Stack Magazines is a subscription based service that aims to increase awareness of all the incredible independent magazines from all corners of the globe. In signing up for a subscription, readers are never sure of what they'll receive until the selected magazine comes through the mail. It sounds a risky concept, but I can tell Steve, the director, and his team are deeply passionate about the best quality magazines; whether it derives from spectacular editorial content or magazines which stretch the limits of print publishing.
The magazine that arrived this month fits the latter description. The Exposed is based in Copenhagen but takes contributions from all over the world. The unique thing about this magazine is that, upon first impressions, you may be inclined to question whether it is a magazine at all. Aside from the editor's letter, it contains very minimal text (the only text used is for the purpose of article titles and captains). 'Reading' The Exposed is unlike any other magazine related experience I have encountered. As seen in the Vimeo clip, readers engage with stories through video and audio, all made possible through the magazine's app.
It's the closest thing (that I know of) to the interactive print publications more likely found in magical realms (ie. The Daily Prophet in Harry Potter). But while this may imply gimmickry, The Exposed avoids it entirely. The use of video and audio to tell stories is not just quirky experimentation. Rather, the articles are carefully composed. Breaks between each image and video/audio accompaniment allow for deeper contemplation. As Steven notes, The Exposed is something like an 'embellished podcast', a 'gallery installation' or even a guided tour of cities and museums which situate participants into the cultural landscapes behind the stories. The accompaniment of visual and aural media with images stimulates highly immersive experiences. Two pieces which stood out to me were 'People of Pattern', which explores the intrinsic link between textiles and humanity, and 'Besides Faith', an examination of religious goods, clothing, iconography and the lucrative business behind them.
Stack has set the bar high with their first magazine of 2017. The Exposed is an exciting and innovative example of what the future of print and digital media holds. It is certainly comforting to know that the advance of digital media does not necessarily signal the death of print. If anything, The Exposed proves they can not only coexist, but also collaborate with one another, without sacrificing the credibility and importance of either medium.