Retrofuturism 13: July 1990
Aggressive Culture / RRR 7-inch EP
Double-size issue of 84 pages handily marks the transition into the final phase of this publication: all issues that preceded this one (yet to come) follow the initially and firmly established classic ‘PhotoStatic’ form. You’ll begin to see what we mean in the coming months, as we progress backwards.
The subtitle ‘Aggressive Culture’ was inspired by Mark Pawson’s designs for stickers for the ‘Aggressive School of Cultural Workers’. Clearly, the editor’s time spent at the 1989 Festival of Plagiarism in Glasgow, Scotland, had had its effect. Among other things, it helped consolidate our interest in the Situationist International, and this issue shows us trying on some of these theories in our selections.
Featured articles on Neoism (Al Ackerman, Monty Cantsin) and National Endowment for the Arts funding controversies (Stephen Perkins), signal a more activist, or at least aggressive, cultural stance. Pieces on the Mail-art Network (Mark Bloch), the burgeoning use of the Macintosh in art production (William Bowles), and thoughts on cassette tapes (Walter Alter) look at some of the methods of making culture that we were interested in.
Although generally speaking, the issue is heavy on text (not a bad thing!), that doesn’t stop Eric Heilmann, Piotr Szyhalski, and other talented artists from contributing memorable images.
To top it off, there is the inclusion of a few minor audio masterpieces on 7-inch EP included as part of the issue. Contributors include John Oswald, The Tape-beatles, and X.Y. Zedd. (MP3s of these tracks will be available at some point in the near future.)