DUST Issue 21 – Epitome



DUST #21 - Epitome (Fall/Winter 2022)

The term 'Epitome' stems from the Greek epitemnein, which means 'to cut short'. First used in 1520, originally meaning 'summary', the term has later come to describe someone or something that represents the ideal characteristics of an entire class—a perfect example of something, an embodiment of an abstraction. The reason we chose 'Epitome' as a title for this issue, is that the term sheds light on how we cope with our identity in the digital age—in a context where social media has transformed communication into permanent public performances, 'epitome' describes the process of becoming a reduced idea, an embodiment of a type, an idea, an aspiration, or a social-political point of view based on simplicity and digestibility. A fast digestible and desirable 'epitome' is likely to generate virality. Willingly or not, we succumb and conform to this mindset—a feature that these platforms enhance by design. The broader topic of concern we want to address here is how social media platforms, that rely heavily on engagement-driven architectures, have come to harm our societies by directly increasing polarisation in public opinion and politics. The second reason why we choose 'Epitome' to bear this issue's title is that while the magazine is entering its second decade, we took time to look back at our journey and reflect on its defining characteristics. This issue developed as a summary of what DUST has been through the years.

Contributors: Beat Bolliger, Jack Bridgland, Tati Cotliar, Ellie Grace Cumming, Edem Dossou, Roe Ethridge, Exactitudes, Tim Gutt, Shona Heath, Luigi and Iango, Grant James-Thomas, Ilya Lipkin, Brett Lloyd, Gary David Moore, Kito Muñoz, Mauricio Nardi, Michael Philouze, Olivier Rizzo, Thomas Rousset, Daniel Sannwald, Reto Schmid, Casper Sejersen, Victoria Sekrier, Ellie Uyttenbroek, Willy Vanderperre, Ari Versluis, Natacha Vorange Words: Lisa Ambjörn, Paolo Fiore Angelini, Andrea Batilla, Gisele Bündchen, Patrizia Calefato, Giuseppe Garrera, Fabio Cherstich, Alessio De’Navasques, Michele Fossi, Chris Govier, Philip Alexandre Livchitz, Walt Odets, Clara Tosi Pamphili, Cesare Pietroiusti, Stefano Pilati, Masha Reva, Jad Salafiti, The Valente Brothers


The intent of the project is to explore the universe of youth, in the context of a present time marked by a continuous state of crisis. Our interest is to enlighten the genuine and non-codified aspects of youth and of the new emerging generation by directing our gaze far from institutionalized geography and trends, and above the current standardization that tends to conform the experience of youth in regulated forms. In our research we cross conflicting territories, where structures collapse and the western codes of appearances dissolve into different kinds of choices, different kinds of dynamics. We like to underline a silent geography, at the margin of mainstream paths, in order to rediscover a stronger attachment to life, somehow more vital, genuine and awake; something that is hard to find in the anesthetized youth presented by the disoriented circulating culture. The territory in which we dig is ‘the crisis’ as the elected place where to redesign forms, ideas, values and strategies for our generation to embrace a different way to conceive of life. We observe the collapse of stabilities taking place globally as an irreversible shift of scenario that’s pushing youth to an urgency of change, an urgency to find a new and proper vision. As many do, we feel renewal to be necessary in all fields, based on a more personal sensibility. In light of our concerns and interests, the realms of communication, visual culture, art and fashion need to be reconsidered from a new point of view. Our magazine is intent on creating, within the limits of any cultural product present in the market, this new vision. We consider the magazine a laboratory of ideas and concepts through which we search for a new esthetic and to give the image new value. Our personal interests go beyond the idea of coolness, trends, waves or anything established by pop culture. We prefer to direct our gaze to the basic, genuine way through which youth expresses itself, from where everything should be reconsidered.