Monochrom phatzine: telephone-book-sized cyberculture zine

Johannes from the Austrian net-kook-art group Monochrom sez, "monochrom is a magazine object appearing in telephone book format, which is published by the art/tech group of the same name. monochrom came into being in the mid-1990s as a fanzine for cyberculture, science, theory, cultural studies and the archaeology of pop culture in everyday life. Its collage format is reminiscent both of the early DIY fanzines of the punk and new wave underground and of the artist books of figures such as Dieter Roth, Martin Kippenberger and others. With a great deal of forced discontinuity, a cohesive potpourri of digital and analog subversion is pressed between the covers of monochrom. Each issue is an unnostalgic amalgam of 125 years of Western counterculture cocked, aimed and ready to fire at the present. It is a Sears catalog of subjective and objective irreconcilability --­ the Godzilla version of the conventional coffee table book. Published in English language, the lingua franca of late capitalism. The phatzine monochrom #26-34 (Goat of 1k Young) is an impossibility in an impossible universe -- an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science and political activism. 500 pages (60 ounces) of outrageous printed bestiality. And we plan to thoughtfully present it in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York."

monochrom #26-34 Ye Olde Self-Referentiality (Thanks, Johannes!)

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  1. There is florid language and there is plain obtuse. I would like to say it sounds interesting but what I got from that summary is that;

    A. It’s the size of a phone book

    B. They are showing it in some cities

    C. The authors need allot of words to say “it’s a cross section of counter culture from the past 125 years”, which probably explains how they got to point A.

    “With a great deal of forced discontinuity”

    Well I suppose you did warn me…

    1. There is florid language and there is plain obtuse

      That´s just how we roll in Vienna.

  2. Bought one in Hong Kong the other week at an art show: it’s great. a bit like strange attractor, with a bit less editorial control, but a bunch more articles.

  3. @jamie
    the sheer joy I felt conoodling my way through that prose is the point.
    lemme ‘splain, in its defense.
    Since the conception of modern art or conceptual idea ie:stuff that can mean more than what it means, the fact of naming the object allows for depth or a variation in the perception of the object.
    Now this occurs in synchronization with zietgiest and with current perception. So when discussing things it used to devolve into a, “I know the reference you know that I know,” and, “I know you know the reference that I know and I know it.” And turtles all the way down.
    So now its this messy gigglefest of I can out pop-culture you… swears, don’t step on my copy of Naked Lunch.
    And why is it better than Andy Warhol and soup cans…? Andy Warhol was an ass. Seriously. He was a total ass. It’s on his wiki page.

    1. For me art is defined as a piece of work designed to produce emotion. So I see that writing is art, it’s designed to produce an emotion (I don’t know what emotion or feelings he was aiming for…) but in trying so hard to be art so it’s failed in it’s other purpose, to convey information, and so it must stand on it’s merits of merely being art. But it has few merits because it tries to convey information. So it becomes failed art and failed communication.

      Since the conception of modern art or conceptual idea ie:stuff that can mean more than what it means, the fact of naming the object allows for depth or a variation in the perception of the object.

      “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” Yeah René, it’s a painting, were you trying to say something? Next.

      Now this occurs in synchronization with zietgiest and with current perception.

      We kids are so cool, we must be doing everything for the first time.

      So when discussing things it used to devolve into a, “I know the reference you know that I know,” and, “I know you know the reference that I know and I know it.” And turtles all the way down.

      Then you left school

      So now its this messy gigglefest of I can out pop-culture you…

      and started a liberal arts course…

      swears, don’t step on my copy of Naked Lunch.

      Because it’ll turn into a cockroach and write something intelligent that will make us all look bad.

      And why is it better than Andy Warhol and soup cans…? Andy Warhol was an ass. Seriously. He was a total ass. It’s on his wiki page.

      Well I do think that art is a reflection of the artist, Oscar Wilde says it better;

      “every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”

      However in this case, rather than revealing he’s an ass, I think what it’s revealing is an admiration of Duchamp and at least, unlike Duchamp, the subject of his work was chosen to illustrate a point (that art could be all around us) rather than to just troll the media.

      And I would have to say that both Warhol’s soup can and Duchamp’s Fountian are far better examples of art conveying information. They challenge the viewers preconceptions of art and instantly spark emotion and a polarised debate among their viewers, their question is instantly conveyed: “What defines art?”

      So what? “good art produces emotion”. Well surely this piece has produced emotion in me, it’s sparked debate on it’s quality as art work? Surely that means it’s good?! Well I dont think so. The urinal and the soup can were chosen precisely because of the negative emotion they could create, they were DESIGNED to do that! When the writer wrote “Published in English language, the lingua franca of late capitalism.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thinking “this will make me sound like a twat and so provoke debate”.

      It’s crap. (and that was designed to piss of those who would disagree and so provoke debate :-P )

  4. “500 pages (60 ounces) of outrageous printed bestiality”.
    What a wonderful thing. Gotta warn you though – I will be counting.

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