Adbusters, Issue 117
January 2015 Surprise Unwrapped!
Sure, everyone remembers the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement. Well, the movement owes its origin to Adbusters. While the movement itself was not centrally controlled and was leaderless, so to speak, it was the magazine that sparked the idea that ‘America needs its own Tahrir Square’, which ultimately snowballed into the movement.
Adbusters – journal of the mental environment, based out of Vancouver, British Colombia, is an independent political/design magazine that focuses on the erosion of our physical and cultural environments by commercial forces, in addition to discussing urgent issues of our global economy and culture. Adbusters, began its journey in 1989 and boasts of a long-standing following globally.
But 'Occupy Wall Street' is just one of the many anti-consumerist ideas supported by the publication; famous for creating spoof versions of well-known adverts, the magazine is also known to have started culture-jamming campaigns such as ‘Buy Nothing Day’ and ‘Buy Nothing X-mas.’
Issue No. 117, Aesthetico, is the last of the six part Blue Print for the New World series launched by Adbusters. A call for an aesthetic awakening and a rewilding of the capitalist imagination. Tracing cultural, economical and environmental trends and changes from modernism to postmodernism to metamodernism, the issue highlights the crisis of aesthetics that we need to wake up to. Filled with thought provoking images and articles by artists, historians, activists and writers, this issue is the cup of joe for our sleeping conscious.
Curious to know and perhaps get inspired by their energy, we asked some of the team members behind the issue
"In your attempt to shift the aesthetic tone of the world, where will you start, given a choice?"
– with the responses we received from the team, we find ourselves stirred and ready to start making some changes.
Kalle Lasn: Founder & Editor-in-Chief "For me it’s all about the revolution of my everyday life and I work on that with as much gusto as I can muster every day. After that I want to change the look and lure of magazines, the tone and pull of TV and the give and take of the net."
Pedro Inoue, Creative Director "I would start with culture. By creating malleable, scalable, replicable, organic and open structures, we allow ourselves to create context, giving space for new narratives to emerge. Culture is where all ends meet and we can begin again."
Hala Habib, Contributing Editor "I'd begin with the aesthetics of history, and representation. A real shift of tone would require a transformation in how we regard the social and the political, dignity and collaboration, individuality and dependence...all of which are historically shaped epistemes, and therefore contingent on a consistent aesthetic representation. To change history, we must defy this representation, defy the logics of reality, and paint ourselves anew."
The self-confessed multi-disciplinary fool, Giovanni Fusetti, a natural scientist (amongst his other vocations) laments the loss of elder trees in Florence and wonders if the Italian Renaissance may have skewed our judgment of what qualifies as aesthetics.
The excerpt from ‘Beyond Postmodern Narcolepsy’ by Niels van Poecke, from Notes on Metamodernism (a webzine), reflects on how today, deemed to be Metamodern times, we find ourselves in a state of flux – oscillating back and forth between engagement and pragmatic indifference. We all associate with this constant feeling of inability to make choices between wanting to save ourselves from perishing and acceptance of the irreversible stronghold of the lifestyle on us.
The striking images and extracts from newspapers and online reports creating a collage of information conveys the urgency of the issues at hand and works really well as a design concept.
Introduction to Ello (with its manifesto ‘You are not a product’), daring to challenge Facebook’s monopoly; and ISIPE (International Student’s initiative for Pluralism in Economics), leaves you with much to ponder about.
A magazine that dares to challenge the conformist in us - you may not agree with everything they have to say but surely its time to start debating.