Editors Letter

By Asher Penn

"Some Universe", Olia Lialina, 2002

In her interview with Jacky Connolly, pioneer net artist and teacher Olia Lialina revealed that her students know to present their assignments with a star patterned header or background. According to Lialina, this gesture is an acknowledgement of the earliest personal homepages on sites like Geocities- If you want to express respect to this history of independent online publishing, you should use a star GIF background.

It could be argued that this dogma was internalized by another featured artist in this issue: Jacob Ciocci, co-founder of paperrad.org, has been filling his websites with background star GIFS, along with every other aesthetic moniker of amateur online culture. In his interview Ciocci mentions studying net art when it was still a bourgeoning form in 2001, and particularly the work of Olia Lialina.

When the fight for Network Neutrality began in the mid 2000’s, the internet felt compararively independent to present day. Now, as the majority of people’s online activities have been transplanted onto social networking platforms, the necessity for personal sites has kind of vanished- making these independent forms of online art and publishing particularly poignant.

One of my favorite things about publishing a new issue of Sex is how the previous issue gets archived in the Back Issues. Instead of taking on the latest issues ads, every back issue keeps it's original advertising.  This might seem like a small feature but one that I particularly like: the articles will always be seen in the context they were originally presented, bringing to the forefront the magazine’s history/ cosmology.

Another thing I love about our ads is where the rollover JPEGs and GIFs go when you click them: official sites for entities ranging from clothing designers, online radio stations, to creative software. As some sites undergo redesigns, and others go down :'( these maps of linked destinations will shift, grow and change over time. Which is pretty cool.

Now enjoy the latest issue of Sex!

asher

From Sex Magazine #8 Summer 2014
Labelled Editors Letter