This six-volume reprint features all the issues, reproduced page by page, in a slightly modified format. It provides the rare opportunity for an art, design, and culture-orientated audience to own these long out-of-print and much sought-after magazines in a complete box-set edition.
Among artists' magazines and periodicals, “FILE Megazine” occupies avery unique position: between 1972 and 1989, the celebrated Canadian artists' collaborative General Idea (active 1969–1994) published 26 issues of this sophisticated, though self-published, magazine, which had a distribution extending far beyond its Toronto underground origins. Its name and logo adapted those of the famous “LIFE”—whose heyday was in the 1950s and early 1960s—demonstrating an already very Pop strategy of appropriation. As it was retrospectively put by AA Bronson, one of the member of the collective, the magazine's purpose has been the search of “an alternative to the Alternative Press”, a subversive concept of infiltration within mainstream media and culture. Thus the early issues' manifestos, lists of addresses, and letters from friends, were rapidly replaced by General Idea's scripts and projects and cultural issues (as in the famous “Glamour” or “Punk” issues), while never loosing a cutting-edge attention to emerging practices on the art scene and experimental lay-outs.
Founded in Toronto in 1969 by Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal—both dead in 1994—and AA Bronson, the collective General Idea adopted a generic identity that "freed it from the tyranny of individual genius." Their complex intermingling of reality and fiction took the form of a transgressive and often parodic take on art and society. Treating the image as a virus infiltrating every aspect of the real world, General Idea set out to colonize it, modify its content and so come up with an alternative version of reality.
Paintings, installations, sculptures, photographs, videos, magazines, and TV programs: General Idea's is an authentically multimedia oeuvre, that has lost nothing of its freshness and can now be seen as anticipating certain aspects of a current art scene undergoing radical transformation.