New Yorkers know that traversing the distance separating one side of town from another can be like traveling from one world into another. Perhaps not coincidentally, then, while Fashion Week was raging away in Midtown, the New York-based DIS Magazine staged their latest foray into—some might say assault upon—the fashion world at Soho gallery The Suzanne Geiss Company.
A magazine with no office, masthead, or even editor-in-chief, the self described “post-internet life-style magazine,” has become known for its satirizing, often wildly tongue-and-cheek editorials probing the ideologies behind fashion and the now quotidian presence of the internet. With none-too-lofty aims that include the subversion of commerce and art, authorship and originality, DIS, as editor David Toro was quoted in a recent New York Times feature, doesn’t “subscribe to the same rules that fashion magazines do.”
For their project at Geiss, “DIS Image Studio,” the magazine collaborated with artist to produce images for the launch of their stock website, disimages.com. Over a three week period, a daily cast of revolving guest artists shot images for the site with a roster of collaborators including art world darlings Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, as well as PIN-UP Magazine, and a dozen other artists and collectives. Among works created for the site, Shawn Maximo’s series “Confusion is the New Luxury,” combines natural vistas with computer generated images—a fashion runway superimposed upon a creek bed—while Ian Cheng’s “3D Models” finds virtual human heads available to speak for commercial programming.
“You can’t imagine the legal hoops we had to jump through,” DIS editor Solomon Chase recounted regarding the stock startup. During a visit to the gallery-cum-photo studio, back-to-back shoots included a female stripper posing with office furniture. One young stylist could be overheard calling it “executive realness.” In an opposite shoot, a male model fitted with a prosthetic latex mermaid tail took direction while holding a paint roller (a bottle of KY Jelly was somehow in the mix)—”definitely not Daryl Hannah,” the stylist quipped. Among the DIS editors present that day, Toro and Marco Roso photographed while taking styling advice from their respective partners (and fellow editors) Chase and Lauren Boyle. Elsewhere, PIN-UP editor and contributing artist Felix Burrichter chatted away with one of strippers in between shoots.
With past projects including the 2010 symposium “Interpreting the Scrunchie” at the New Museum or their much-buzzed about Kim Kardashian lookalike contest at last year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, DIS Magazine’s ideological bent clearly aims to eschew the conventions of fashion and art. Whether one considers the cohort a band of provocative outsiders or the ultimate inside set, the rapid assent of the DIS is sure to see worlds colliding.