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One of my favorite magazines is O-the Oprah Magazine. It’s got great graphics, line, form, and makes you think about all aspects of media consumption in your life. My favorite sections are the beautifully crafted tear-outs—usually for postcards or daily reminders. All the magazine needs is a music CD attached and then it would be a throw-back to the first 3D magazine; Aspen. Aspen, which ran from 1965-1971, was the brainchild of former Women’s Wear Daily and Advertising Age editor Phyllis Johnson. The goal was to “showcase culture along with play.” It began as an Aspen lifestyle magazine but quickly evolved to showcase the ever-evolving art, design, and media movements with issues created by those leading the movements (ie: Andy Warhol, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, Lou Reed). Each issue was delivered in a box and contained a variety of media: booklets, postcards, posters, phonographs, and reels of Super-8 film. It was an explosion of media set alight with various levels of interactivity within the parameters set by the writer or artist.
When I first read about Aspen, I was completely fascinated by it and read all the back issues available on ubu.com. I was so upset I couldn’t run out and buy any new editions and thought “we need something like this today.” Something tangible, organic, artistic. But then I realized, we have it right at our fingertips—Aspen was the precursor to the Internet. We all have our favorite online destinations that feature the podcasts, movie downloads, and customizable news feeds. Every website puts its own artistic stamp and branding, just like every unique edition of Aspen. Now websites may not be something organic and tactile like a magazine from a box, after all it is just a collection of 1s and 0s, but it does provide for an enormous amount of content (new, old, and previously forgotten), accessible by the masses. Just as Aspen was based on the Greek idea of “Whole Man,” Web 2.0 has come to mean Whole Media and embraces man’s continued journey to traverse the eclectic mix of news, entertainment, lifestyle business (ie: shopping online, paying bills, communicating with friends and family), and all-around digital zen~ which I’d say is pretty Aspen-like.
HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!