21C Magazine’s Ashley Crawford Interview

21c2010Ashley Crawford is the editor of the recently revived cyberculture magazine 21C (Richard Metzger called it “probably the best magazine of the ‘90s”) Via Mediapunk:

In 1994 I was approached by a Swiss-based international company, Gordon & Breach, who wanted to start an international art magazine – World Art. I accepted but didn’t really want to let go of 21C and so organized a take-over of the magazine. Accordingly I ended up editing and publishing a revised version of the title from 1994 to 1999. Given we were suddenly international in scope I made the most of it and approached folk I’d been a fan of for some time, amongst them such people as J.G. Ballard, William Gibson, Kathy Acker, Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Mark Dery, Andrew Ross, R.U. Sirius, Claudia Springer, McKenzie Wark, Darren Tofts, Michael Moorcock, Thurston Moore, Erik Davis and others. To my utter amazement they all responded enthusiastically.

How different was the 1990-93 version from the 1994-1999 version?

Extremely. The earlier version was extremely parochial with a strong Australian flavor. We changed the format and structure entirely. The earlier version had a strong socio-political flavor whereas the second version, while maintaining some of that eg; covering Noam Chomsky, tended towards the more speculative which you can see in the selection on that archive site up now. The posthuman, cyberpunk etc.

In the newer material we tend to be going weirdly post-cyber. Where once it was replicants and cyborgs now it seems to be zombies. Where once it was the glittering on-line (albeit wonderfully gritty) world of Neuromancer and Snow Crash, today it seems to be the blasted wilderness of Cormac McCarthy, Brian Evenson and Brian Conn or the strange, fantastical but distinctly visceral rituals of Ben Marcus or Matthew Derby…

[continues at Mediapunk]