Can a magazine be a work of art? Sally Glass thinks so. Glass and Fort Worth artist Bradly Brown co-founded Semigloss, a limited edition quarterly magazine featuring artist essays, interviews and images of work, all around a theme. The latest issue takes on The Future. And it took some cutting edge technology to make a cover worthy of both the theme and artist Kris Pierce’s design. Technology like holographic paper. And lasers to cut it.
Semigloss is celebrating its first birthday tonight, with the release of this issue. It’ll be at Art Beef/Beefhaus, in Exposition Park, where Pierre Bürger’s solo exhibition “0 likes” will also be opening. If you’d like a copy, you might want to stop by the party. There are only 350 being made with the laser-cut cover.
When Glass isn’t working on Semigloss, she’s an MFA candidate at UT-Dallas and an artist in residence at CentralTrak. She stopped by the KERA newsroom to chat about how becoming a publisher has become her art practice, and how a magazine can also be an art object.
Listen to the interview that aired on KERA FM:
Here are some highlights and extras:
Semigloss has that air of “labor of love” about it. Glass used money left over from a Kickstarter campaign to produce the first issue. Sales from each issue pays for the next, though Glass is applying for grant support. This fourth issue features work and writing from 20 artists (Noah Simblist, Mary Walling Blackburn, Blake Hestir, Moreshin Allahyari, Brad Troemel, Bradly Brown, Shelby David Meier, Debora Delmar Corp, Pierce, Christopher Blay, Arthur Peña, Jeff Gibbons, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Guthmiller Randy, Devon Nowlin, Randall Morgan, Kim Asendorf, Jesse Morgan Barnet, Kevin Rubén Jacobs, Michael Mazurek.)
Glass first got the idea for Semigloss after a panel on regionalism at CentralTrak. She had her first two-person art show there. And now, she’s a resident. She calls her experience there “life changing.” Here she is chatting about that, in a little bit that didn’t make it on the air.
About that cover:
“It’s crazy to do a holographic laser-cut cover with the budget that we have,” Glass says. The laser-cutting was prohibitively expensive – until Glass found a connection at a local university who could help her out. Her team is cutting the covers two at a time. It’s labor intensive.
“We’ve been in there every single day doing this laser cutter on three hunderd fifty covers,” she says. “But that’s part of the work.”
Magazine as art
“Semigloss has become part of my art practice,” says Glass. “Or maybe it always was.”
There’s the magazine as an object. And the collaborative process of putting it together, “seeing connections, creating a community based on that. Creating a network of ideas.”
It’s exciting to think “Oh this thing I really care about, and I get to collaborate with all these people on, it’s a real thing. It’s a real endeavor.”
Why a magazine?
“I realized that the stream of digital information that we are all constantly involved in becomes more ephemeral and we don’t get to hold on to those things as much.”
As connected as she is, “I was feeling disconnected from the medium.”
But people question it. “It’s funny, people are like, ‘So you’re making a magazine…. in an age where magazines are failing.’ I’m like yeah, it’s awesome! It’s really fun. It feels so subversive in a way.”
Does the North Texas arts scene have something that makes it identifiable as “North Texas””?
No I don’t believe that North Texas, as a region, has something that necessarily characterizes it as “North Texas Art Region.” And that’s interesting, too, because I did think that. The first couple issues, I was pretty serious about the idea that this is a specifically North Texas document of what’s going on here. And then I realized that is not where we want to go with it. Because it’s about creating connection, it’s about creating dialogue within the greater world. That’s what we want to do in general, right? As humans.”