THE MAGAZINE AS A TEMPORARY STRUCTURE / THE MAGAZINE AS PAVILION
Usually, a pavilion is a temporary building like a tent DIFFERENZIEREN used for specific purpose. Its best quality is its functionality – it could easily be installed and easily uninstalled, you could move it very fast to other places, but it has the very potential to mark a certain space in- and outside of the pavilion. It is a temporary structure, like our magazine PAVILION is a temporary structure, a temporary platform, for contemporary art and culture. The temporary concept of the pavilion fits perfectly in the concept of the (re-)presentation of culture today. Art and culture are dynamic, temporary, often changing and moving not only back, forth, right and left, but to every other direction, too. You need a temporary structure to analyze contemporary culture – you have to be fast and dynamic, you need a medium that is as temporary as the field it represents. Therefore, a structure like the pavilion could be useful.
The magazine is per se a structure that is mostly located in the present, located in the present like a pavilion is located only in the present, because in the future or even in the past it is unnecessary to have a pavilion – you need it just for this very moment. Even though a magazine deals with a past – not necessarily an old past, but if you write about something it becomes immediately part of the past in the act of writing.
It could be claimed that a magazine is a structure of the past as well as of the future, if we think about the magazine as a source of reference of the past: the magazine as part of the cultural archive. The form of the magazine plays an important role in the future as well as in the past. But it is not only the function of an archive that shows the significant importance of the magazine for the future, but also its clairvoyant vision of the future.
A magazine a platform that can act and react very fast. If you recall the boom of new art magazines all around the world, which started in the late 60s, you can guess how important this structure is. With the boom of magazines in the 60s there was also a boom of new terms and genres in art – Body art, mail art, eat art, different schools and many other terms that change often, appear fast and disappear shortly after they were introduced. This would never be possible, if magazines did not had a temporary structure, which faces the very present. – The magazine can go in different directions at the same time – something that other media cannot. It can be wide-ranging, but still up-to-date.
Another very important fact for the temporality of magazines that are operating with imagery is its very form, regarding the technical reproduction of art works. I will not talk about aspects of “aura” or other terms of Walter Benjamin that could be seen in connection to technical reproduced artworks in printed media or which possibilities art can develop through its copying. It is simply about the form and the special aesthetics that the technical reproduction apparatus produced in different time episodes. The aesthetics of photographic images – and photographic images printed in magazines were never in a very high quality so that this point is even more obvious compared to “fine art prints” – changed since the time photography was discovered. It is not a question of “quality”, of “black and white versus color”, it does not matter what changed, but THAT something changed and is still changing. How can the same artwork look different after some years? And this is only related to its form and not to its perception. Of course, it is the form that changes the perception, but this is the main point: Just a little different technique changes the image totally. Images are changing, they are not steady, they are in a constant mutation. Admittedly, I talk the whole time about “reproduced images”, this is simply because I am talking about magazines but I would also claim that the most time we operate with images, we operate with reproduced images – so one could say that the technical reproduction apparatus changes the form and thus the perception of the reproduced image and as a result the perception of the “original”, if something like this is still existing.
But it is not only the technical layer that allows you to date a certain photographical reproduction, it is also the way this photography is taken. Just by looking at the way art works are staged in photography gives you a hint, in which time the photo was taken and what the photographer thought that is important to document. Because of that we could also refer to Michel Foucault and speak about a certain episteme.
I hope I could make clear that the invention of photography and the constant development of this media is one of the main reasons for the magazine’s temporary structure.
Speaking about the present, it is important, how you define present. The present, which is represented, is always only one of the endless possible presents. It is, what we believe the present could be. Time, or even better – time-processes, like the present is one, are nothing objective, it is something that has to be decided about – or something that is constructed. Magazines take this decision – magazines construct these time(s) or discourses. In taking this decision a magazine is in the very middle of analyzing structures, structures that stand in contact with each other, but it is impossible to have every structure represented. Moreover, it is certainly clear that a magazine does not only analyze certain structures, it is the magazine that is constructing and establishing several structures, several fields of knowledge that have not been there before. Again this is another reason for the location of the magazine in the present – the possibility to producing and establishing knowledge.
Therefore, a decision has to be taken. If the magazine would not be a temporary structure, if you would try to analyze the present in a non-temporary structure, you would rapidly realize that it is an impossible undertaking, because you cannot be dynamic anymore and you cannot be moving freely to every point.
This certain work or better, this certain process of analyzing structures and producing knowledge in the field of art, aesthetics, politics, sociology, anthropology and many other disciplines could be seen as the major mission of a contemporary culture magazine – no-one would dement this. Nevertheless, if you take a closer view on the process of analyzing and knowledge production, the process gets more and more complicated and it is almost impossible to face only one field – every thing connects and everything influences another. It does not suffice to only face on art theory, art history, that is art criticism – recent conditions and contemporary phenomenon require to have a wide view, a view that blows-up our daily dualistic perception and turns it into a pluralistic perception with endless entrances and exits.
I am certainly sure that the temporary structure of a magazine is as much as important as interdisciplinary. Without having an interdisciplinary view on recent issues you will only present one of endless possible solutions or only one of endless possible analysis of a problem or topic that is way more complex than it appears. The interdisciplinary allows us to move in different directions at the same time – an important fact, which we have to face later again. Today, we have to encircle issues from any possible direction; otherwise the manipulation machine of mainstream and mass media could become more powerful than ever imagined. In having an interdisciplinary magazine you come closer to the point of objectivity. It is not only to present a wide-ranged view on a complex issue, but in addition to it to undertake the utopian task of describing or analyzing an issue, a certain structure, a certain apparatus et cetera from every possible side, to present it as it is.
Moving fast in different directions is the most important criteria for a magazine today – the magazine should be a temporary structure like a rhizome, to speak with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari and their book “Milles Plateaux”. A rhizome is sort of a stem that puts out lateral shoots in any directions, without having a dichotomous structure, but instead a pluralistic structure. A rhizome is a temporary structure insofar that it can spread out from every point within the rhizome to every other point in- or outside of the rhizome, it has to possibility to grow new shoots and also the possibility to mortify old shoots – a structure, which is necessary for a magazine today – temporary and moving in every possible direction.
Only this temporary structure, the rhizoid structure, for the magazine allows us to intervene in the “society of the spectacle”, exactly analyze recent issues and their structures of power and to finally turn the spectacle upside down. We have the possibility to re-think processes and to turn their direction.
PAVILION is published twice a year and every issue focuses on a different topic – for example the next topic will be SOCIAL MEDICINE, last topic was mapping the contemporary and the magazine was at the same time reader of BUCHAREST BIENNALE 3. The issue accumulated different texts circling more or less around the subject – between art theoretical texts, anthropological, political science and short stories we had a wide-ranged and multidisciplinary view on chaos and its meaning for and in our recent system, a multifarious observation from distinctive positions.
PAVILION pursues the mission to be not only a magazine that you can read and then put on your bookshelf, it pursues the mission of an extended magazine. PAVILION is the producer of different events, among them BUCAHREST BIENNALE, the PAVILION LECTURE SERIES and different other smaller projects, The projects are nothing of or from the magazine, but they are actually part of the magazine – they are strongly connected with the magazine and they underline the very idea of PAVILION.