In 1992, when Jefferson Hack was only 19 years old and still studying at the London College of Printing, he and photographer Rankin Wadell teamed up and founded Dazed & Confused. By paying the caretaker of the university to sneak out the only Mac computer in a blanket for the weekend, Jefferson and Rankin was part of the first generation who was actually able to make a magazine themselves. Dazed started out as a zine style publications consisting of three pieces of folded paper that made a poster, in black and white. Totally self-distributed. It was a way for Jefferson and Rankin to fight their boredom and create a community of like-minded creative people – this including figures such as the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, photographer Nick Knight, stylist Katie Grand, artists Jake and Dinos Chapman and Damien Hirst.
The first issue of Dazed & Confused.
Jefferson and Rankin’s vision with the magazine was to create a cultural alternative to both mainstream publications and the cult style magazines of the moment such as i-D and The Face. Since then, Dazed has become one of the most respected youth culture magazines in the world. In 2001 Hack launched the bi-annual, high fashion publication, AnOther Magazine and in 2005 he added Another Man to the list of titles being published by Dazed Group.
Staying true to Dazed’s progressive nature, Jefferson has several times been on the forefront of new technologies and medias. Last year he created the first digital magazine cover for AnOther Magazine. It featured a thin high definition screen as the frontpage, playing back a video by Inez & Vinoodh starring Rihanna. Earlier this year Jefferson published a book with Rizolli titled We Can’t Do This Alone: Jefferson Hack The System. Each cover of the initial 5000 copies are unique, made up of random spreads from the book and printed using a Kodak inkjet printer with a hacked algorithm. With a mix of old and new material, the book celebrates both inspiring cultural figures who have graced the pages of Dazed and AnOther over the years, and champions media and art which challenges the status quo.
In this podcast I talk with Jefferson about topics such as how Bill Clinton accusing Dazed of being responsible for the trend “Heroin Chic” resulted in the magazines first big break-through, the importance of independence in a time of media outlets being put into fewer and fewer hands and how new technologies such as AI, automated journalism, virtual reality and augmented reality will affect the industry.
Jefferson Hack’s latest book We Can’t Do This Alone: Jefferson Hack The System.
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