Inspired by the 1960's cult publication, Aspen, the original idea for CONTAINER was to push the concept of a magazine beyond any constraints of its printed-book format, to embrace and explore the single element of a regular magazine that is always sacrosanct: its physical structure.
To me, the idea was simple: take the basic notion of a magazine — varying content from different contributors around a specific theme — and express it through the language of physicality, rather than words and pictures. What could be more complicated?
Well, it seems, a whole lot. I know from a lot of conversations that any reference to magazine sets up an immediate expectation of a book and another, even more powerful expectation of a price. And that association is very powerful.
Now, it might be that I've been a victim of some of the very same intuitive psychological mechanics that I've been exploring with ARTOMATIC – namely, the framing association of a magazine and its anchoring of low price-expectation. That CONTAINER shares more similarities with art multiples — against which, CONTAINER is an absolute bargain — proves the other human tendency that initial understandings are very hard to shake. More fool me.
However, I'm taking another look at where to take CONTAINER and while I'm clear it should move away from a magazine association, it could go in a pop-culture ephemera kind of direction (think Visionaire, Gasbook etc) or more in the direction of Art (multiples etc). I've put up a survey to ask these questions and emailed all the CONTAINER subscribers for their views. If you'd like to take part, please do so here.
Or if you'd like to add any random thoughts, please do so here.