The nomadic creative publication Boat magazine recently released its second issue -- with Detroit as theme and temporary home base.
The magazine is put together by Davey and Erin Spens and the staff of their UK creative firm, who relocate their studio every issue. Boat's first issue explored the streets of modern Sarejevo. In October, the team set off for the Motor City .
Davey Spens explained the concept behind Boat in an interview with Creative Review:
"The way our magazine works is that we rent a house and contributors come and stay, and the magazine is blank canvas for them to tell a story. It's more a base-camp than a house, we have breakfast together and then encourage our contributors to get out there and freewheel."
Each issue of the magazine attempts to give a from-the-ground perspective of a city the editors say still has a big story to tell.
Although Detroit has definitely been in the media spotlight lately, Spens said on Boat's website, that journalists are not doing the city justice.
"There's a plethora of articles and news programs out there about Detroit's decline usually accompanied by photos of the 'modern ruins' that are sprinkled around the city. It's hard to see it as anything other than lazy journalism."
Novelist Jeffrey Eugenides, a native Detroiter and author of "Middlesex" and "The Virgin Suicides," said it was that attitude that drew him to write for the publication's Detroit-themed issue:
"The reason I agreed to contribute these brief thoughts about Detroit for Boat Magazine has to do with the correctness of the editors’ attitude. This issue of Boat Magazine seeks to take a stand against ruin porn. It is everything a ghoulish filmmaker wouldn’t understand. Because I, too, have committed the sin of aestheticizing Detroit’s demise, I’m well aware of the seduction of this posture and, therefore, all the more eager to condemn it now. That’s what this issue of Boat Magazine is about. To see the city of Detroit as it is, today, a beaten-up, beaten-down place of incalculable difficulties, but a place where a half million people still live."
The current issue also features an article on Detroit's food culture by Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton and interviews with Jessica Hernandez and Piston Ben Gordon.
The Detroit issue of Boat magazine is now on sale at Leopold's Books, or online at http://www.boat-mag.com
CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article stated the magazine includes an interview with Ben Wallace. It includes an interview with Ben Gordon.
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