East Art Map


ARTMargins Online Interactive Art-Periodicals Map

Part of ARTMargins Online’s mission to document contemporary art and its discourses across the countries of Eastern Europe, this interactive map aims to reveal intellectual affinities between contemporary East European art periodicals, based on the perceptions of critics and editors. In this way, it allows users to better understand the material conditions of art writing and art publishing in the region today.

The East European publications that make up the individual links on our map represent journals whose editors responded to a two-step survey we conducted as part of our research. At the beginning, we asked prominent critics, art historians, and AMO collaborators to identify East European-based art journals that are most relevant for their research and collaborative networks. In a second step, we asked the editors of each of the publications that emerged from Step 1 to disclose which local, regional, or international art journals they consider important for contemporary East European art. The responses we received from this two-step survey form the basis for the interactive map we present here.

Our map allows users to access information about individual publications as well as the cities where they are published, using the location of the publication’s editorial offices as placeholder. While the graphic connections (intersecting lines) between the journals on the map represent their network connections (dark purple lines: most relevant journals; light purple lines: somewhat relevant journals) in the region and globally, the linked publication titles provide users with additional information about the material and intellectual context in which the mapped journals operate, including distribution, publication frequency, the number of employees, and economic model, as well as key challenges and editorial mission.

Our survey reveals that most periodicals (both online and print) have a strong online presence to facilitate international print distribution and readership – two of the main challenges highlighted by over 50% of the periodicals that responded. Of the 25 responding periodicals, 18 are nonprofit (funded by private institutions or public grants); the remaining are either for-profit or based on a hybrid structure supported through advertising, sales, and public grants. Editorial teams are usually small (less than 10 people), and most editors hold other positions. Content focuses on the art of the country or region in which each journal is active, and more broadly on the contemporary art of Eastern Europe. In addition to challenges of distribution and readership (as well as funding sources), some publications cited the anti-intellectual context in their respective countries as a factor that results in censorship or self-censorship.

Our map was inspired by the Slovenian artist collective Irwin’s East Art Map, an online map project that reconstructed the history of contemporary art and artist networks in Eastern Europe and by the ARTMargins special issue “Art Periodicals Today: Historically Considered,” which was co-published in ARTMargins Print (#5.3 2016) and ARTMargins Online (https://artmargins.com/art-periodicals-and-contemporary-art-worlds-part-2/).

Editors: Camilla Salvaneschi, Susan Snodgrass, Sven Spieker, with additional research by Ian Gabe Wilson.