Modern Culture Mash-Ups


The brainchild of artist Gursoy Dogtas, Matt Magazine bills itself as "a synthesis between a fanzine and a current affairs magazine," but while it comments on contemporary political and social issues with a zine-style combination of appropriated material and original content, it has a more restrained take on the cut-and-paste aesthetic than the average D.I.Y. publication. Crossing subjects and historical moments, each story combines a previously published text--typically classics on subjects ranging from philosophy to natural science--from a single source with images from another origin to create telling pairings. Every issue also has a similarly two-part theme: the first issue focused on 'Freizeit und Konsum' (leisure and consumption), and the second, which was released on October 10th with an opening and short-running exhibition at Les Complices in Zurich, tackles 'Mobility and Surveillance' with a series of five stories. The issue opens with Duncan Campbell's investigation of a global surveillance system, 'Inside Echelon,' accompanied by photos from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert. Other pieces branch out to include 'Attacks on Civil Aviation' by Ariel Merari set against stills from a video work by Natalie Jeremijenko in which she attempts to board a plane wearing rollerskates, and Carl Schmitt on 'The Theory of the Partisan' matched to images of the Surveillance Camera Players. Dogtas's own photography is offset by both selections from Carl von Clausewitz's 'On War' and an essay by geographic theorist Tim Cresswell. Every piece in the issue sketches the sometimes enabling, sometimes conflicting relationship between two phenomena that increasingly frame modern life.