Pick-Up Trucks and Back Roads: This Lit Mag's a Purty Little Thang
“Silent Language No. 6” is a piece that toys with the eye, uniform at glance, but exposing new shapes and layers the longer you look at it. LA-based photographer Cory Schubert adds eight photos from his “Someplace” series to the mix, providing retro flash and geometric flattening in the California sunshine. He states that he shoots strictly on film between 11am and 2pm in the summer, in order to capture “an alienating and clarifying light that creates a profound sense of isolation”.
With his handmade aluminum wash-basin bass, whiskey, and cryptic website full of hand drawn pictures, profiled author Jesse Ball seems to embody the ethos of A/S. Parable, fables, Zen, and the unbelievable are all themes that weave throughout Mr. Ball’s writings, and he has been known to appear with watermelon and axe in hand at literary readings. (He prefers to call himself a performer and composer.) His offbeat curriculum as an Assistant Professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago includes courses on dream interpretation, derizes (a kind of structured yet aimless walking), and a writing workshop set up like a courtroom. “'What I teach is telling a practice,' Ball says. 'And that practice is a matter of making things, but also just being alive and gathering things and cruising around and having adventures and discovering things. That experience constitutes your individuality, which then, works of art are passed off through that.'”
Mr. Ball’s philosophy embraces the idea of the artist as a pilgrim and pioneer, but I wonder at what cost to any responsibility one must have for the reader. Mr. Ball admits to often eschewing revision and most editorial feedback, but the author of this profile has just enough literary stardust in his eyes to make his work habits come off as more interesting than unsettling.
And so is the case with Armchair/Shotgun – with it’s bold color, clean design, and clever detail, A/S is a purty little thing, but unless you live in NYC where it is sold in stores, you’ll have to subscribe to get your hands on this one. Twenty dollars will get you two issues (1 year), thirty-five for four (2 years). Check out the “legend” of A/S on their website, along with quirky details like the cursor arrow becoming a gun sight. This is a journal that has more than a few tricks up its sleeve.