Consumption and Production in Little Magazines

 The final major element in the development of modernity was commercial: marked by a special interest in the consumer and in ways of stimulating the consumption of goods and services (Scholes and Wulfman 2010)

What I’m interested to explore in this course is the intersections of capitalism and art in the little magazines. We’re inundated with mass media as both entertainment and capitalist product and so I find it difficult to defamiliarize myself with our normalized and intertwined conceptions of consumption and art.

Since one of the defining elements of modernity is the rise of commercialism, I’m interested to see how the individual little magazines negotiate their role in sparking the consumption of goods and services and also in acting as products of consumption. We spoke briefly in class about the magazines’ use of advertisements, but I’d also like to see how the articles, the art, and the magazines themselves as product can be read as contributing to or participating in commercialism.

As for personal interest, I would also love to learn more about the physical printing, the style of art production, and the historical social context of the advancements in printing technology. We talked briefly in class about how the creators of The Dial were actively anti-modernity,  using older technology and printing each edition slowly as a statement. This means that the reception to advancements in printing technology were varied, and I’m interested to see how the other magazines celebrated new or old technologies and how they were received.

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