One of Canada’s longest-running alternative art publications, FUSE, issued its swan song in early 2014. Following a publishing history that dates back to 1976, the print magazine (which has turned increasingly political in recent years, though was never without its edge), released an editorial penned by current editorial director Gina Badger on January 6 that reads like a manifesto for defeat. “Along with our peer organizations within artist-run culture, FUSE has endured chronic underfunding for many years,” Badger writes. “Of the long-term effects of underfunding, the most morbid are burnout, organizational self-censorship and a loss of institutional memory.”
Initially titled Centerfold, the publication was founded by still-active Canadian artists and scholars Lisa Steele, Tom Sherman, and Clive Robertson to address what they perceived as a lack of critical discourse within artist-run culture. Centrefold was founded in Calgary, relocating to Toronto two years later, and, in 1980, changing its title to FUSE. Around that time the focus of the magazine shifted from “an interdisciplinary artists” publication to “a cultural news magazine.” The publishers of FUSE incorporated as Artons Cultural Affairs Society and Publishing in 1984.
Following FUSE’s most recent print issue — a product in keeping with its resources, tellingly titled “DO LESS WITH LESS” — Badger promises one last print issue, a commemorative product to be released in September 2014. Further, the publication is building an accessible web-based archive of FUSE content that dates back to its beginnings.
Check back with ARTINFO Canada for interviews with its founding and current editors in the days to come.
— Sky Goodden, ARTINFO Canada (@ARTINFOCanada)
(Image: FUSE art courtesy Design Week.)