Dimming the Lights and Locking Up at Coilhouse


Illustration by Star St. Germain. (Larger version here.)

Five years ago, we launched Coilhouse Magazine + Blog: A Love Letter to Alternative Culture.

Six beautiful issues, two grand soirees, and thousands of blog posts later, we’re dimming the lights and locking up. Coilhouse is going on hiatus. Which is not to say that Coilhouse is ending. Quite the contrary, as you can see! There’s no wrecking ball, here. Only a shedding of skin.

We can’t tell you what exactly is coming next, or when; we just know we have no intention of quitting. Potential directions that Coilhouse may move in somewhere down the line: books, apps, limited edition print/art objects, video, fashion collaborations. Smaller, more manageable one-shot projects that don’t break our backs. But first, we will have to re-strategize our business and production plans. Nothing is set in stone at the moment because, simply put, we need a break. We need to rest.

In its current form, Coilhouse is not financially solvent. The tireless and all-too-often selfless efforts of our incredible staff and contributors, in tandem with the generous support of readers and small-business advertisers, enabled Coilhouse to come this far. No small feat, is it? However, the business never had the chance to fully stabilize in such a way that it could remain sustainable long term.  For a time, it can feel okay to pour every waking moment into a labor of love, but after a while –five full years, in this case– that sustained effort can take a massive toll on both one’s body and one’s bank account. Repeating for emphasis, with astonished glee: five full years. That’s a whole lotta love, a whole lotta labor. And no regrets. But it’s time to step away for a while.

Health issues have also played a big role in our decision to put things on hiatus. Between early 2011 and now, Nadya has lost a huge portion of her eyesight due to a combination of glaucoma and several eye surgery complications. Understandably, that’s made it difficult for her to keep up with blogging, putting together the print magazine, and developing Coilhouse as a business. Mer, too, has struggled to keep all of the magazine’s and blog’s editorial fires lit in the midst of dealing with a series of financial setbacks and significant health issues.

This hasn’t been an easy decision for us to come to. We love doing this so much. We don’t want to disappoint anyone. For those two reasons, we’ve stuck it out for many moons by leaning on each other and our respective families a whole lot. But it’s far beyond time for both of us to take a step back, and regroup.

When we started writing this love letter over half a decade ago, we could not yet conceive of the humbling and inspiring amount of support that Coilhouse would receive. In our first few months, what kept us motivated were the thoughtful, hilarious, vulnerable, and insightful comments on our blog. Thank you, readers, for keeping us going. That was all you. As we hit our stride, in addition to this lively discussion, we were gifted with artistic contributions, valiant volunteer efforts, generous ad buys, and kind words of encouragement from friends. Beloved contributors, advertisers, interns, volunteers, editors, and patrons – Coilhouse wouldn’t exist without you, and it’s an honor to know each and every one of the kindred spirits who have come together to participate in this project. Thank you.

So. To reiterate, the magazine is done, the blog is going into cryogenic freeze… but! This is not the end. As you can see, we’ve cleaned up and redecorated the place to mark this moment in Coilhouse’s continuing evolution. Illustrated by the talented Stuntkid, co-designed by Nadya and Star St. Germain, the new site is a bright and colorful joygasm of some of the strange, beautiful ephemera that we’ve obsessed over together with all of you. We’ve also reorganized the categories, added a “search” feature, and put together a page of our favorite blog posts from over the years.

Have fun exploring those Featured Articles, and be sure to take a look at our newly updated Staff Page, now brimming with dozens of wonderful, dearly loved faces, and hundreds of contributor names. (If you’re a contributor and your name is missing, please just let us know and we’ll add you in immediately.)

To offset the costs of keeping the site up and its massive archive accessible, we’re offering one final round of merch: a limited-run set of Love Letter stationery and stickers, designed by Dorothy Schmidt, featuring Stuntkid’s new Coilhouse art. Half the proceeds will go directly to Stuntkid for crafting these beautiful illustrations, the other half will help us continue paying for web hosting, keeping our Flickr photostream accessible, renewing our domain name, and other random costs. Additionally, there are still printed issues of Issue 06 available for sale, and a small number of Molly Crabapple’s beautiful prints. All these items can be found in our shop.

On a personal level, the future is uncertain and exciting for both of us. Nadya is learning to see the world in a whole new way – literally – and for the first time in her adult life, she finds herself with no future projects. She’s embracing this state of flux, and feeling inspired to turn over a new leaf. Mer, having finally taken the plunge after two decades of being too timid to present herself as more than a session/backup musician, will soon be shooing her own music –both solo and co-produced– out into the world. She’s also eyeing up a potential Coilhouse community-oriented book project, to be undertaken in late 2013. In the meantime, she’ll be working on a couple different DIY projects down in New Zealand.

You can keep in touch with us here:

Nadya Lev – Twitter, New Website/Blog
Meredith Yayanos - Twitter, SoundcloudTumblrKickstarter

If you’d like to keep tabs on what Coilhouse is doing, please sign up for our mailing list. You can also stay subscribed to the RSS feed, join our Facebook group (we’ll both be keeping an eye on it), and follow us on Twitter. Also, we’d love to hear from you in response to this post! It’s been a while since we all introduced ourselves in the comments thread. Any old-timers still here? Who’s new? What are you all up to, these days? Tell us your story. Link us to your projects. We want know all about them, and all about you. We’d love to keep in touch.

We’d like to conclude this chapter of Coilhouse by offering up one final token of affection to our community, on behalf of the entire core staff, past and present. Since we have no plans to reprint our back issues, we’ve decided to release them as free, high resolution PDFs. You can download the PDFs at the Magazine Page.

Cherished Coilhouse comrades, thank you again, all of you, for your incredible support and kinship. There are no words to adequately express our gratitude.

Nadya & Mer

November 21st, 2012

On Sale Now: Limited Quantity of Issue 05s, Plus "Making Of" Goodies For All!

Note: This issue has been sold out. Thank you!

Joy and surprise! Recently, we unearthed a long-lost box of Issue 05s we didn’t even know we had. We’ve put them up for sale in our online shop. To promote the sale, we’ve also thrown together this HTML page with an assortment of free “Making Of” goodies that everyone is welcome to check out. Enjoy!

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It’s been a lot of fun, taking a trip back to 2010. From the Coilhouse vaults:

This is a paper proof of an alternate cover concept for Issue 05, featuring all-holographic foil. We worked with two companies and logged many hours in conference calls to try and make this happen, but ultimately decided to go with a holographic effect that was more subtle in order to preserve the original photo’s vibrant background. Ah, well! One of those “live and learn” scenarios, and a fun experiment in the evolution of Issue 05.

There were many such experiments. These Dorian Gray images, for example, went through tons of iterations: different backgrounds, multiple stages of Photoshop, etc. And photographer Allan Amato’s simultaneous Dorian Gray/Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman shoot was, itself, a pretty boisterous experiment! From beginning to end, the process of putting those two features together involved, quite literally, thousands of emails and phone calls between roughly two dozen collaborators. The “Issue 05 Making Of” page includes behind-the-scenes Dorian Gray snapshots, as well as several gorgeous photos of Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman that we didn’t have room for in the magazine.  There’s also a zip file of a high resolution file of Mildred Von’s paper doll, so you can print out and embellish your very own giant Dick Cheney! (Oh boy! Just what you’ve always wanted!)

So, to reiterate: there’s an unexpected windfall of Issue 05s briefly available in our shop. There are 43 copies available. Buy ‘em now before they’re gone forever. Also, this seems like a good time to remind everyone that we still have Issue 06s available in the shop. GET SOME.

Last Batch of Coilhouse 05 On Sale Tomorrow!

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Did you miss out on Coilhouse Issue 05: Let All the Children Boogie? (It’s not surprising… the print version of Issue 05 sold out in a record time of three weeks.) If so, we’ve got great news for you!

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be selling the last remaining batch of Issue 05′s in our shop. We have a very limited quantity of mint-condition copies from the original print run, and we’re putting them on sale to make room for more boxes of Issue 06 and other upcoming goodies.

The brightest, most colorful issue of them all! Featuring a gorgeous tribute to Grace Jones on the cover, holographic gold foil, two prints from the issue’s Dorian Gray-themed shoot, and a giant fold-out poster, it included interviews with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer, Clive Barker, Chet Zar, Zoe Keating, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, and Chris Conn Askew. There was a tribute to fashion designer Tiffa Novoa, a richly-researched article on Chinese pulp fiction by Jess Nevins, a charming memoir of adolescent geekhood by Wil Wheaton, striking photography by Ali Mahdavi, paper dolls drawn by Mother of London creator Mildred Von, and much more. Check out a full preview of the issue.

Check back tomorrow for Issue 05!

Why Coilhouse Is Going Dark

Effective immediately, we’ll be shutting down until midnight tomorrow to protest two pieces of blacklist legislation - PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House.

Over the weekend, we saw several victories against the bills.  The Obama administration came out against the DNS blocking in response to the anti-SOPA petition.  SOPA author and notorious copyright infringer Rep. Lamar Smith stated on Friday that DNS blocking would be struck from the bill.  The Internet may have won these battles, but the war is far from over. Despite earlier reports that SOPA was “shelved” (or, as some might say “indefinitely detained”) over the weekend, Lamar Smith announced today that SOPA markup would resume next month.

SOPA has not gone away. PIPA is still up for a vote on January 24th. It’s time to make our voices heard. Coilhouse will be standing with Wikipedia, the EFF, BoingBoing, Reddit, and sites all over the world.

Coilhouse (and countless other publishers, businesses, and activists) could never thrive in a world where SOPA and PIPA were considered reasonable. We oppose the concept of the MPAA (or any corporate sponsor, for that matter) actually writing legislation. We oppose a room full of politicians who don’t understand how the Internet works making vital judgements about its future.

Some relevant quotes:

“If the ████ SOPA [and PIPA] bill passes, ████████████ we’re all kind of ████ed.” – Marina Galperina

“I’m not by any means an enemy of intellectual property, and in fact keep a roof over my head because the conceptexists. But I think that SOPA as it stands now, or as it stood beforethey paused to think about it, is extremely ill thought out, and abasically crazily Draconian piece of legislation.” – William Gibson

“Our freedom is more important than your dying industry. Period.” – @mikeestee

“It doesn’t get much better than working from a war room dedicated to shutting down Wikipedia.” – overheard by @sfslim at the offices of Wikipedia

“These bills were written by the content industry without any input from the technology industry. And they are trying to fast track them through Congress and into law without any negotiation with the technology industry.” - Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures)

“When ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled and people constrained in their choices, the Internet is diminished for all of us. There isn’t an economic Internet and a social Internet and a political Internet. There’s just the Internet.” – Hillary Clinton

“The potential for abuse of power through digital networks – upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics – is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age … This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech.” - Rebecca MacKinnon (New York Times)

“We’re furthering our corporate interest by taking down our website + ads, to stop a law that the MPAA says can’t harm us.” - Rob Beschizza in response to MPAA butthurt

When was the last time you saw “The Internet” agree about something? It’s beautiful. Thanks, #SOPA! - @raindrift

Intellectual property theft is a problem for artists, and additional safeguards may be needed. As avant-cellist Zoe Keating tweeted earlier today, “I’m against #SOPA, but meanwhile I’m issuing a 7th, ineffective & useless DMCA against @grooveshark. #devilinthedetails” (Grooveshark is notorious among music streaming sites for refusing to pay artists their fair share.) There are no easy solutions. Whether it’s collaboratively fine-tuning the OPEN Act (and it turns out that Rep. Zoe Lofgren, one of the act’s sponsors and SOPA’s biggest opponents, actually listens to feedback) or working out some other method of protest (perhaps a huge internet campaign to educate fans on which sites most fairly compensate the artists they love?), we can work together to construct an Internet where innovation can thrive and artists can fairly profit their work.

SOPA and PIPA cannot pass. The stats are scary: we currently have only 6 Senators opposing PIPA, and we need 40. Only 12 House Members oppose SOPA, and we need 214.

Get involved. Some tips from Congressman Jared Polis and the EFF:

  1. Show up at a town hall or talk to them in person, check their schedule with their office.
  2. Call your Senators and Representative and tell them to oppose Protect-IP and SOPA, respectively.  Click here for some suggested talking points. Then tell your friends about the call on social media sites.
  3. Contact Congress through EFF’s action center.  Customize your letter to explain who you are and why you are worried about this bill. If you’re outside the United States, try this petition from Fight for the Future instead.
  4. Are you an artist? Showcase the dangers of censorship through art and music, and use your art as a way of reaching people who might otherwise not know about this issue. You can make stickers, posters or patches, create a YouTube video, or hold an open-mic night around censorship.
  5. Write a blog post about the blacklist bills.  Whether it’s a candid explanation of why you oppose the legislation, a discussion of the effect on human rights, or a call to filmmakersto protest the blacklist, there are plenty of things to say about this scary legislation. Help us get the word out by writing articles on your own blog, your school blog, or on blogs that take guest contributors.
  6. If you work for a tech company, approach the leadership at your company and explain to them your concerns. Urge them to join you in speaking out. These companies (PDF) already took a stand.
  7. More tips available from The EFF.

Together, we will defeat this.

Happy Nyan Year!

Coilhouse Magazine + Blog wishes all of you an inspiring, creative, compassionate, exhilarating, loving, and giggle-filled 2012.

Adieu, Comrades (A Farewell from Zoetica)

It’s been a fun-filled, illuminating, topsy-turvy rocket ride, but over four incredible years since we launched Coilhouse, the time has come for me to move on. The need to focus on creating versus curating has been nagging at me for the duration of this endeavor, first softly and then louder, until it grew into a din which could no longer be ignored. And why should it? It’s been an amazing four years and six issues – years and issues I’ll always be proud of, especially now that our fated Constructivist installment is out in the world. Listing all my fond Coil-memories would take ages, but here are a few that immediately stand out:

  • The fateful meeting of The Three at SDCC 2007, while I was posing for Dr. Sketchy’s
  • Brainstorming nights at Nova Express [RIP] and celebrating at The Edison
  • Me wheat-pasting Coilposters all over LA under the cover of night
  • Cracking open the first box of fresh Issue 01s
  • Sticking home-made Coilhouse labels to bottles of two-buck-chuck at our launch party after taking a dive from my roof onto my balcony to make it there in time
  • Climbing over the velvet rope at The Edison with Nadya to assail Ron Moore for an interview
  • Wandering through Clive Barker’s home studio with my husband and Coilhouse contributor, Ales Kot, and plopping into his canopy bed overlooking a blooming hillside
  • Over-caffeinated red-penning of massive Kinko’s printouts before going to print
  • Merch design marathons
  • Three-hour conference calls devolving into fits of cackling and fart jokes
  • Receiving LA’s Best Design Aesthetic award with Courtney Riot
  • Grant and Kristan Morrison’s photo shoot with Allan Amato for Issue 04, which resulted in a beautiful friendship
  • Tea and Cookies with Coilhouse over at Whitechapel
  • At the risk of death by pigeon poop, exploring a beautiful crumbling Downtown building with Andrew Yoon for our Issue 05 Shoes shoot
  • Carpal tunnel-y signing of I-don’t-know-how-many issues of #05 on our Circulation Director’s floor
  • Hours upon hours of fevered Googlemancery, always

In addition to being an immensely emotionally rewarding experience, the Coilventure was an invaluable learning experience of everything from the thorny path of publishing to the intricacies of collaboration. I’m leaving a different person than when we began, with vastly expanded horizons, vocabulary and skill-set, for which I’m grateful. And while we’re on the topic of appreciation, I want to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the entire Coilhouse family – my co-editors, our brilliant design team, our steadfast interns, our dedicated ad manager, our circulation director, our numerous, generous friends and the entire Coilhouse readership for their encouragement, insight, contributions and when need be, honest critique. Your support through this experience means more than I can express.

As for The Future, it’s open wide. I recently returned from the Amazon jungle, where I taught an art workshop and created a mural at a school. Now I’m weighing options, regrouping, and, much to my heart’s relief and gratitude, finally working on a new series of paintings dedicated to beastly flora.

So that, as they say, is that. I wish Mer and Nadya the best of luck in keeping the Coilship a-chuggin’ while I board a rocket of my own and zoom into uncharted worlds. See you all in space and/or the future!

All my love,

Zo

Again and Always, Love on Ya, Lev.


Nadya Lev, by SFSLIM.

I cherish this photo of Nadya. It was taken a couple of months ago, waaaaay out in the middle of Bumblefuck Nowhere, by Coilhouse’s dear friend (and Ball emcee!) Aaron “Slim” Muszalski. It’s an incredible image: mysterious and lovely and strong, melancholy and elegant and battle-worn and full of promise, all at the same time. When I look at it, it’s easy for me to imagine that Nadya is gazing resolutely forward, beyond her immediate obstacles, into a great, wide open future. She is 29 today.

Happy birthday, my dear friend and comrade! We all hope you’ll enjoy the amazing virtual mixtapes listed below. These were made by several readers and friends of Coilhouse Magazine + Blog in honor of your special day, and to express gratitude to you, because this wonderful space, this publication, and this community, would not exist without you.

Let’s keep the music playing, shall we?

xoxoxox.

LEV NEEDS MUSIC.


Photo ganked from theocmd.

Nadya, you’re not reading this, are you?

DON’T LOOK. You go ‘way now.

 

DOOD SRSLY. AVERT THINE EYES.

 

Gawdangit, are you still reading this?

 

 

 

 

Ooo, look! An animated cat gif!

 

Got Your Copy of Coilhouse? Three Important Notes!

Guys, thank you so much to all of you who have ordered Coilhouse Issue 06 in the past day. It has been an emotional day for us, watching this issue sail out into the world. It’s been great to watch the list of orders and recognize the names of friends and long-time readers. You guys are awesome.

A few of points of order:

1) Make sure the shipping name and address is valid and dependable and let us know immediately if it needs to be corrected.

2) Kindly keep in mind – due to high volume orders, delivery time can be 1-3 weeks (or up to 4 weeks for international) from date of purchase so there may be a delay. We normally get them out much faster, but during that first wave of sales, things can get a little backed-up. If you do not receive your order within the aforementioned time slot for your location, PLEASE contact us with your PayPal confirmation email right away. We’ll sort you out!

3) Everyone who ordered a copy of Issue 06 will shortly be receiving some electronic goodies: a beautiful video of Rachel Brice dancing (to be blogged-about shortly!), a custom origami folding pattern crafted by Robert Lang, and artistic photos from the Kathleen Hanna archive at the Fales Library. Those will come through to your inbox tonight (tomorow morning – sorry technical difficulties!). Apologies for the delay! Starting tomorrow, all new customers will get a link to these items automatically. [EDIT, Nov 6th, 2011: We're still working out those automation kinks! Meanwhile, rest assured you will receive an emailed link to your bonus content shortly. Sorry for the delay, and thanks so much for your patience.]

[EDIT, Nov 6th, 2011: It works now! Yay! Everyone should have gotten a link to their bonus content, and new customers will get their link instantaneously from now on. Let us know if you have any issues. Thanks again for your patience!]

Coilhouse Issue 06: Oblique Stratosphere

Well, smack our heinies as we howl, folks, because after the most agonizingly laborious year imaginable, our beloved, beleaguered Coilbaby, print magazine Issue SixSixSix, has finally been born! It is now available in our shop. Big ups to everyone who helped ensure that this remarkable Lithopedion progeny of ours could finally come to pass, so to speak.

Join the black and white and red parade as we march through an angular Constructivist/Futurist/Expressionist landscape where originality and oddity rule.  There are interviews with the ultra well-known and loved, and with the scrumptiously subterranean. There are (literally) sharp and edgy fashion editorials; there’s a never-before-published Bauhuas-era play; there are origami revelations. You’ll view tons of exclusive, made-just-for-the-magazine content contributed by all manner of wondrous human beings. At 113 pages, Issue 06 is substantially longer, bigger and thicker (hurr!) than any previous incarnation of the print mag. Let’s take another look at that die-cut cover, designed by our brilliant art star, Coilhouse Creative Director Courtney Riot:

The design of this issue was heavily influenced by Constructivism, Bauhaus, and De Stijl. We carefully researched the work of Piet Zwart, Jan Tschichold, and El Lissitzky in order to give Issue 06 its distinct look. We were especially inspired, in places, by Merz Magazine, published between 1923 and 1932 in Germany.

With Issue 06 being our biggest to date, it was a good time to bring aboard a talented new designer to help out. Please welcome Coilhouse Art Director Paulina Macfarland! Paulina is a designer, artist, LGBTQ activist, and a magazine publisher in her own right. She and Courtney divided up the articles evenly, working closely together to produce our most complex issue yet.

You can already find “Oblique Stratosphere” in select stores across North America, where it’s selling for $12.99 on the rack. (We’ll post a comprehensive list of locations ASAP.) And as of this afternoon, while supplies last, you can buy it directly through our store. (We especially encourage our international readers to purchase in this way; even with the shipping cost, that’s still cheaper than those crazy overseas store mark-ups.) Just remember, our online stock is relatively small and issues always sell out, so don’t delay. Once again, we’re keeping the $15 price tag on all copies sold online. As with our previous issue, those who order #06 through the web store will get additional bang for their extra bucks – download codes to archival riot grrrl materials from Kathleen Hanna’s personal collection, an exclusive Coilhouse-presented/Purebred-produced music video featuring the world-renowned belly dancer, Rachel Brice, and one-of-a-kind DIY schematics by origami artist Robert Lang. When you order through the site, access to these additional goods will be delivered to your PayPal email addy within 24 hours of ordering. Additionally, while supplies last, our readers will have option to buy into the following deluxe package:


Coilhouse Issue 06 + Molly Crabapple’s Commemorative Coilhouse Birthday Serigraph: $75

It was our 4th birthday last August, and we were in the midst of a fundraising frenzy when our dear friend Molly Crabapple offered up this scintillating serigraph to aid our efforts. It was designed to dovetail aesthetically with our Black & White & Red All Over Ball, the theme of which, in turn, was directly inspired by the palette of Issue 06. We currently have 20 of these incredible collector’s items left in stock. They compliment Issue 06 perfectly. Molly Crabapple’s Commemorative Coilhouse Birthday Serigraph is 19″ x 25″, printed in matte red and semi-gloss black ink onto smooth 100+ paper stock from the deliciously-designed French Paper, with a thick border of white paper to frame the print. It’s a super high quality product with a tiny edition size, and we’re now offering it together with Issue 06 at an astoundingly low price. For those of you who can afford to, and are moved to, here is a wonderful opportunity to support our labor of love a wee bit extra, and receive a loving memento in return.

For so many of us, this has been a long, tough year… and it ain’t over ’til the Klaus Nomi sings. Thanks so much for bearing with us, comrades. Thank you for continuing to support this passionate, playful love letter to alternative culture. Thanks for taking part with us in sustaining what has become a global community of deeply creative and kindhearted kindred spirits. We hope you like Issue 06, that it was worth the wait, and that our next offering won’t be nearly so long in the making.

We salute you.


INFORM illustration by Zoetica Ebb
As with previous issues, Coilhouse 06 is divided into three sections: INFORM, INSPIRE and INFECT. For each section, Zoetica created original art inspired by the main themes of this issue. The graceful INFORM illustration features a sharp female robot who may very well be a cousin of Maria from Metropolis.


Blixa Bargeld
On the Outer Edges of Sense
A leather-clad prophet of the apocalypse, a cosmopolitan polymath, and an experimental music veteran whose infamous shriek has been compared by friend and colleague Nick Cave to “the sound of strangled cats and dying children,” Blixa Bargeld is being heard across two continents this fall, as his Berlin-based industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten celebrates their thirtieth anniversary as a band with a tour. Back in the 80s, E.N. used to set the stage on fire (literally), drill holes in walls and floors of the venues they played in, and maneuver burning oil and shopping carts to create a musical frame for their ferocious urban rituals. These days, complex structures built of metal barrels and jet turbines become sophisticated musical instruments rather than machines of doom. Earlier this year, Bargeld graciously granted Coilhouse correspondent Olga Drenda an in-depth interview. The article is illustrated with several stunning original drawings by Paul Komoda.


Transformers
Eva Nyiri / Clayton James Cubitt / Flaviana Matata

Inspired by “ancient samurai armor and today’s shiny Transformer-type robots,” Eva Nyiri crafted the Transformers collection with a primary goal: rethinking the traditional woman’s jacket. Brooklyn, Budapest, and the Shinyanga region of Tanzania collide in this collaboration between Nyiri, photographer Clayton James Cubitt, model Flaviana Matata, and makeup artist Katie Wedlund.


El Lissitzky
Naughty Squares, Musuem Maps, and Commie Propaganda ; A Looming Pedagogical Portrait
1920s Soviet artist El Lissitzky has been with Coilhouse since the very beginning.  Samples from his famous self-portrait, The Constructor, serve as the page background for this site.  The art movement that Lissitzky was involved in, Constructivism, greatly influenced every aspect of this issue. In this article, artist/performer Lucas Lanthier presents an informative biography, imagining a fanciful exhibit to illustrate the scope of Lissitzky’s work, and treating readers to lessons learned from the life and work of the artist in a cheeky propaganda slogan format.


Kathleen Hanna
Don’t You Stop, We Won’t Stop
Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill is considered one of the founders of the riot grrrl movement. She recently donated her archive (early ‘zines, hand-written lyrics, guitar tabs, contact sheets, and artwork) to the Fales archive in New York. Coilhouse was granted unprecedented access to Hanna’s archive, various facets of which are presented in this article in a frenetic collage format. Kathleen sat down with journalist Christina Kelly - best known for her acclaimed editorial role at Sassy, the legendary ‘90s teen magazine – to discuss music, feminism, and personal history.


Klaus Nomi
He Came From Outer Space to Save the Human Race

A tenderhearted open intergalactic letter penned to and about the iconic, eccentric, and tragically short-lived singer Klaus Nomi. Written by Meredith Yayanos and featuring the puppet-like pattern collage art of Hormazd Narielwalla, with auxiliary graphic design by Julia LePetit.


INFORM illustration by Zoetica Ebb
Zo’s robust INSPIRE illustration takes a cue from Soviet propaganda art, features a goggled revolutionary, cheerfully wielding a giant hammer.


Primary Constructs
Fashion Editorial by Helen White, Amelia Arsenic, Zoog

Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky: three artists who shaped the art world of the 1920s and ’30s. With a style that exalted geometry and venerated structure, they were at the forefront of the Constructivist, Suprematist, De Stijl, and Bauhaus movements. In this tribute editorial, Australian photographer Helen White worked with industrial music duo Angelspit’s Amelia Arsenic and ZooG to create a microcosm bursting with exuberant primary colors and bold shapes. What began as a one-off promotional shoot for Angelspit developed into a narrative wherein fearless latex and origami super-heroines defend their paper universe, ready to take on any challenge that comes into view.


Paul Pope
Reinventing the Wheel
Comics creator Paul Pope reinvented the Batman mythos with a fierce cyberpunk critique of dystopian society in Batman: Year 100,  and his speculative fiction epic, 100%, quickly became known as a modern masterwork. He has collaborated with the fashion brands Diesel and DKNY. His sporadically released sci-fi adventure story, THB, first published in 1995, continues to evolve and to astound. The 2007 PulpHope retrospective monograph covers every aspect of his work so far; intriguing women, strange machines, enigmatic castaways, and sprawling metropolitan vistas merge into a mystifying art colossus. Late last year, Pope hung out in a NYC bar with writer Ales Kot and a bottle of wine to discuss, among other things, art, music, empathy, and dreams.


Rachel Brice
Time Is On Her Side

Although she’s one of the most accomplished and well-traveled performers in her field, Rachel Brice describes herself simply: “I belly dance. I collect old junk. I am in love.” Aficionados have nicknamed her The Snake Charmer. World-renowned for her innovations in a dance form called Tribal Fusion, Brice has indeed mastered serpentine arm work, along with gravity-defying backbends and astounding abdominal muscle control – all markers of the indomitable substance beneath her fine-tuned aesthetic. Last year, on a rainy green evening in Portland, Oregon, Brice welcomed Meredith Yayanos into her home for a warm and candid conversation about belly dance, joy, and self-acceptance. Our cohorts Jason Mitchell and Stacey Ransom of Purebred Productions shot incredible Coilhouse exclusive photographs and video for this feature, building an entire set around the aesthetics of Issue Six for Brice to inhabit. Here’s a sneak peek of the music video (available in full as a digital download to everyone who buys through the web store).


Jared Joslin
A Time of Such Exquisite Plumage

Jared Joslin’s paintings are gilded portals to the sensual past. Exploring his work, we encounter thriving pockets of nocturnal Weimar nightlife, Dust Bowl era carnivals, and glittering pre-code Hollywood nightclubs. Joslin has said that what fuels his vision is “the feeling that you don’t necessarily fit within your own time. You’re drawn to the past in ways you can’t quite understand, but feel the pull of it and want to take on [its] dreams.” His creations truly do seem timeless, and they are dreamy indeed, but his fascinating answers to Mer’s queries about his artistic process convey a sharp and lucid intelligence.


Terry Gilliam
Enjoy Living In Brazil
Few luminaries of cinema have as many pages dedicated to their process as Terry Gilliam. No doubt, there are directors with thicker tomes, but most, if not all, have the distinct advantage of being dead. Mr. Gilliam’s abiding vigor is a handicap for which he can hardly be faulted! As it stands, the life’s work of Monty Python’s sole American member remains a fascinating point of interest, owing both to his unique filmmaking process, and to his quixotic endurance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. A few months back, Nadya Lev caught up with the affable expat to discuss film, how hard it is to break up with the United States, and the primal thrill of building tall, unwieldy structures of whimsy… and then watching them burn.


INFECT illustration by Zoetica Ebb
Zoetica’s starkly elegant INFECT illustration features a witchy German Expressionist siren of the silver screen.


Richard Elfman & the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo
Brave Adventures in The Forbidden Zone
In cahoots with a gang of fellow creative abnormals – most conspicuously his little brother Danny – director Richard Elfman and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo presented demented, biting satire from the Hollyweird footlights from 1972 through the early eighties. Their gleeful shtick took cues from (and liberties with) Max Fleischer cartoons, German Expressionism, the Three Stooges, Cab Calloway, Frank Zappa, Spike Jones, various flapper and vaudeville legends, and the like. Presenting Gong Show-winning performances that combined old-timey traditions with more sharply modern slapstick, they were equal opportunity destroyers of taboo. Even from an outréphile’s standpoint, in subterranean sects where just about anything went, their antics dropped a lot of jaws. And that was before they made their “WHAT IS THAT I DON’T EVEN” opus, The Forbidden Zone. This feature is about that movie, and the (Elf)man(s) who made it happen. Written by Meredith Yayanos.


Lothar Schreyer
The Paper Mache Mystic of German Expressionism

We are honored to publish this feature on the intriguing Expressionist artist and Bauhaus theater personage, Lothar Schreyer, written by the incomparable Mel Gordon– a writer, a professor, a lector, a New York Actor’s Studio alumni, a historian, and author of the books Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin, The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber, The Grand Guignol, and Hanussen: Hitler’s Jewish Clairvoyant, among others. Unflinching and thorough, with a dizzying knowledge of theatre, art, Jewish history, and the sex trade, Gordon has made it his life’s quest to expose (and scratch) all manner of underbellies. Much like his biographer, Schreyer was a professor and professional troublemaker possessed of feverish vision and intelligence. The feature includes a short, never-before-published play of Schreyer’s, translated into English by Gordon.


Magnificent Specimens
56 Entrants at the 2009 World Beard & Mustache Championship

In the spring of 2009, photographer Dave Mead traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to attend the annual World Beard & Mustache Championship. “Only taking time for one bathroom break and a slice of pizza,” Mead spent eleven straight hours shooting thousands of pictures of men sporting some of the world’s most elegant, creative and elaborate facial hair. These unique and wonderfully expressive men captured by Mead’s lense are magnificent indeed.


Print to Fit: Robert Lang’s Origami
Hex Twist Resch Bump Tessellation

Rather than closing the issue with paper dolls, we’ve decided to close it in the spirit of Issue 06′s angular, architectural style: with a custom origami folding pattern created for Coilhouse by one of the most renowned origami artists of our time, Robert Lang. Robert Lang’s work sits at the intersection of mathematics, origami, and science. A former NASA engineer and physicist with over forty patents, Lang can transform an uncut sheet of paper into an impossibly complex three-dimensional shape: a scorpion, a pond turtle, a rock climber, a Black Forest cuckoo clock. In lieu of paper dolls, and closely in keeping with Coilhouse Issue 06’s angular, geometric theme, Robert Lang has specially crafted a piece known in the genre of abstract origami as a tessellation: a repeating set of folded pleats and twists.