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Variant 6 Autumn 1998
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Back to the Old School - John Beagles
Beagles outlines what he perceives as a terminus in contemporary arts fascination with 'the popular'. His focus becomes the pushing of artists such as Tracy Emin and Gillian Wearing as 'the acceptable face of 90s feminism', articulating what might be seen as 'a generational divide' in feminist strategy.
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Hungry Ghosts - Orla Ryan
A review of the exhibition at the Douglas Hyde gallery, Dublin, which presented ten artists exploring ideas surrounding representation and desire. Ultimately, Ryan questions the reductive, highly spiritualist interpretations of the artists' work by the gallery.
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A Means of Mutation - Matthew Fuller
Fuller is part of a group (I/O/D) which has developed the 'web stalker', which he describes in detail here. The 'Stalker' represents the URL and HTML of the web in a very different graphical way. Instead of looking like a page each link is made to resemble a spider's web. The article puts their work in the context of the legal battles involving Microsoft and artists' web pages.
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Sound and Vision - Brian Keeley, Iñigo Gerrido, Lara Celini, Paul Cameron, Gillian Steel, Martha McCulloch
A round table discussion chaired by McCulloch (of Glasgow School of Art's Photography department). Quite a wide range of opinion is put forward here representing: Aberdeen Arts, Café Flicker, Edinburgh Video Access, Glasgow Film and Video Workshop, Castlemilk Video Workshop. The discussion is wide ranging one, principle focus being the difficulties in provision for lens based work in Scotland.
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Dumbocracy - William Clark
The article is in two parts, both based on the conference 'The New Scotland', held in several venues in Glasgow. It exposes the organisers - who purport to be politically independent - as a Labour Party front. The review of the conference exposes the political idiocy surrounding the formation of the Scottish Parliament covering several socio-political topics.
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To the Judges - Ismail Besikci
This is a statement by Besikci to the Judges of the Turkish State Security Court who, because of his writings such as 'Interstate Colony - Kurdistan', have imprisoned him (the latest sentence being for 100 years) since 1971. It deals specifically with the hypocrisy, terrorism and atrocities carried out by the Turkish National Security Council against the Kurds.
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Moving History - Malcolm Dickson, Chris Byrne
This is an e-mail exchange between the two, giving a personal account of the development of video and film in Scotland, looking to how it might evolve in the future.
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Porn into Art - Stewart Home
A short account of the movement of porn stars into the art world and their motives.
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A Quality Film Experience - Marshall Anderson
An in-depth investigative account of the plans to build and operate a touring bus showing films in the Highlands. Anderson unearths a catalogue of disasters and also provides interesting insights into Highland culture.
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In the Eye of the Beholder - John Tozer
A review of the media reaction to Adrian Lynne's recent reworking of Nabakov's Lolita.
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New Media, Old Technology - Dr. Future
ISEA 98 is the target for 'Dr. Future's' scorn. The festival is presented as a victim of fashion and lacking any clear-sighted response to the new technologies.
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Virtual Migrants - Kuljit Chuhan
The title comes from a CD-ROM project which aimed to promote awareness of the case of Bayo Omoyiola who was caught up in attempts to deport him. The article also examines the relationship between art and ideology.
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Unsound Practice - David Thompson
Thompson explores the dire state of music journalism because of the effects of market ideology.
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Uncle Sam's new Labour - Robin Ramsay
A very thorough investigation of the covert links the Labour party have with semi-clandestine organisations such as the British American Project. The essay - which is taken from Ramsay's book 'Prawn Cocktail Party' - outlines the domination of the Labour Party by Atlanticism and the economic forces that make up the UK's foreign policy nexus.
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Tales of the Great Unwashed - Ian Brotherhood
A very creative departure for the ongoing story of the great Unwashed. This is a single person narrative of a Hen Night from hell related by the cleaner of the pub as she finally arrives at work.
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Issue six also contained two pull-out supplements.
The first, from Street Level Photoworks documented the conference 'Tower of Babble' which itself sought to encompass a history of art magazine publishing in the UK. The supplement took the form of three papers given at the conference together with related imagery.
The second, from Hull Time-Based Arts acted as a catalogue for their festival 'ROOT' listing and describing the events.

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Studio Irrational - Pavel Büchler
Büchler outlines the history of samizdat publication of art magazines in his Czech homeland in the 60s and 70s.
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Performance - Simon Herbert
This is a personal account of the history of Performance magazine which charted the rebirth of interest in Performance art and video in the 80s.
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Aspects of Art Criticism - Peter Suchin
Suchin explodes some popular misconceptions surrounding the role of the art critic.
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