For Document’s S/S 2019 edition, we scan the landscape, both past and present, to identify the power structures, technologies, and cultural forces that shape what we see and how we see it.
In an age in which the internet can simultaneously give marginalized voices a platform and—as Jena Friedman reminds us in her essay on the relationship between Twitter and democracy—disproportionately amplify those who just want to make noise, thoughtful creation and consumption of media has never been more essential. This season, we explore this issue at a variety of levels. New York Times literary critic Parul Seghal and photography critic Teju Cole reflect on the process of curating what we see through their evolving practice of written critique; acclaimed rapper Noname and actor Lakeith Stanfield candidly discuss representation and the allure and ills of the spotlight; and, in talking consumption and fashion, Dior Men’s Kim Jones and Apple’s Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, explore technology and the very surface through which these stories are now filtered: our phones and computers.
Elsewhere in this issue, we peel back the years to unveil the untold history of New York’s The Village Voice, an alt weekly that amassed a generation of brilliant vanguards; we sit down with writers John Waters and Edmund White, who personify how those once seen on the fringes can be elevated to high prestige; we see the business of collaboration through the eyes of two of Japan’s greatest exports, streetwear mastermind Hiroshi Fujiwara and artist Takashi Murakami; we gaze upon a historic Space Treaty 50 years after the Moon landing; and we unpack the role of the internet itself as we talk style with DJ-cum-model Sita Abellán and renowned clothing designer Matthew Williams.
Of course, ways of seeing and the politics of visibility extend far beyond media. Chefs Samin Nosrat and José Andrés provide us with a glimpse of the complex world behind restaurant kitchen doors, revealing everything from the farm subsidies that affect whether vegetables will hit your plate to the social hierarchies impacting who prepares your meal. Meanwhile, we had the honor of accompanying photographer Laurence Ellis on his second adventure of uncovering global communities who are taking a proactive stance against the effects of climate change. Introduced by Nathaniel Rich, Ellis’s latest vérité installment takes us up to the Canadian North (introducing us to indigenous communities protesting construction of natural gas pipelines on their lands), and down to the Louisiana Bayou (where legislation has made protesting the oil and gas industries a criminal act).
Explorations of the seen and unseen finally manifest in our six limited-edition covers, created by David Sims and Karl Templer, Willy Vanderperre and Olivier Rizzo, Mario Sorrenti and creative and fashion director Sarah Richardson, Alasdair McLellan and Mauricio Nardi, Ryan McGinley and Kim Jones, and photographer Richard Bush. All posses a youthful vitality that drives home our insistence to not look away.
Document No. 14 is available for pre-order online now.