Counter-Signals is a bi-annual journal addressing, in variable iterations, different aspects of the intersection of design, media, and politics. The second issue—”Hieroglyphics of the Anti-Commodity”—documents and theorizes Marxist communication theory, communization, and the contradictions of political print under capitalism. The issue includes contributions from Alan Moore, Chris Reeves, Lucy Mulroney, T’ai Smith, Lisa Vinebaum, Eirik Steinhoff, Nane Diehl, Jennifer Scappettone, Francesco Marullo, Josh MacPhee, John A. Tyson, David Bennewith, Charlotte Taillet and Joel Colover, Christopher Burke, Chris Lee, Tom Fisher, Alexander Negrelli, Nellie Klux, Juliette Cezzer, TXTbooks, and Bertolt Brecht.
This issue features Justseeds’ member Josh MacPhee’s further explorations of the politics of and behind book covers and their designs. “Anarchism in your Pocket: The Rise of Mass-market Anti-authoritarianism” tracks the 60s/70s undercurrents of anarchism as they popped up in the form of popular paperbacks.
Counter-Signals seizes on a double program: to track and document like-minded forms of militant publishing — incomplete and contradictory — in all their historical and technical mediation, and to reflexively elicit its own formal and editorial mutations, abridgments, and excursions in the present tense. While the contents of this first issue have been commissioned without an initiating theme — eschewing the prevailing tendency of contemporary art and design journals — an implicit and after-the-fact interest has emerged, reflexively doubled: the historical militancy of left-oriented publishing, and the inherently militant aesthetic of the medium of print, as it becomes obsolescently figured by a present in which electronic forms of communication have been increasingly overcome by the “total power of capital.”
Counter-Signals #1 is also available, here.