Micro-Archives and the Survival of Print in Momma Tried and Sabat
This article focuses on two independently published magazine projects, Sabat (2016–) and Momma Tried (2013–). It introduces Sabat and Momma Tried in the context of the contemporary independent publishing boom and considers their engagement with the print magazine form as affording a micro-archival stance towards the near past and personal histories as well as the magazines’ experiments with their material form.London-based Sabat appropriates the look and formula of women’s fashion and lifestyle magazines but reworks these templates to create a ‘lifestyle magazine for witches’ in a polished minimalist design. In three themed issues, Sabat establishes a meta-narrative of its own death which issue four materially enacts. Momma Tried is rooted in the art scene of New Orleans and started out as a celebration and record of the local community of creatives before the third issue turns the magazine into a ‘cyborg’ combining the print object with an app to create an ‘installation’. Both magazines evoke print as a way of conserving and archiving a specific moment but also engage in experiments that dissolve the magazine form, undermining its archiving function by staging the magazines’ ‘deaths’ as transformations.
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