— Miles Socha
NOISES OFF: A handful of European journalists got a preview of Visionaire's 53rd issue high above the roofs of Berlin last week, beating out the 126 participating artists who haven't yet seen — or perhaps, more important, heard — the fruit of their efforts. The launch also cut in before Art Basel Miami, where Visionaire has previously unveiled its latest winter season projects, and where Visionaire Sound will be presented in an installation.
The third Visionaire to focus on the senses (after earlier investigations of smell and taste), Visionaire Sound is round, shiny and black, with silver accents, just like the brand new Clubman car from the issue's collaborator, Mini, owned by the German auto company BMW. And while Visionaire publisher Cecilia Dean said Mini gave the magazine's team free rein in developing the Sound project, the Mini Clubman just happens to be pivotal to its implementation.
"We liked the idea of doing 12-inch vinyl [records]. There's something archaic to it, like the original Mini Classic. But while we originally wanted to do a portable turntable, it got incredibly massive and cumbersome," Dean explained. In what she described as a "eureka" moment, someone suggested using a "vinyl killer" — a little battery-operated VW camper that drives on a record and plays it. Producer Razyworks was willing to transform the traditional VW into a Mini Clubman, which is parked on five double-sided picture disks featuring images by Cindy Sherman, Nick Knight, Mario Sorrenti, Robert Longo and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, among others.