“One Question” with Proximity Art Magazine


Proximity is a Chicago-based magazine dedicated to contemporary art and culture. Our mission is to amplify discourse on local and global art ecologies. We hope to serve as a map — of artists, collectives and alternative spaces, as well as commercial galleries, museums and universities — connecting and cultivating sustainable creative communities. Proximity is co-published by Ed Marszewski.

Neoteric Art: What are some of your long term goals for Proximity?

Ed Marszewski: We’ve been publishing Proximity for a year now, and we are very happy with the response the magazine has generated in various communities and networks, throughout Chicago and across the ponds. This general good vibe, praise and criticism included, is a reflection of the tremendous effort made by our staff and contributors towards adding something useful to the mediascape of our city.

I would attribute the success of Proximity to our team. Mairead Case is an awesome Managing Editor, Michael Freimuth is an award-winning Art Director, Chad Kouri is a very accomplished Designer, and we have a great web strategy being developed by Ian Whitmore. Add these guys together with some of the best people in town, and it’s hard not to make a great publication.

However, the experience of working with our friends, peers, and networks has shown us that our city still needs more outlets for expressing the diversity of amazing cultural activity going on right under our noses.

So we are trying to figure out how to do that with this publication and the other projects that Public Media Institute organizes and sponsors.

In the short term, Proximity would like to find more subscribers and distribution points around the globe, so people can discover it by accident or intention. Also, we are going to use Proximity as a hub for spinning off more publications and projects.

Our current goals include the creation of an additional mini-publication. A supplement to Proximity Magazine. We felt that since Proximity only comes out three times a year, we need to provide more timely reviews and previews of shows. This will be something we put out in between issues of Proximity. We’ll call it Pr. Its content will be mirrored on our website.

Also coming in the near future is another print project. We are launching the first of many (we hope) guides to art and culture in under-represented cities all over the world. This spring we will launch, in conjunction with issue #004 of Proximity, a new publication called (Con)Temporary Art Guide.

The point of the Guide is to create a snapshot of the activities and resources converging during the annual art fair season in Chicago. We feel that the Guide will be a nice contribution to promoting the cultural activity of this city to an international audience. It will also fulfill one of our missions, supporting local artists, institutions, spaces, and groups.

Lastly, in conjunction with Michael Freimuth, we are starting Materiél. Materiél is a large format broadsheet magazine that features illustrations, photography, and design work by cultural workers from around the world. Each contribution will be displayed as a 37 x 22 inch spread on newsprint. It should be pretty rad. Materiél is supposed to be released in late February or March.

All of these sister projects will be the cherry on the top of the Proximity cupcake.

In the long term, our goals are similar to other publishing entities. We want to make the publication top-notch and to improve it however we can. We want to remain focused on the communities that we serve, unearth new developments in the arts, and just keep expanding the distribution and reach of the mag.

We want the website to be an excellent resource for up-to-date information about what is going on in Chicago and elsewhere. The site will feature on-line only content in the form of reviews, interviews, studio visits, opening night reports, and work that generally complements (or expands on) the print version.

In the end we are gonna need a little help with all this. So to subscribe, visit www.proximitymagazine.com.