Wham! Zoom! Zing! Rave! – and it's not Ready Steady Go, even though it sometimes looks like it. The sound effects are produced by the erupting of underground architectural protest magazines. Architecture, staid queen mother of the arts, is no longer courted by plush glossies and cool scientific journals alone, but is having her skirts blown up and her bodice unzipped by irregular newcomers which are – typically – rhetorical, with-it, moralistic, misspelled, improvisatory, anti-smooth, funny-format, cliquey, art-oriented but stoned out of their minds with science fiction images of an alternative architecture that would be perfectly possible tomorrow if only the Universe (and especially the Law of Gravity) were differently organized.
Reyner Banham, 'Zoom Wave Hits Architecture' New Society 3 March 1966
An explosion of architectural little magazines in the 1960s and 1970s instigated a radical transformation in architectural culture, in which the architecture of the magazines vied with buildings as the site of innovation and debate. Clip / Stamp / Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines, 196X – 197X takes stock of over seventy little magazines from this period, which were published in over a dozen cities both inside and outside the Netherlands. Coined in the early twentieth century to designate progressive literary journals, the term "little magazine" is not taken at face value. In addition to short-lived, radical magazines, Clip / Stamp / Fold includes pamphlets and building instruction manuals as well as professional magazines that experienced "moments of littleness," influenced by the graphics and intellectual concerns of their self-published contemporaries. In addition to a selection of rare originals, and a timeline tracking the progression and transformation of a wide-variety of little magazines over two decades, the exhibition also offers audiovisual fragments from interviews conducted with the editors involved.
Little magazines continued to serve as a tool for new generations of designers to express their opinions after 1979. NAiM/Bureau Europa pose the question whether the magazine still exists as a vehicle of critical expression and examines its significance. The Clip/Stamp/Fold exhibition has therefore been expanded to include a presentation of how the magazine Forum evolved, as well as a collection of little magazines produced in the Netherlands after 1979. To mark the opening of the Clip/Stamp/Fold exhibition, NAiM/Bureau Europa will produce a one-off version of its own little magazine.
The exhibition has been a collaborative research and design project by a team of Ph.D. candidates at the School of Architecture at Princeton University led by Professor Beatriz Colomina. The installation at Bureau Europa has been realized in collaboration with Experimental Jetset.
Visit www.clipstampfold.com for more information.
Photography: Johannes Schwartz
Graphic design: Experimental Jetset