The New York Review of Magazines

032c: A Strong Defense for Print

By Spencer Bailey

Cathy Horyn, writing in The New York Times this past Sunday, looks at the twice-a-year, Berlin-based culture and fashion magazine 032c, now on its 19th issue. “Many of us are feeling a little discouraged by the bombardment of stuff on the Web that doesn’t inform or surprise,” she writes, “and 032c is an antidote for that.”

Horyn may be right. In fact, there seems to be a need for — not to mention a top-end market for — a high-quality, aesthetically beautiful magazine like 032c. It is an idea that’s not all that different from what BlackBook founder Evanly Schindler had when, in Oct. 2008, he launched the biannual New York-based publication tar mag, which folded last fall, after only two issues (where, it should be noted, I was an editorial intern).

Let’s hope, though, with editor Joerg Koch’s strong convictions, 032c will continue on and not have the same fate as tar mag. In 032c’s most recent issue, Koch makes a case for why such a publication should exist — a promising sign, no doubt, for the future. He writes: “In a time such as ours, when all forms of cultural expression seem to occur simultaneously — as if ‘contemporary’ were essentially just a byline for the past, present and future combined — stories like these become rough blueprints for the new creative aesthetic proposed within the pages of 032c.”

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