Name of Enterprise: iiii Magazine
Your Names: Jordan Harrison-Twist and Chris Samuel
Can you tell us a little bit about iiii Magazine?:
iiii Magazine is an arts and culture magazine set up by former students of The Royal College of Art. We place no limits on the subject or form of our articles — we have published incisive art criticism; long interviews with writers, comedians, artists, directors; personal essays, memoirs, and love letters to the Moon, bucket hats, Laurel and Hardy, The Carpenters — but one binding principle is that we particularly like original, highly authored pieces with a sense of humour.
Because the two of us struggle to be earnest about our own work, we wanted the website to reflect this and playfully mock itself. We celebrate bits of hidden code, and in the place of smooth, invisible transitions, the site makes it abundantly clear what is actually happening, stripping down the aesthetic to its elemental, functional forms. Hence: (logo) (info) (click) and (hover). Another point was that the published texts are given equal standing on our homepage at any given time — so they shuffle with every refresh, and the reader can even randomise the navigation.
We enjoy a few thousand hits per month; our most popular stories — a feature on the Clapton Ultras and the plight of (now community-owned) Clapton FC; an interview with comedian and serial killer-focused podcaster Rachel Fairburn; and an erotic horror about a stalking by football manager David Moyes — illustrate our commitment to writing about messy culture. Football, comedy, community, we love it.
The three intertwine in our most recent project At the End of the Day — a book we are putting together about football clubs in decline. We are partially funding this venture by selling our fucking cool heritage football (scarf), designed by London’s Studio Hyte to be a football artefact with no crest — so, of course, in accordance with our founding principles, it just says SCARF on it. We are donating proceeds to Stonewall UK, who fight homophobia in and through sport.
The book is coming together nicely, but we are still looking for a few contributions (personal stories from writers not previously published are welcome), that are fixated on the question: what does it mean to a fan when the existence of their football club (so wrapped up in local and national identity, economics and politics) is brought into question? If you’d like to collaborate or fancied a (scarf), get in touch: email@example.com
Is it print/online/both? How often do you add stories?
Primarily online, though we are beginning to utilise the magazine to publish printed publications. In March, we were graced by the wonderful research of a resident editor, Hannah Nussbaum. We are planning a zine for her work on underground publishing and punk practices of 70s and 80s Manchester — texts that were initially published on our website.
Though it’s quite a job deciding what to publish among all the great material we receive, we normally publish a new piece every few days. We have a regular format called ‘The 500’, where we encourage people to send in 500 words or less on a subject that matters to them. Something that inspires them, disgusts them, piques, moves, excites, anything. The idea is to encourage boldness and concision in art writing.
How do you choose the stories?:
We publish articles that stretch our assumptions of what culture can be, so long as they are forged with originality.
Can you mention some of your editorial highlights so far?:
Interviewing the likes of comedians Nish Kumar, Robin Ince, and celebrated film director Tarsem Singh. From an editorial perspective, comedians give you so much insight in so few words. Those we have spoken to have generally been forthcoming about their emotional states, the ways they work with words, their views on the world, and why they do what they do. They are great subjects for interview, with not a hint of pretension.
We also worked with an actor and a composer to put together our Claret & Blue David Moyes stories into a sort of disgusting audiobook. You can find them on our YouTube channel. The two of them, Cameron James Chapman and Ben Smith, are such superb talents, and they have turned our shameful guff into something credible and kind of beautiful.
What does the future of iiii look like?:
Continuing to publish brave and experimental writing, hosting odd events and producing a number of print publications. The website continues to be our main focus and we’d love to hear from your readers, so if you have a piece of writing you’d like to submit please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re also looking for a contributing editor and reporters to help shape future editions, so if you’re looking for editorial experience do get in touch.