In a world filled with angst and uncertainty, the ever-evolving Buffalo zine represents a glistening chameleon of possibility. Trends go one way and Buffalo marches resolutely off in the opposite direction. It’s a formula that works: five issues in and we’re still hooked. So when the Buffalo team started posting the covers of their new issue — featuring Pamela Anderson shot by Reto Schmid, Charles Jeffrey and Andrew Logan by Brett Lloyd, Lennon Gallagher by Tom Johnson and “models” by Adrián González-Cohen, all shot directly outside Buffalo’s Hackney Road office — on Instagram, we got straight in line to find out more from the magazine’s editors Adrián González-Cohen and David Urquiza.
The entire fifth issue of Buffalo zine was shot in and around your office on Hackney Road. Tell us why.
Adrian: With Buffalo we’ve always been very homemade style, low key, doing the magazine with the things we had around, photocopy machines bought second hand, cutting and pasting, stalking artists by e-mail… We wanted to go back to basics with this issue. Also we were very inspired by our building, doing an issue about the place we were today, instead of leaving an imaginary projection, specially influenced by the social networks. The inspiration came from the Wikipedia entry about the sentence ‘Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo’. Apparently its the longest grammatically correct sentence you can make using only one word. We wanted to do an issue very about being, not projecting. Its quite out of trend, which is something that really relaxes us. We’re quite proud we got something pretty honest. The teams really embraced being part of a place, giving their vision about it, in a genuine way.
David: Our AW16 issue was the first one we published with our new biannual calendar schedule in mind. After the launch of that issue in October, suddenly it was almost the end of the year and we were running out of time to make a decision on the them of the SS17 issue. We were pondering over different ideas, and we kind of wanted to do something easy and without too much sweat. Also doing an issue were the focus was somehow on ourselves and the place were we work. About our office/building, where we spend more time than in our homes, was a bit unexpected, like venturing in a direction where we hadn’t gone before. We liked that. And it happens to be a pretty whimsical place that never ceases to surprise friends and contributors that come to visit us. We had an eureka moment thinking that making the whole issue without leaving our building would be easy and uncomplicated… Nonsense! It’s been the most difficult issue ever.
Between Pamela Anderson, Judy Blame, Hans Ulrich Obrist and David Bailey it’s a pretty packed-out issue. Which feature that excites you most?
Adrian: I personally love the David Bailey interview by our deputy editor Liam Hess. Its so joyful that almost feels fictional. I’m quite pissed off he finally decided not to pose for one of the covers though – but if Bailey says no, its NO.
David: Meeting David Bailey when he came around for his interview was quite an encounter. He’s walking contradiction. He’s a gentleman but definitely not an easy one to deal with – he’s cocky but charming. He doesn’t give a fuck about anything but he cares about people. I think the interview in the issue is great and after that I started to see his work in a new light. He really is a walking piece of history.
Buffalo Zine is known for constantly reinventing itself with every issue. What are the design innovations for issue six?
Adrian: We treated many images and texts in a quite crazy process of scanning and photocopying and scanning again. To get a faded, used, repeated feeling about it. Its not neat at all. Its quite dirty, but also we tried to do something simple.
David: This is an XL format issue (A3 size). Photography looks really epic at that scale and the larger page size allows for a more “relaxed” and uncrowded layout than previous issues. And as you’ll see, we also wanted this issue to have a shabby and dusty look, like the building itself.
Back to the issue’s theme: what is the best thing about working in the East End? And the worst?
Adrian: The best is we live close to our places, and is quite good for meetings with contributors since most of them hang around and have their studios here. Can’t think of anything bad, actually. Of course that is expensive, like London is in general.
David: Best: I guess it’s the habitat of some exciting human fauna. Worst: The housing situation.
By keeping your focus firmly fixed on Buffalo’s immediate surroundings for this issue, what have you learned?
Adrian: Hosting is exhausting. Better to dine outside.
What does the future look like for Buffalo Zine?
Adrian: We just started working on the next issue and its going to be really cool. Very different, as usual.
David: I wanna say it looks like sex on the beach (the cocktail) on a warm summer evening but the reality is it looks very busy!