Meta Magazine: It’s You, Not Me
Published April 20, 2009
In spite of the self-consciousness implied by its name, Meta Magazine is an effective antidote to self-obsession. Instead of naval-gazing, the online interdisciplinary quarterly is a compelling cross-cultural cabinet of curiosities. The selection of “photography, insights, essays, interviews, and obscurities,” are the by-product of contagious intellectual curiosity on the part of the editors and the writers, artists, scientists, architects, journalists they invite to participate. Launched by Berlin-based art and fashion photographer Rachel De Joode, her boyfriend Johannes Thumfart, and co-editors Emilie Bromberg, Hili Perlson, and Anja Wiesinger, Meta Magazine declares its mission to be “based on personal interest rather than discursive criteria.” In consequence, the first issue includes a photo-essay by utopian Futurist Jacques Fresco who presented models of his ideal buildings, excerpts from a monograph by Claude Cahun on the artist’s political significance and a tale told by acoustic consultants Adam Foxwell and Zlatan B. Idnert of their huntfor “silence and involuntary noise exposure” in Dubai.
Meta’s investigative rigor owes much to Thumfart’s background as a PhD candidate in ‘The History of Ideas’ and its eclectic range is a recognizable outgrowth of De Joode’s psychological surrealist imagery. One of Berlin’s most experimental emerging talents, the Dutch-born De
Joode has snapped models surrounded by eccentric objects and erotic geriatrics for Berlin style magazines like Sleek and Qvest and accessorized models with a hot-water bottle, sliced bread, drift-wood and a filthy broom for hip Berlin-based designer Lala Berlin’s lookbook, which she launched instead of a catwalk show. For Meta‘s debut issue, De Joode interviewed spelunker / photographer Dave Bunnell on the snacks he carries down into 500-meter caves. Bunnell’s awe-inspiring geological images were projected on the walls the store-front and stage of Lucas Carrieri Gallery where Meta’s launch was celebrated. With cut-out masks by artist Ruaminx and performances by Snax & Le Mercier and Johanna of the Sick Girl, the launch was a rare
opportunity to engage with the thought-provoking range of material Meta offers in real life.