At the studio: mono.kultur / Kai von Rabenau


Disclaimer: As a reward for reading all of the following words, you’ll find the possibility to win something.

Over the last few years, I’ve often been asked how much longer I thought it was going to be until printed publications would go extinct. Because naturally I, someone who publishes online (as in: the antipode of offline), would totally oppose everything printed on paper. Like online publishing is on something a kind of religious mission striving for world domination. Though it all sounds terribly 2009, this phenomenon is scarily present in the fight against subscription and ad sales losses most print products face these days. Still, I do not have the saving answer, despite saying out loud that I do love print! I mean, you get to choose the paper, and a format, and a cover (or umpteen covers, as seems to be necessary these days), and there is just no equivalent way to do a correlating double-page spread in a browser. So yes, there are a dozen reasons to still do print products, at least in my Weltanschauung.

I have to admit, I seem to honor only a few of the gazillion available magazines by actually walking to the store and paying money in order to read them – but they do exist and one outstanding exemplar is the Berlin-based mono.kultur, a publication I’ve eagerly followed since attending the event celebrating their Miranda July issue in Spring 2008 at Scala (which no longer even exists, oh oh Berlin…). So of course I said yes to spending an hour of my more than restricted time (you might remember I’m working on finalizing my thesis) at their office in a lovely Kreuzberg backyard on the occasion of their new issue.

Portrayed here is Kai von Rabenau, the head and motivator of a team of ten writers. Being a photographer and magazine lover himself, he started mono.kultur back in 2005, searching for contributors by, quite classically, putting a flyer at the Pro.qm bookstore. The concept of mono.kultur is simple and has grown out of economic necessity – they never managed to finance the print of their dummy, which included several interviews, so they decided on spreading them over single issues, starting with Carsten Nicolai, Frank Leder, and Nine Inch Nails. This turned out to be a genius idea, making it possible to create a new design for each issue, resulting in fabulous editions on Tilda Swinton, Dries van Noten, Dave Eggers, and many more. (Also note the reprint of their Taryn Simon issue on the occasion of her solo exhibition at Neue Nationalgalerie.)

Their newest issue, “Refine for Now”, focussing on Chris Taylor, the bass player of the fabulous Grizzly Bear, has just been released and will be officially presented this Wednesday night at L.U.X. in Kreuzberg. Good thing is: you’re all invited! Even better: Kai agreed to present us with five copies of the new issue, so if you want to share some of my print-joy and win one of those five, just leave a comment saying you want one under this post before Thursday, Nov 10, 8pm! (The winners will be announced in the comments – so take a look on Thursday night!)


ps, in case you can neither make it to the release event tomorrow, nor win one of the issues, you can still follow mono-blog.


also leave a comment
  1. Fenke on


    at first i wondered why you dislike friedrichshain so much, but when mentioning the orange-retro-monotony, i can only agree. nice tipps!

  2. Norman on


    Ach herrlich. Bei Seppi vorbeizuschauen war ein sehr gute Entscheidung =)

  3. Harry on


    Nette Wohnung: Sitzgelegenheit passend zur Hose ausgewählt! Gute Sache.

    Lampe kann von einem Münchner Designerladen aus den 1970s stammen, glaub das wurde von Magellan in der Maximiliansstrasse angeboten. Bessere Photos sind zur genaueren Bestimmung von nöten…

  4. Fruler on


    sieht gut aus, aber ich bin überzeugt, dass der sound in der bude mies ist, hallig und kalt. zum musik hören sicher völlig ungeeignet.

  5. Anonymous on


    Es schadet ja nicht mal die Horizone zu erweiteren statt in Mitte zu verharren. Deine Haltung gegenüber FHN ist obsolet.

  6. Mary on


    Sie war veraltet (um genau zu sein, 1 Jahr), bis ich sie letzten Samstag auf den neuesten Stand gebracht und, leider, bestätigt habe.

  7. Anonymous on


    sorry aber der fake barcelona chair geht gar nicht. Das Sofa hat eine schöne Farbe aber die Wohnung wurde leider totsaniert (lackierte Dielen und Plastikfenster)

  8. Lynn and Horst on


    mary, du besuchst immer die heißesten typen zuhause, nimm mich mit! und lass mich da…

  9. Daniel Bancroft on


    @anonymous: Sorry, aber das ist kein gefakter Barcelona Chair, sondern ein in den 60er/ 70er Jahren recht populärer Lounger.

    Das Modell heißt “Euro – Chair” bzw. “Girsberger Lounge Chair” und wurde von der Schweizer Firma Girsberger produziert.

    Die Designer hatten den Barcelona als Vorbild und wollten eine modernere Variante entwerfen, was ihnen auch gelungen ist.

    Unverständlich, warum dieser zeitlos schöne Sessel nicht mehr auf dem Markt ist.

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