Download 36 Dadaist Magazines from the The Digital Dada Archive (Plus Other Avant-Garde Books, Leaflets & Ephemera)

In searching for a treasure trove of publications springing from the avant-garde, deliberately irrational, early 20th-century European "anti-art" art movement known as Dada, where would you first look? Many corners of the world's historic cultural capitals may come right to mind, but might we suggest the University of Iowa? Even if you don't feel like traveling to the middle of the United States to plunge into an archive of highly purposeful nonsense, you can view their impressive collection of Dada periodicals (36 in total), books, leaflets, and ephemera online.

"Founded in 1979 as part of the Dada Archive and Research Center, the International Dada Archive is a scholarly resource for the study of the historic Dada movement," says its front page. The collection contains "works by and about the Dadaists including books, articles, microfilmed manuscript collections, videorecordings, sound recordings, and online resources," and in its digital form it "provides links to scanned images of original Dada-era publications in the International Dada Archive," including the influential Dada and 291, as well as "many of the major periodicals of the Dada movement from Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and elsewhere, as well as books, exhibition catalogs, and broadsides by participants in the Dada movement." (Note: if you click on magazines in the collection, you can download the various pages.)

The history of the archive, written by Timothy Shipe, also addresses an important question: "Why Iowa? One answer lies in a clear affinity between the Dada movement and this University. The internationalist, multilingual, multimedia nature of Dada makes Iowa, with its International Writers' Program, its Writers' Workshop, its Center for Global Studies, its Translation Workshop and Center, its dynamic programs in music, dance, art, theater, film, literature, and languages, an especially appropriate place to house the Dada Archive. A brief glance at the history of Dada will make this affinity clear."

 

You can learn more about that history from the Dada material we've previously featured here on Open Culture: the video series The ABCs of Dada which explains the movement (or at least explains it as well as anyone can hope to); the material we gathered in celebration of its hundredth anniversary last year; and three essential Dadaist films by Hans Richter, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. That will put into clearer context the 36 journals you can peruse in the University of Iowa's Digital Dada Archive, some of which put out many issues, some of which stopped after the first, and all of which offer a glimpse of an artistic spirit, scattered across several different countries, which flared up briefly but brightly with anarchic energy, destructive creativity, a forward-looking aesthetic sense, and no small amount of humor.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Omni, the Iconic Sci-Fi Magazine, Now Digitized in High-Resolution and Available Online

There was a time, not so long ago, when not only could a blockbuster Hollywood comedy make a reference to a science magazine, but everyone in the audience would get that reference. It happened in Ghostbusters, right after the titular boys in gray hit it big with their first high-profile busting of a ghost. In true 1980s style, a success montage followed, in the middle of which appeared the cover of Omni magazine's October 1984 issue which, according to the Ghostbusters Wiki, "featured a Proton Pack and Particle Thrower. The tagline read, 'Quantum Leaps: Ghostbusters' Tools of the Trade.'"

The movie made up that cover, but it didn't make up the publication. In reality, the cover of Omni's October 1984 issue, a special anniversary edition which appears at the top of the magazine's Wikipedia page today, promised predictions of "Love, Work & Play in the 21st Century" from the likes of beloved sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury, social psychologist Stanley Milgram, physicist Gerard O'Neill, trend-watcher John Naisbitt — and, of course, Ronald Reagan. Now you can find that issue of Omni, as well as every other from its 1978-to-1995 run, digitized in high-resolution and made available on Amazon.


"Omni was a magazine about the future," writes Motherboard's Claire Evans, telling the story of "the best science magazine that ever was." In its heyday, it blew minds by regularly featuring extensive Q&As with some of the top scientists of the 20th century–E.O. Wilson, Francis Crick, Jonas Salk–tales of the paranormal, and some of the most important science fiction to ever see magazine publication" by William Gibson, Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, George R. R. Martin — and even the likes of Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, and William S. Burroughs. "By coupling science fiction and cutting-edge science news, the magazine created an atmosphere of possibility, where even the most outrageous ideas seemed to have basis in fact."

Originally founded by Kathy Keeton (formerly, according to Evans, "a South African ballerina who went from being one of the highest-paid strippers in Europe") and Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione, Omni not only had an impact in unexpected areas (the eccentric musical performer Klaus Nomi, himself a cultural innovator, took his name in part from the magazine's) but took steps into the digital realm long before other print publications dared. It first established its online presence on Compuserve in 1986; seven years later, it opened up its archives, along with forums and new content, on America Online, a first for any major magazine. Now Amazon users can purchase Omni's digital back issues for $2.99 each, or read them for free if they have Kindle Unlimited accounts. (You can sign up for a 30-day free trial for Kindle Unlimited and start binge-reading Omni here.)

Jerrick Media, owners of the Omni brand, have also begun to make available on Vimeo on Demand episodes of Omni: The New Frontier, the 1980s syndicated television series hosted by Peter Ustinov. And without paying a dime, you can still browse the fascinating Omni material archived at Omni Magazine Online, an easy way to get a hit of the past's idea of the future — and one presenting, in the words of 1990s editor-in-chief Keith Farrell, "a fascination with science and speculation, literature and art, philosophy and quirkiness, serious speculation and gonzo speculation, the health of the planet and its cultures, our relationship to the universe and its (possible) cultures, and a sense that whatever else, tomorrow would be different from today."

via The Verge

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

 

Discover “Unpaywall,” a New (and Legal) Browser Extension That Lets You Read Millions of Science Articles Normally Locked Up Behind Paywalls

Earlier this month, Impactstory, a nonprofit supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, launched, Unpaywall, a free browser extension that helps you "find open-access versions of paywalled research papers, instantly."

As the co-founders of Impactstory describe itUnpaywall is "an extension for Chrome and Firefox that links you to free full-text as you browse research articles. Hit a paywall? No problem: click the green tab and read it free!"

Their FAQ gets into the mechanics a little more, but here's the gist of how it works: "When you view a paywalled research article, Unpaywall automatically looks for a copy in our index of over 10 million free, legal fulltext PDFs. If we find one, click the green tab to read the article."


While many science publishers put a paywall in front of scientific articles, it's often the case that these articles have been published elsewhere in an open format. "More and more funders and universities are requiring authors to upload copies of their papers to [open] repositories. This has created a deep resource of legal open access papers..." And that's what Unpaywall draws on.

This seems like quite a boon for researchers, journalists, students and policymakers. You can download the Unpaywall extension for Chrome and Firefox, or learn more about the new service at the Unpaywall website.

Note: Over at Metafilter, you can find a good list of sources of, or methods for, obtaining free academic content.

via London School of Economics/Metafilter

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Download 437 Issues of Soviet Photo Magazine, the Soviet Union’s Historic Photography Journal (1926-1991)

The early years of the Soviet Union roiled with internal tensions, intrigues, and ideological warfare, and the new empire’s art reflected its uneasy heterodoxy. Formalists, Futurists, Suprematists, Constructivists, and other schools mingled, published journals, critiqued and reviewed each other’s work, and like modernists elsewhere in the world, experimented with every possible medium, including those just coming into their own at the beginning of the 20th century, like film and photography.

These two mediums, along with radio, also happened to serve as the primary means of propagandizing Soviet citizens and carrying the messages of the Party in ways everyone could understand. And like much of the rest of the world, photography engendered its own consumer culture.


Out of these competing impulses came Soviet Photo (Sovetskoe foto), a monthly photography magazine featuring, writes Ksenia Nouril at the Museum of Modern Art’s site, “editorials, letters, articles, and photographic essays alongside advertisements for photography, photographic processes, and photographic chemicals and equipment.”

Soviet Photo was not founded by artists, but by a photojournalist, Arkady Shaikhet, in 1926 (see the first issue's cover at the top). Though its audience primarily consisted of a “Soviet amateur photographers and photo clubs,” its early years freely mixed documentary, didacticism, and experimental art. It published the “works of international and professional photographers” and that of avant-gardists like Constructivist painter and graphic designer Aleksander Rodchenko.

The aesthetic purges under Stalin---in which artists and writers one after another fell victim to charges of elitism and obscurantism---also played out in the pages of Soviet Photo. “Even before Socialist Realism was decreed to be the official style of the Soviet Union in 1934,” Nouril writes, “the works of avant-garde photographers,” including Rodchenko, “were denounced as formalist (implying that they reflected a foreign and elitist style).” Soviet Photo boycotted Rodchenko’s work in 1928 and “throughout the 1930s this state-sanctioned journal became increasingly conservative,” emphasizing “content over form.”

This does not mean that that the contents of the magazine were inelegant or pedestrian. Though it once briefly bore the name Proletarskoe foto (Proletariat Photography), and tended toward monumental and industrial subjects, war photography, and idealizations of Soviet life during the Stalinist years. After the 60s thaw, experimental photomontages returned, and more abstract compositions became commonplace. Soviet Photo also kept pace with many glossy magazines in the West, with stunning full-color photojournalism and, after glasnost and the fall of the Berlin wall, high fashion and advertising photography.

Fans of photography, Soviet history, or some measure of both, can follow Soviet Photo’s evolution in a huge archive featuring 437 digitized issues, published between 1926 and 1991. Expect to find a gap between 1942 and 1956, when publication ceased “due to World War II and the war’s aftereffects.” Aside from these years and a few other missing months, the archive contains nearly every issue of Soviet Photo, free to browse or download in various formats. “Dig deep enough,” writes photo blog PetaPixel, “and you’ll find some really interesting (and surprisingly familiar) things in there.” Enter the archive here.

 

via PetaPixel

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Rock Scene: Browse a Complete Online Archive of the Irreverent Magazine That Chronicled the 1970s Rock & Punk Scene

The website RockScenester, assembled by Ryan Richardson, has created a complete online archive of Rock Scene magazine, which ran from 1973 through 1982.

In the book There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll, Rock Scene's co-founder Lisa Robinson writes, the magazine "was printed on cheap paper and the ink came off on your hands." "It was an irreverent, cult music magazine that documented and glamorized the rise of glamrock and punk rock." "Part fanzine, part tabloid, Rock Scene was where you could see what happened before or after the show, particularly at parties and backstage." "Years after Rock Scene was out out print," Robinson continues, "musicians--Michael Stipe, Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes, Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, Thurston Moore, Chrissie Hynde and many others--would tell me that they grew up trying to find it in their small towns." They wouldn't have that problem today.

Every single issue of Rock Scene, from 1973 through 1982, has been scanned cover to cover. (Richardson personally dropped $1500 on the project.) You can flip through editions featuring David Bowie (1973), The New York Dolls (1974), Lou Reed (1974), The Rolling Stones (1974), Peter Gabriel (1975), Patti Smith (1976) Robert Plant (1977), The Ramones (1977), Iggy Pop (1977) and Debbie Harry (1982). Or just explore the full archive here. There's 54 in total.

More zines can be found in the Relateds below.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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via @darkshark

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Download Influential Avant-Garde Magazines from the Early 20th Century: Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism & More

“I’m tired of politics, I just want to talk about my art,” I sometimes hear artists—and musicians, actors, writers, etc.—say. And I sometimes see their fans say, “you should shut up about politics and just talk about your art.” Given the current onslaught of political news, commentary, scandal, and alarm, these are both understandable sentiments. But anyone who thinks that art and politics once occupied separate spheres harbors a historically naïve belief. The arts have always been political, and all the more so during times of high drama and tension like the one we live in now. We can look, for example, to John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Jacques-Louis David’s Death of Marat, or Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, just to mention three particularly striking historical examples.

The political acts of avant-garde artists like Picasso in the 20th century were as much revolutions in form as in content, and we begin to see the most radical statements emerge in the teens and twenties with Dada, Surrealism, and other modernisms: sometimes explicitly political in their orientation—spanning the gamut from anarchism to fascism—sometimes more subtly partisan.


This period was also, perhaps not coincidentally, the Golden Age of the arts journal, when every movement, circle, and splinter group in Europe and the U.S. had its own publication. For many years now, Princeton University’s Blue Mountain Project, a joint effort from “scholars, librarians, curators, and digital humanities researchers,” has archived complete issues of several such journals, and we’ve featured a couple notable examples in previous posts.

Now we direct your attention to the full online library, where you’ll find issues of Poesia (top), published by F.T. Marinetti between 1905 and 1920. This magazine represents “the transition from Italy’s engagement with an international Symbolist movement to an increasingly nationalist Futurism” and features the work of Marinetti, Alfred Jarry, W.B. Yeats, Paolo Buzzi, Emilio Notte, and James Joyce. Below Poesia, from the other side of the spectrum, we see the cover of a 1920 issue of Action, a “literary and artistic magazine associated with Individualist Anarchism,” and featuring work from writers like André Malraux, Antonin Artaud, and Paul Éluard, and artwork from Demetrios Galanis and Robert Mortier, to name just a few.

Not every avant-garde arts journal had a clear ideological mission, but they all represented aesthetic programs that strongly reacted against the status quo. The artists of the so-called Vienna Secession broke away from Association of Austrian Artists to protest its conservatism. Their journal, Ver Sacrum, further up, joined the flowing, intricate, and passionate designs of Art Nouveau and German Jugendstil artists, who created the look of the Weimar Republic and the Jazz Age. Contributors included Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, and Josef Hoffmann.

Sometimes avant-garde journals reflected political conflicts between warring factions of artists, as in the example of Le coeur à barbe: journal transparent, “produced by Tristan Tzara as a response to the attacks on him by Francis Picabia and André Breton about the future of the Dada movement.” Other publications aimed to expand the boundaries of national culture, as with Broom, above, a “self-proclaimed international magazine of arts and literature… a sumptuous journal that introduced American audiences to the European avant-garde.” Whatever their stated mission and implicit or explicit slant, it’s fair to say that the radical art published in avant-garde journals between the turn of the century and the end of the 1920s did everything but stand on the sidelines.

You can view ... and d0wnload ... more avant-garde magazines at Princeton's Blue Mountain Project.

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Download Alfred Stieglitz’s Proto-Dada Art Journal, 291, The First Art Magazine That Was Itself a Work of Art (1916)

Extensive Archive of Avant-Garde & Modernist Magazines (1890-1939) Now Available Online

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Hear Bill Murray’s Favorite Poems Read Aloud by Murray Himself & Their Authors

I’d be wary of any movie star who invites me to his hotel room to “read poetry” unless said star was documented poetry nut, Bill Murray.

Earlier this year, Leigh Haber, book editor of O, The Oprah Magazine, reached out to Murray to see if he’d share some of his favorite poems in celebration of National Poetry Month. In true Murray-esque fashion, he waited until deadline to return her call, suggesting that they meet in his room at the Carlyle, where he would recite his choices in person.

Such celebrity shenanigans are unheard of at the Chateau Marmont!

Murray’s favorite poems:

What the Mirror Said" by Lucille Clifton

At the top of the page, Murray reads the poem at a benefit for New York’s Poets House, adopting a light accent suggested by the dialect of the narrator, a mirror full of appreciation for the poet’s womanly body. Clifton said that the “germ” of the poem was visiting her husband at Harvard, and feeling out of place among all the slim young coeds. Thusly does Murray position himself as a hero to every female above the age of … you decide.

"Oatmeal" by Galway Kinnell

Kinnell, who sought to enliven a dreary bowl of oatmeal with such dining companions as Keats, Spenser and Milton, shared Murray’s playful sensibility. In an interview conducted as part of Michele Root-Bernstein’s Worldplay Project he remarked:

… it doesn’t seem like play at the time of doing it, but part of the whole construct of the work, and even though the work might be extremely serious and even morose, still there’s that element of play that is just an inseparable part of it.

"I Love You Sweatheart" by Thomas Lux

Murray told O, which incorrectly reported the poem’s title as “I Love You Sweetheart” that he experienced this one as a vibration on the inside of his ribs “where the meat is most tender.” It would make a terrific scene in a movie, and who better to play the lover risking his life to misspell a term of endearment on a bridge than Bill Murray?

"Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye

Alas, we could find no footage of Nye reading her lovely poem aloud, but you can read it in full over at The Poetry Foundation. It’s easy to see why it speaks to Murray.

via O, The Oprah Magazine

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Her play Zamboni Godot is opening in New York City in March 2017. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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