I had written for the student arts magazine and music fanzines, mainly Sheffield and London’s NMX by Martin Lacey (now publishing Safety Pin punk magazine). So making a magazine was a natural thing to do, although perhaps not a core activity for Micro Arts. Friends supplied some of the computer art articles, which covered art generation, music, etc. It was an alternative to the usual computer magazines which did not cover art, only graphic production, games etc.
The magazine was distributed on the bus to various art bookshops around London. At the time there was no web, or even email, to promote such a thing. It was also sold via adverts in the computer press, which was not cost effective. Micro Arts Magazine also featured (on a table) in a performance art piece at the London Film-Makers Cooperative.
Geoff Davis–editor, any unsigned articles, production, distribution.
The magazine was useful as it got the ideas across to people who didn’t have a micro computer. There was no internet to put things on, so distribution was vital outside of the computer world. It was black and white to save costs. But perhaps producing a print magazine competing with the existing computer magazines was not such a great idea, with regard to positive reviews, or reviews at all. It might have made a better book, since in the 80s everything was new.
The full magazine is included here. It has been photographed so some pages are showing a curve. There are only a few of these magazines left so I did not take apart for scanning. The first page shows only the editorial as it is mildly amusing. Some people realised it was not the real Sir Clive Sinclair. Pages are shown in order.
Simon Holland – Film and Video
Robin Metcalfe – Micro Music Part 1
Bill Mooney – Electronic Beowulf
Geoff Davis – everything else.
Geoff Davis – all images, and a cartoon (not shown here). Generated art made on ZX Spectrum. Pages are marked GD.
Martin Rootes – graphic animations made on the BBC Micro home computer. Pages are marked MR.
Michèle Gauthier Carr-Brown – featured artist, Quantel Paintbox.
Next is a short extract from Micro Arts Magazine editorial, by ‘Clive Sinclair’, this was a spoof piece based on a typical inspiring text:
Have you ever thought about computing and the people in it as special? Here’s why…
It is the computer personality who dares to face life as it is with its dangers and risks.
They love to laugh, they love to be excited, they love to be interested.
This is a time when it is fine for an individual not to be adjusted to a way of life, because the way of life changes every year.
And if someone feels the world to be frightening and harrowing because it doesn’t stay the same, I recommend a diet of Computers and the company of Computer Programmers.
[continues in this style]
Magazine PDF on soon.