Issue #27 — Winter 2014/2015: Raf Simons


As network technology continues to pour itself into every facet of existence, we now find ourselves in a new state of adolescence, a landscape filled with grey areas and black holes—stretching, contracting, and continually shapeshifting. This issue takes a look at those who have made themselves at home in this protean terrain, embracing the ambiguity and uni-sexuality of the unknown.

“The past is not romantic to me. The future is romantic to me,” says RAF SIMONS, a designer whose menswear label has become an oracle of its own pre-Internet notion of beauty and freedom. With a practice rooted in the site specificity of IRL subculture and the iconoclasm of the 20th century avant-garde, Raf Simons has turned the charged ambivalence of youth into a comprehensive design methodology. Our cover dossier 1995-2015: A Raf Simons Retrospective celebrates the 20th anniversary of the label with an investigation into the underpinnings a menswear label that seems to exist in a perpetual state of youthful becoming. Alongside an extensive interview with the designer himself, PIERRE ALEXANDRE DE LOOZ’s profile on Raf Simons charts the ascension of the enigmatic figure behind the label. Meanwhile photographer WILLY VANDERPERRE and stylist OLIVIER RIZZO take us deep inside the Raf Simons archive for a study of the archetypes that have spanned across all 40 of Simons’ collections.

In a context where information flows freely across platforms, RICHARD TURLEY has operated through his own brand of “lazy modernism”. Widely known through his work at Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a master of the 21st century magazine cover, the graphic designer has moved on to the world of television, where he plans to revive the anarchy that once defined MTV in a much-changed media landscape.

What does the World Wide Web’s compression geo-physical boundaries entail for the future of architecture? 032c’s Carson Chan speaks with ANDREAS ANGELIDAKIS, an architect who has taken the Greece’s economic downturn as grounds to create buildings that live online as networked environments. Operating on the opposite end of the economic spectrum, the Beijing-based architecture firm BAM navigates the dizzying pace of Chinese real estate development by creating spaces that appear as a surreal Tumblr of forms and images.

“From a global point of view, the idea of economic growth is a failed, worn-out Western fetish.” As tensions between the East and West escalate with the rise of ISIS, Indian novelist PANKAJ MISHRA reflects on the false promises of the Enlightenment.

“Things are held together with all this blurry material, which we cannot see or measure. That’s interesting for me, how I approach these empty, in-between spaces. Without them, there would be nothing to connect it all together.” Georgian-born artist ANDRO WEKUA’s sculptures operate within the space of the unknowable. Operating through an amalgamation of memories, dreams, and databases, they attempt to chart the black holes that exist within the network.

At a time when Y2K-era communication had forged a new type of mega-celebrity, Swiss journalist TOM KUMMER shocked the German-speaking world when it was discovered that his Hollywood interviews were an elaborate hoax. The interviews, which have Courtney Love speculating on hyperreality and Pamela Anderson discussing William Gibon’s Neuromancer, have been translated into English for the first time by Pablo Larios.

Poet, conceptual artist, and digital pioneer KENNETH GOLDSMITH takes us on a tour through his library of books and records.


In addition, this issue’s SELECT features an original commission by artist Cali Thornhill DeWitt, an interview with APC founder Jean Touitou, the rebirth of the Ferrari F-1 Modulo concept car, a look at the lifetime of Ettore Sottsass, Gosha Rubchinskiy’s tour through Crimean skateboard culture, and much much more.


Issue #27 — Winter 2014/2015: Raf Simons

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