Acme journal

Title Acme journal
Location New York
Publisher J.C.J. Mecandler
Periodicity Irregular
ISSN 1061-8706
URL Acme Worldcat
Published Since 1992-1994
Indexed Holdings 1992-1994


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Periodical’s Overview

“Editorial: This is the first issue of Acme Journal. Published on a quarterly basis, each issue will develop a specific theme, providing a forum for investigations into the heterogeneity of contemporary culture. We envision a site wherein the artistic, ideological, philosophical, and political contradictions of the present can be contested. Acme’s editorial framework will not insist upon the hegemony of one methodology, theoretical system, literary style, or ideological persuasion. Rather, an effort will be made to facilitate intersections and collision of divergent, even antagonistic, languages and practicies, so as to galvanize inventive debates, rigorous discussions, and engaging polemics.

Our inagural issue is inspired by contempt for what art criticism has become...”[1]

Selected Subject Headings

  • Aesthetics - political aspects
  • Art - collectors and collecting - Germany
  • Art criticism - United States - 20th century
  • Artists - economic conditions
  • Culture conflict - United States
  • Ice skaters
  • Ideology and art
  • Laughter - philosophy
  • Museum exhibits - moral and ethical aspects
  • New York (N.Y.) - intellectual life - 1990s
  • Politics and culture - United States
  • Popular culture - political aspects


Short lived periodical--only 3 issues were published, edited by art critic Joshua Decter, and artist John Miller--Acme journal gives us an indication of early 90s New York intellectual and critical debates surrounding contemporary art. Transcripts from the symposium Sites of criticism are published in it, which give an indication of the thoughtful ferment that circulated in New York during those post-recession days of the 1989 economic crash. Attempts at probing what the role of, and space for artists as thinkers could be, the periodical’s roster of contributors is a document of the various NY art scenes, in which art, politics, ideology and aesthetics occupy the center stage. Other contributors were curators, art critics, gallerists, and collectors who continued to either shape (or unshape) the cultural landscape of non-trade art in the U.S. during the rest of the 1990s and the 2000s. Of interest is the network connection with the Cologne scene, as many contributors to Acme journal were also involved with Texte zur Kunst; also, Ronald Jones’ Being not within: a journal of hijacked pages, published in vol. 1, no. 3 (1994).

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[1]"Editorial." In: Acme journal, (New York), vol. 1, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 3.