"The best way to predict the future is to create it" – Peter Drucker.
LookUp (working title)’s philosophy centres around the idea of sustainability. In environmental terms, sustainability means using the resources of today while ensuring not to detract from the needs of the future. LookUp extends the use of the word sustainability by applying it to any world issue. For example, sustainability as applied to consumerism may allude to the idea that the contemporary society is not balancing its need for material wealth with a seemingly forgotten need for the happiness within. LookUp is about reclaiming the true essence of design: creating an object that solves a problem or rectifies a societal need; a feature that can be said is missing from much contemporary design, especially in fashion.
LookUp provides what no other fashion/ lifestyle magazine provides: a second dimension. LookUp does not aim to sell garments, epitomise the beauty of the latest fashion styles, or convey the latest celebrity intrigue, to the public. LookUp combines the love of amateur craft such as Frankie, the environmental concerns of Peppermint, the parody of Adbusters, the format subversion of Is Not Magazine, the satire of Zoolander, I Hurt I am in Fashion and the Onion, and the Utopian future ideas in Kelli Anderson and the Yes Men’s hoax New York Times in 2008.
In contrast to the Fashion/ Lifestyle magazines of today whose Target Market is always a fairly specific age group and gender, LookUp prefers to look beyond age and other less meaningful demographics and reaches out more to a group of people who share in the philosophy that the only thing standing between the world we have and the world that could be is the dream of making it so. LookUp embodies the quote of Peter Drucker, a creation aspiring to be future by design.
The objective through the definition of LookUp’s philosophy is to reach out to a society which is not always aiming to attain a sustainable future. Through its target market, it endeavours to encourage critical thought and activism and, through consumer demand, eventually force creative business to change its own philosophies.
LookUp will achieve its objectives through a series of creative endeavours and collaborations that seek to encourage critical thought and provide visions of the world we could have. The content will be intellectual and largely based on theory, and many parts will involve the technique of satire. Imagery will be largely artistic and conceptual, while written pieces will be closer to literary works, rather than journalism. Advertisements will be exclusively hoax ads/ spoof ads/ or serious ads only from business/ companies who parallel LookUp’s vision. The publication will include basic things one might expect to find in a magazine such as horoscopes and crosswords, however these will be deconstructed either through parody, or changing their essential uses. LookUp will also include photography and art that returns to its most basic forms: displaying the beauty of raw practice and creative talent, as well as showcasing the older practices of lithographic printing.
LookUp is not just a “magazine”, it is also about confronting the very definition of “magazine”. It publishes two poster magazines as street art each year with the aim of encouraging user input on the theme, running alongside its online forum, all of which is documented and included in the annual publication. LookUp ensures its practices adhere to its own philosophy including fair trade, use of sustainable resources, and encompassing forgotten practices of printing by its relations with the Big Fag Press team.
The theme of Issue 1 is Fashion, specifically looking at psychological sustainability with regards to self-image, and how this is situated in the realms of body image issues, practice within fashion systems, the ideal body and self esteem.
It draws on Plato’s theory of forms which looks at the concept of a perfect form that exists outside of reality. (Plato Symposium 210E) For example beauty has a perfect form that we aspire to. The fashion industry constantly provides us with a fantasy world through catwalks, advertising, and imagery, and I am concerned with society’s lack of ability to critically separate this fantasy from reality (Franklin 2010).
LookUp’s philosophy aims to create a fantasy of its own, which is a world that operates prioritising what ethically and morally would make a better world. This issue is therefore aimed at consumers of fashion with the capacity to critically analyse the difference between reality and fashion’s ideal form as well as change consumer demand and ultimately reach the fashion industry in order to instigate practices which fit within LookUp’s better world.
LookUp is not-for-profit, independently published, and relies on grants through promotion of charity organisations. LookUp publishes limited edition copies of its magazine and Street Art Posters, which can be purchased online. Money from sales pays for printing, and splits the rest among contributors.