We have taken a step back to look at the last three years of Aint-Bad Magazine. Much has changed since 2011 when we were undergraduates completing BFA degrees in photography. As we have grown from students to professionals, we have also grown as a company from a small online platform into a bi-annual printed publication that is distributed internationally with the help of photographers and writers from every corner of the globe. In this issue, the idea of the Archive, and all that it implies for photography as a medium, has influenced us to look back and reflect on the artists whose work we have featured both in print and on the web. We have built this issue featuring the work of 180 artists who share the common trait of being members of the Aint-Bad community. These photographs and texts are bound together to create an archival overview of recent photographic practices. Photography is our best tool for documentation. Images have the power to influence today and inform tomorrow. It is crucial for the artist …
Issue No. 8 : The American South was made with the following call for entry: The American South is both a reality and a fiction, a conceptual and a cultural entity. As such, it has been famously challenged and perpetuated through photography in the form of singular iconic images in the work of photographers like William Eggleston and in the form of the photo-essay, bridging journalism and fine art as in the work of Walker Evans and James Agee. Issue No. 8 of Aint-Bad, a magazine founded in Savannah, Georgia, is comprised of photographs and essays or photo-essays which engage in contemporary conceptions of The American South and how it is defined and being re-defined; how it effects the rest of the U.S.; the socio-cultural impact of the region as a new reality and a new fiction.
Issue No.7 : Beyond Here was made with the following quote in mind: “I am trying to convince people–not only the public, but lawmakers and people in power–that investing in the frontier of science, however remote it may seem in its relevance to what you’re doing today, is a way of stockpiling the seed corns of future harvests of this nation… Advancing a frontier–history has shown–has advanced a culture ever since the industrial revolution got underway.” Neil deGrasse Tyson
From the Editors: Paul Kingsnorth’s article Dark Ecology outlines an internal struggle that arises from his reading of Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J. Kaczynski, a.k.a. “The Unabomber.” A third of the way through Kaczynski’s book, Kingsnorth finds his arguments “worryingly convincing.” Kaczynski was a modern Luddite, seeking to destroy a system that he felt was destroying us. Although his actions were reprehensible, his thoughts on technology are worth considering. Dark Ecology does more than attempt to label certain technologies as good or evil— a conversation that stagnates quickly. Rather than dwell on an unstoppable force, Kingsnorth puts forth a more engaging, worthwhile discussion: The coming decades are likely to challenge much of what we think we know about what progress is, and about who we are in relation to the rest of nature. Advanced technologies will challenge our sense of what it means to be human at the same time as the tide of extinction rolls on. The ongoing collapse of social and economic infrastructures, and of the web of life itself, …
From the Editors “Escapism: the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.” As editors and photographers, we become fatigued by images that demand we feel a certain way, seek an obscured message, or focus intensely— our weary eyes find respite in off-white, lightly textured plaster walls. The images in this issue are most easily described as fun. As a viewer, we are not asked to believe anything. We are free to unload our own thoughts or fantasies into these spaces. We take away what we want, if we want. That’s not to say that these images were created devoid of all meaning. Inside, Joel Kuennen presents insightful connections to the Dada movement. Is it wrong to simply enjoy the surface? Does ignorance provide true relief?
Issue 4 presents the insurmountable reality of corporate and personal consumption. We are active participants, guilty of the very actions that we condemn. Familiar is the battle to which we so easily become party, weakened by illusions of temporary or moderate contentments. How does one consume responsibly? Is the cycle too powerful to disrupt? Are the fissures so deep that we’ve lost the ability to steer our way out?
As a malleable medium, photography fashions itself to the trends of digital culture. An instantaneous and endless supply of imagery is met with an ever-growing demand for visual stimulation. Has the abundance of the vernacular in photographic imagery via the cell-phone and other forms of proliferating technology been raised to the level of visual noise? Or, has it revealed the marginal as fundamental? Either way, the archive overflows. It becomes uncontrollable and a Barthesian madness ensues infinitely expanding all previous photographic boundaries, photography finds itself at a galactic precipice and seeks again to examine itself anew, searching for a kind of meta-photograph.
A Symptom of Being, October 2011, examined the way in which man copes with his/her surrounding environments. Breaking out of the purely national pool of talent, we were able to feature two incredible international photographers: Zhang Xiao and Zhendong (Benny) Xu. This issue deals more intimately with the human condition as seen through the eyes of the photographer.
We are here, On planet earth, 13.7 billion years after the big bang, Civilization has grown like an evolving organism, Conscious of its own existence, Developing complex interpretations of the observable universe, Of time, Of information, Of self, Of us.