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Meeting with The Arts Factory Magazine, independent cultural webzine


Meeting with The Arts Factory Magazine, independent cultural webzine - illustration 1

The Arts Factory Magazine - or TAFMAG - has been an independent cultural webzine since 2013. Through its interviews and artist portraits, it shares an emerging culture in different fields: contemporary art, photography, fashion, music, cinema, literature and illustration. Starting from the observation that our generation creates and that it does not rest on its laurels, Pauline, Aurore and Marie have wanted to convey a message of optimism via the webzine for 3 years, and on paper for almost a year now.

Artsper: Originally a webzine only, TAFMAG is now also distributed physically, on paper. Has this evolution affected the magazine in any way?

Marie: Indeed, over the past year things have changed quite a bit with, among other things, the launch of the print. I was arriving at that moment, in July (2015), we worked together all summer, and then the magazine was released in September.

Pauline: Launching the magazine in paper format was a major project. Making a webzine or a magazine that will be printed is not the same thing. We started this project because we were all great paper lovers and we still spent almost six months on it. Meanwhile, the webzine continued to live separately and follow its course until the launch of the print magazine was completed. From that moment on, we brainstormed and were able to refocus on the web and do a lot of work, which allowed us to redefine our identity, but also to reflect on our editorial line, on new sections. Many projects have been set up, which has also led us to refocus our discourse a little bit, to clarify it: to define ourselves in one way only.

Aurore: The paper also brought us a whole organization that we didn't necessarily have when we were only doing the web. Before, there were only two of us writing on the webzine. Now, with the paper format, we had to use journalists. So there are more of us.

Artsper: You talk about new sections, like the "Melting Potes" section, in which you tell the success stories of groups of "buddies" who set up their cultural project together?

Marie: Exactly. Originally, we were only talking about emerging artists. We did interviews, portraits... but interviews and portraits of artists only. Looking back, we thought that it is not only the artists who represent this emerging culture, but also a whole bunch of people who gravitate around it. It was necessary to take a more global look. These people are collectives, labels or other small structures such as ours that allow artists to express themselves, and that all together form a network, like a huge network. Huge and reliable, because they are all people you can count on.

This is what the "Melting Potes" section aims to do: to talk about this other facet of emerging culture, about all those who take part in it without necessarily being the creators of the finished product. All these people who also formulate what our generation has to say, who can have projects, who create or provide welcome help.

We have carried out quite a few projects with several collectives and work on a long-term basis with them. They're not just one shot. That's also the idea of the magazine. The artists we are talking about, we are not only talking about them with a little chronicle, and then never again. No. We were able to dedicate an article to them and then, we will book them in our events to make them discover them live to the public, via exhibitions, concerts, etc. And then even later, sometimes after a few years, if there is movement on their sides, we contact them to find out what is happening to them and talk about it again in the magazine, because our will is to support them.

Meeting with The Arts Factory Magazine, independent cultural webzine - illustration 1
Meeting with The Arts Factory Magazine, independent cultural webzine - illustration 1

Artsper: What place does contemporary art occupy in your magazine?

Marie: Compared to other sections, contemporary art does not take up as much space as one would like. I am thinking of music or photography in particular, which represent a larger part of our editorial line... Yet, it is a section that is close to our hearts.

Pauline: Not all the headings are as understandable. Music and photography, for example, are more accessible themes.

Marie: You know, there is a literature section as well. And even if it's not the one that brings us the most views, it's important for us to keep it. We try to feed all these sections.

Artsper: The 2nd edition of your Inner'Art event takes place from September 15th to 18th at Atelier Meraki. Tell us about the event.

Pauline : Inner'Art is part of our process of promoting artists, just like the webzine or the paper magazine. It allows you to meet the artists and see their work in person!

This network we are talking about necessarily gives us access to a huge panel of artists. Especially with all the artists we were able to interview in many fields. But for this edition, the idea was to open up a little to a network that we didn't necessarily know.

Marie: We launched a call for applications and looked for photographers, video artists, digital art... It's interesting to discover things we don't know. To receive, for example, a file that we did not expect at all, that may surprise us and to discover with curiosity the work of an artist.

We have planned an exhibition of about fifteen artists over 4 days punctuated by various highlights: opening on Thursday, screening of short films on Friday, live painting on Saturday and tattooing on Sunday. All this to good music, with excellent tapas and great drinks.

Artsper: Last year we discovered works by Juliette Seydoux for example, some of which can be found on Artsper.

Pauline: We met Juliette Seydoux through a network of friends. From there, we collaborated with her on T-shirts as part of the ephemeral collaborations we made with selected artists (illustrators or photographers). It resulted in the "La Mouche" t-shirt, one of our best-sellers by the way. And then we chose to program it at Inner'Art #1.

Artsper: Among the events you attend, whether concerts or exhibitions, what is the place of contemporary art?

Marie: In terms of releases, I do fewer exhibitions than before and I go to concerts more to try to discover new artists.

Pauline: We have less time than before, it really constrains the time we spend in exhibitions or in the theatre. However, there is no shortage of contacts or invitations.

Artsper: Tell us about your monthly selections of Artsper works. How did you make them? 

Marie: First I looked for the artists I knew. As it was the selection of TAFMAG, it had to be young artists. So I looked at some of the emerging artists and I recognized quite a few of them that we already knew... For example, we talked about Ren Hang in our first paper issue, he's one of our favourites, or Margaux Avril on the web. And then I discovered others on Artsper, like Jef Claes. I liked his geometric and colorful universe. I also wanted to vary the supports, to put illustrations, but also photos and sculptures.

Artsper: Who are your favourite contemporary artists? 

Marie: Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille, for a long time now. These are two young painters who have a very particular universe, which is their own.

Pauline: Annish Kapour. He was the one who introduced me to the world of contemporary art when I was eighteen years old when I was in London.

Aurore: Yayoi Kusama. I think she has a playful way of talking about art. It is a simple and powerful interpretation. And then this way she uses colors... it's full of energy! I think that as soon as the children have fun going to see his works, we can say that it's a done deal.

Artsper: What is your relationship to Artsper?

Marie: I had known Artsper for a long time as I had worked in the gallery. While working on the selection, I was able to return to the site and discover works that I liked.

Their favourite artworks

Irène Philips, Human Recycling 1, Painting

Irène Philips

Human Recycling 1, 2013
24 x 20.5 x 1.2 inch