VERONICA SO INTERVIEW – L_A_N MAGAZINE for the Fashionable Futurist

by JC Gonzo

Recently, UK band T3ETH‘s Veronica So and Simon Whybray created L_A_N, an ad-free, large-scale, print magazine for the fashionable futurist and lover of technology. The magazine is a gorgeous “door into another world”–stated by award-winning graphic novelist Warren Ellis. L_A_N features cutting edge technology, fashion, design, and ideas from people like AIDS 3-D (multimedia art-duo Daniel Keller & Nik Kosmas), Thierry Mugler, and Hussein Chalayan. Dystopian and utopian futures were discussed in issue one, titled Paradise Lesage and themed after Alain-Rene Lesage’s play La Tontine. Issue two, themed after Plutarch, awaits us with topics like a bionic contact lens that once implanted in the eye will enable one to view computer graphic displays.

Covers for Issue I (left) & issue II (right)

What prompted you to launch L_A_N and what is a Fashionable Futurist?
I graduated from Central Saint Martins in London with L_A_N being my final year project at school. I loved it so much I quit my dayjob in fashion forecasting to officially launch the magazine.  Learning on the fly has been really exciting, and put me in situations Ive learned a lot from- the headaches of financing, production and self-promotion.


Your the front-woman of a very tech-savvy band, why is it important for L_A_N to be a large-format print magazine rather than solely digital?

I love print because it has a sense of finality and reward at the end.  I love the idea that digital work, images and internet culture can be properly documented on a page.  I’m kind of very old fashioned in that way, where I value documentation and research in the physical sense but love abstract, fleeting ideas and art that don’t seem to outlast our attention span online.
Why “L_A_N?”

L_A_N is literally Local Area Network- a computer network that connects computers and devices in one physical place, allowing users to rapidly transfer data to each other. My vision for L_A_N is for it to become a community, with a rapid exchange of ideas between creatives, technophiles and specialists. The magazine will simply be reportage and a visual journal of what is happening, exciting, niche and inspiring.


Who else runs L_A_N?

My boyfriend (designer) Simon Whybray works with me on L_A_N. He runs the website and is generally good at using the internet to our advantage. I also get him do all my awkward phone calling when shit is going down. I work with artists Andre Ujhazy and Arran Ridley on L_A_N, they tell me about cool stuff they’ve seen and generally create stuff I want to publish.


L_A_N is entirely independent and free of advertising–rare to see. Why is this important for the magazine?
It’s important for a young, niche magazine starting out to be at its highest potential of content.  We are not anti-advertising- the magazine is striving to become attractive to directional and unique brands that are true to our interests. I love the idea of doing advertorials and advertising smaller companies that never usually do in print- ie. Vocaloid, a singing synthesizer application

I hate to ask this, but if L_A_N does not reach its fundraising goal, will you continue the magazine? Will it still exist, just in shorter quantity and distribution?
We would probably start to focus on the digital/online/social side more if printing becomes a burden. Either way we are still figuring out what L_A_N has the potential to be- and it would make us shift our focus for sure.

What plans do you have for L_A_N in the future?
We are launching L_A_N 2 during London Fashion Week, going to throw a huge party somewhere that has cool lighting and where we can introduce new people to the magazine.  I will probably spend the rest of the year trying to sell all these magazines, so please buy one from our online store (http://lanmagazine.bigcartel.com) or get one at one of our future stockists (to be announced).

I am going to apply for grants and sponsorships this year- try to get L_A_N a proper studio and begin to work with all the interesting companies and people we’ve met through fundraising and publicizing. The best thing about the project is that we are constantly meeting people with similar interests and who are passionate the same things we are- geeky, printed, futuristic things.
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You don’t want to miss a L_A_N party, here are images from the first fundraising party:

Photos by Holly Lucas

Video of Seams at the event, & more performances can be found at the L_A_N Youtube channel:
Video artist Daniel Swan created this stunning promotional video for the L_A_N Issue 2 fundraiser, featuring a flip-through preview of the magazine and Veronica So’s mission statement.
Pre-order L_A_N Issue 2 here, which reached its fundraising goal and is currently being pressed in Hong Kong.

2 Comments

  1. Jotta says:

    Great article!

    Check out jotta’s coverage of L_A_N Zine here: http://www.jotta.com/jotta/published/home/article/v2-published/1383/l_a_n-zine

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