now of start-ups, Trump, and London’s water leaks. By collating such numerous short texts to explore rather than define a subject so dense, varied, and widely misunderstood, the magazine feels particularly timely.
We’re at a juncture where AI has been promised to us for decades: that it will save humanity, or destroy it, or both. Though Clog releases new issues infrequently, they’ve managed to produce one that’s packed with hard-hitting truths about a kind of technology that’s now so ubiquitous it’s easy to forget it’s there at all.
Editor-in-Chief: Kyle May
Editors: Julia van den Hout, Jacob Reidel, Nate Patrick
Editor & Designers: Jeffrey Franklin, Archie Lee Coates IV, Luiza Dale