The latest issue of Cultural Bulletin explores how “the world as we conceived it doesn’t exist anymore”
Founded by Tom Silver and Adam Greenhalgh, the latest issue of Cultural Bulletin explores the relationship between the human and non-human world.
- Jyni Ong
- 10 August 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
The format of a magazine is good for many reasons. One of its benefits is its ability to tell stories in a visual and written form simultaneously. For Cultural Bulletin, a publication providing an international view of creative work, the magazine is an apt way to explore different perceptions of reality. Founded by Tom Silver and Adam Greenhalgh (the magazine’s co-editors), its latest issue investigates the theme: The World As We Conceived It Doesn’t Exist Anymore. Now in its fourth issue (Issue D), the magazine began as a writing project for the two founders.
So far, Cultural Bulletin has featured a stellar roster of creatives. Its highlights include the likes of OK-RM, architectural firm Hiroshi Nakamura, Jenny Hval and Metahaven. But as well as championing established creatives in the industry, the publication also looks to celebrate lesser-known movements. In its inaugural issue, for example, Adam and Tom explored the Dutch movement known as Stichting Kriterion, a movement created by anti-fascist students who heroically helped to hide and save countless Jewish children in occupied Amsterdam.
On the beginnings of the publication, Adam tells us: “We started by writing reviews which were published online. We looked directly to creative projects we found challenging, projects which informed and expanded our view of the world.” Encouraged by their readers’ feedback, Adam and Tom looked for ways to push the content further. In turn, conceptualising how this side project could transform into a magazine. Naturally, it made sense for Adam’s design studio Ultra-Local to do the creative direction and a well-balanced relationship between design and editorial struck up.
At the core of Cultural Bulletin is this measured approach between visual and written content. Now stocked in reputable bookshops and galleries across the world including MagCulture, Tate Modern and Koenig Books, as well as distributed by Antenne Books, Cultural Bulletin is currently formed of a small team of collaborators and contributors. As for its content, Adam explains that “creativity provides an opportunity to engage with philosophical and social issues critically and abstractly. It can help us to search for meaning and truth when they are increasingly fragile.” And as a result, Issue D of Cultural Bulletin keeps this central to its discussion.
The quote “the world as we conceived it doesn’t exist anymore” came from a conversation with London-based studio Superflux, featured in the latest issue. It sums up the nature of Issue D; the complex relationship between the human and non-human world. In an interview with Superflux, the two parties “discuss the implications of changing systems and cultures that shift us away from what we have long believed to be objective truths.” In a rapidly changing world, the magazine examines how we have to question who we are. But if it is true that “many of our artificially constructed ideas about the world will be left behind, how will we live without fundamental truths?”
It’s a broad theme suggested throughout the issue, for example by Robin Friend in his book Bastard Countryside. Delving into the relationship between the human and non-human world, Robin imagines the unfolding of this relationship in a dramatic yet poetic manner. His images serve as both artefacts and metaphors at the same time, hinting to the multi-layered interplay of human and non-human realities.
Elsewhere in the magazine, the co-founders interview artist and photographer Max Creasy. Discussing “how the commodification of daily life manifests in the way we document, understand and communicate in the visual real,” the interview touches on the polarisation of human and non-human life as more of our modern lives are spent online. As much of the world feels “paused” given the current circumstances, Issue D’s stories offer a time to ponder. As Adam puts it, it offers the chance “to consider ourselves in relation to the communal, the other, our principle narratives, and the image we project inwardly and outwardly.”
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.