Interview with Labor, a magazine about process

By Alan Segal | Constanza Castagnet | Diego Berakha | Irina Kenigsberg. January 9, 2014


Slowly but steadily. This could well be the motto of the editors of Labor magazine. Time usually leaves room for modifications, revisions and new perspectives. Time brings quality. Maybe that's the reason why Labor only produces one issue per year. The magazine, published from Argentina in English and Spanish, has launched its second issue, keeping the essence of the first one, that is, the process. The secret to keep the topic fresh and expanding is finding new ways to present ideas and creative projects. We talked to Alan Segal, Constance Castagnet, Diego Berakha and Irina Kenigsberg, the editors of Labor, about this second issue, its influences and what is to come.

How was the editing process of the second issue of Labor, a year after the launching of the first issue?

Having already published one issue, everything was a little easier. A lot of work, but with more certainty. The first issue established a base, a small foundation that allowed us to move with a little more confidence than before, when all we had was an idea. Somehow, Labor 1 was our issue 0. We hadn't a plan, we discovered what kind of magazine we were doing while doing it. When addressing Labor 2, we already knew what magazine we were doing.

What are the similarities and differences between the two issues of Labor?

Work processes are still the core of the magazine, its essence. Sometimes we fear that the topic can be exhausted or become repetitive. But on the contrary, it' not only that it expands thematically, including different disciplines, professions and fields of action, but also the freedom that contributors have when interpreting the topic allows new formal and conceptual approaches. For example, at Labor 2, Apparatu (a Barcelona-based ceramic studio) decided to talk about their work process by making a photonovel, a format that we never thought we would include in Labor and added a totally different dimension to the magazine. We seek to have an increasingly heterogeneous material and continue to find, along with contributors, new ways of talking about the work process.

How do you face the next issue of Labor? Do you take some time off or are you starting to work on it?

Between having the final magazine in our hands and starting the next issue we have to follow a series of steps such as organizing an event to present the magazine and distributing it to the bookstores. Somehow that functions as a pause between one issue and the next. At the same time, making Labor is a fundamental part of our lives, completely merged with our daily activities, so we are always thinking and proposing new things, no matter the stage we are in.

Who forms the team of Labor?

We are 4 editors and we work alike at almost every stage of the production of the magazine: Alan Segal, Constance Castagnet, Diego Berakha and Irina Kenigsberg. We also have friends who have participated in both the first and second issues and we feel that they are an important part of the project: Ana Armendariz, Sebastian Lahera, Sofia Berakha, Ignacio Parodi or Ulises Conti, to name a few.

Where do you edit the magazine from?

Buenos Aires.

Any publication that has served as a reference?

Tristes Tropiques by Claude Levi-Strauss, The infra-ordinary by Georges Perec, Aku-Aku by Thor Heyerdahl and Denkbilder by Walter Benjamin, for example. We are quite explicit about our models so in addition to the articles, Labor includes different fragments of scanned books that have inspired us to build the final story of each number.
Regarding ​​magazines, we have many influences. Colors is a must-visit. And amongst the newer ones, we would like to mention The Happy Hypocrite and Here and There, two brilliant publications.

What do you see if you lift your eyes from this question and what will you do when you finish the interview?

Seeing is Forgetting the name of the thing one sees: we'll surely find something for issue 3 there. Go to sleep. 

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