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Local on line arts publication aims to fuse cultures
By Sean Smith
Fort Wayne Reader
Like any city its size, Fort Wayne has many different cultures — punk, Hip-Hop, skateboarding, graffiti art and others — bumping up against one another. Some of these tend to be overlooked or ignored altogether. Recently three local artists have joined forces to change all of that. They are doing their part to bring these cultures and those spearheading them to the forefront and into focus. Eric Stine, Daniel Dienelt and Julie Morrison have created Expired, an on-line magazine which made its debut in May and spotlights all of the above and more at www.expiredmagazine.com and also offers exclusive music and video content.
Stine a.k.a. EDS (who, along with Roleo, released the excellent Hip-Hop album Rookies of the Year in 2006) is the art director for Boyd & Youngblutt Advertising and operates Two Headed Monster Productions. He is also on the artist's panel for ArtLink where his art is frequently featured. Dienelt is a recent graduate of IPFW and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography and works for Rich Roy Painting fulltime. He shows his photography and art at ArtLink and will be a part of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art's upcoming 'Bike' exhibit. Morrison is the Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Fund at Indiana Tech and handles fundraising, alumni relations and special events for the University.
The genesis of the magazine dates back to late 2006 after Stine and Dienelt first crossed paths. "Daniel and I met at the opening of the 'Animal' exhibit at ArtLink in the fall of 2006 and we kept in contact," recalls Stine. "Over time we found that we had a lot of things in common as far as our approach to art and life. I think we actually first discussed the idea of putting together some sort of online magazine around November or December of 2006."
"I met Eric through the local Hip-Hop scene after I moved to Fort Wayne in 2004. I met Daniel more recently through Eric," offers Morrison. "I wrote for entertainment publications and 'zines before I moved to Fort Wayne, but had not yet connected with people that had the same mind state until this project began to come together."
The group began going over their ideas and fine tuning their vision for the magazine in the early part of 2007. Deciding on the focus of the magazine proved to be a very important part of the process. "My idea was more of a photojournalistic, art and leisure magazine with a focus on photography," says Dienelt. "We ended up bringing together both commercial and fine arts; photography and writing. Our biggest challenge was how to fit it all together."
Morrison saw the magazine as a way to realistically reflect a younger demographics day to day life in Indiana. "I envisioned it as our own version of Midwest Living for 'real' Midwesterners that live like we do. I think, after some compromising, the first issue ended up a combination of everything each of us wanted," she says. "As individuals, we transcend any one style or scene so we just transferred that over to the magazine."
"Things definitely evolved as we progressed,” Stine adds. “We all agree that as far as subject matter, we don't want to fit into any typical publication category, so we didn't want one specific focus. I think we all want to keep it loose and fluid so that we can take it wherever and not be worried about overstepping our bounds. We each brought what we had to the table and then edited it slightly to make a more cohesive package"
Each individual brought something unique to the project and has their specific strengths.
"I bring the experience of working in the design industry and putting things like this together," says Stine. "Daniel brings experience of the hands on, fine art approach and the wicked eye for crazy visuals. Julie has the skilled promotional tactics, a dope pen and the intelligence to balance out us two crazy guys"
"It's definitely an unusual collaboration! It's too early to say if the way we communicate helps or hurts the process, but it's been a learning experience. Daniel is 100% deaf, Eric is pretty introverted and I'm very outgoing," states Morrison. "Eric definitely makes his own grain and then goes against it. It's nice to see him create something that's his style and something that he can be proud of. Daniel is one of the most unique people I've ever met. Once you meet him you're not the same person. He hears the world through art and expresses himself through the camera lens like no one else. I just do my thing and do the best I can to keep these guys focused and on track, which isn't always an easy task!"
The influences that went into creating the magazine are sometimes easy to spot, while others aren't so obvious. "Raygun is definitely an inspiration," shares Stine, "For me, inspiration comes from publications like Lodown, Beautiful Decay, Highlights, Sports Illustrated and Candy, which is a .PDF magazine."
Dienelt adds Tibor Kalman’s Colors, skate magazines like TransWorld and Slap, and even photojournalism magazines like National Geographic. Morrison, for her part, a voracious reader, reading everything from catalogs and trade books to the local dailes to the Utne Reader.
The trio plan to release new issues quarterly, although the web site will more than likely be updated with extra content more often. The ultimate goal is to publish a print version, but money is a big factor in that. "If we could dig up the money to start producing hard copies it would be insane," imagines Stine. "Are there any angel investors out there?"
"A long term goal of mine is to print a few prototypes and apply for an arts grant or loan so we would be able to print in the future," proposes Morrison.
The simple truth is that there is nothing else quite like this, but what about the name of the magazine? Is there something behind it?
"It comes from multiple levels of representation," explains Stine. "The first deals with being overlooked or regarded as trash. Expired food and products get tossed in the trash can and many times that's where I feel people like us end up, by our own doing or by the hand of someone else. So this is our way of standing up and saying 'This is who we are and we're proud of it.' A second representation is our work. Daniel and I work in a visual style that is rugged and rough. Many times our works appear aged, as if it's from generations past. It's about taking something old and using it for something new."