Eyes on Culture #012
08 March 2023
EYES ON: PARADIGM’s “The Open Tabs interview”
PARADIGM trilogy is a 3-part digital only magazine created by Katharina Korbjuhn. It covers what Korbjuhn describes as “cultural theory wrapped in fashion” — the fashion industry from a nuanced contemporary perspective.
The second issue, “Man vs Machine”, captured our attention for obvious reasons.
Much more than a hackneyed “machine” edition that poses tedious questions like: “Will AI take over the world?”, this issue takes a personal look into tech’s influence on fashion-adjacent subjects, using the language of memes, digital collage and short form writing to guide readers to examine how we think, learn about, and absorb fashion’s cultural ephemera digitally.
Our favourite feature of the issue was: “The Open Tabs Interview”, which took screenshots of peoples’ most recent open internet tabs, and called it an interview.
WHY WE’RE WATCHING:
Of course not an ‘interview’ at all, a screenshot of one’s open tabs is maybe much more revealing than an interview could ever be. An exposing digital artefact, open tabs trace the unconscious interests of a person as they take their daily journey through the internet. Salacious or banal — they’re telling.
Less the contents of these ‘interviews’, the format of encountering someone through their tabs is what we find most interesting. It’s not only fun and inventive, it captures something very specific about a person: their mind as seen through their searches.
P.S. Check out the same issue’s feature on imagined Schiaparelli ads made with AI image generators.
Kate Cooper’s Fleshy Perfection
EYES ON: Kate Cooper’s Rigged
Kate Cooper is an artist and co-founder of the organisation Auto Italia. Her work examines the hyper-commercialised images that mark capitalist image production, and the work that goes into making them.
In her project Rigged, Cooper uses CGI techniques to create images of “perfect” bodies, flawless digital females, which surpass anything physically possible. In discussing these types of images, Cooper talks of her “desire for them but also their inherent violence.” Her interests lies in our relationship to the images — how we “read” them — more so than what they actually contain.
WHY WE’RE WATCHING:
In Rigged, these digital bodies were exhibited just like consumer products, on wide billboard-like screens. Their massive presentation recalls advertising formats of cityscapes.
Through its display, Rigged goes beyond the subject of body politics. By introducing the factors of space and scale, we are asked to consider our own physical relationship to the digital bodies pictured, the physical images, as well as the wider infrastructure that creates and displays them.
We are pushed to view these crafted bodies not as purely representational, not as abstract reflections of societal standards, but also as real objects that shape space.
A Conscientious Companion
EYES ON: Trippin’ 50, a calendar for travel in a new world
Trippin’ is an independent platform collaging guides, stories, podcasts and films to facilitate thoughtful world travel. Created by “a global community of diverse voices that are shaping today’s cultural landscape”, it seeks to project local voices to inform better travel practices.
Through tailored guides like Trippin’ 50, which highlights 50 in-person events across the globe that are contributing positively to one of its sub-themes (“innovation”, “sustainability” or “driving diversity” etc.), the dots between local and global are connected, bringing an individual perspective to the world’s cultural landscape.
WHY WE’RE WATCHING:
Aside from the valuable content it offers to its patrons, Trippin’ is interesting because of how coherent it is in its outlook, and then its communication of that outlook. The platform’s voice, its web design, its tools and tags: each part of it works to help its users navigate the world of travel through the lens of contemporary issues. With international contributors — laid out to cover all corners of the globe — it’s designed as a guide conscious of the world its offering advice on.
WHOSE EYES: Dominique, Graphics @ DRAUP