Modern Matter is a contemporary art & culture biannual from the United Kingdom.
From Olu Odukoya, about the issue: "We skipped 2020. It was a strange moment in time, and so we sought to respond to that. Not by hastening to produce as we have produced before, but by listening to this new rhythm. Modern Matter’s 18th Issue is an audio-visual time capsule, a reflective diary of the year that has passed us by, and that has underlined the need to listen, love and communicate. We have taken the format of a magazine, but as a shell to encase something that steps beyond this, using it as a new way to communicate. Across 160 pages and an accompanying LP, the issue presents interviews and features with leading artists, including Formafantasma’s Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, Tom Burr, Rebecca Ackroyd and Alexandre da Cunha, and Chris Burden, among others. It includes a series of transcriptions of conversations from the lockdown, otherwise lost to time, including with Kerry James Marshall, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Vandana Shiva. The accompanying LP to It’s Time to Listen is a guide and tour of the issue. It is a translation of contemporary times. Side A introduces and illustrates the many conversations and essays that have unfolded during this temporal passage. Side B presents a curated selection of shows from the past year, stilling them as illustrations of our contemporary world, alongside a sound performance and tribute to the late James Baldwin by Editor Olu Odukoya, as he repeatedly counts up the seconds in a minute, demonstrating the constant degradation – and play – of time.
The purpose of the magazine has changed; it once moved coextensively with the seasons of fashion, and reviews of exhibitions from the greats and the up-and-coming, but it now seems to have hightailed to something beyond this. We must change, too – we will no longer only record art, but engage in the creation of it, because that is how we can be useful. A curatorial platform built from sound, text and image, allowing the audience to engage fully their senses: to touch, listen and feel. From the LP to the QR code, we have worked with various services to project into the world meditations on time, filtered through the voices of some of the most interesting artists, designers and figures of the modern zeitgeist, and available for download or streaming on all music platforms."