Since 2011, we can think of very few publishers who have been as innovative and thought provoking as Clog. Releasing books in the fields of architecture, social sciences and more, we have been inspired by the company's ability to put out physical editions in a way that is new, fresh and able to maintain a balance that both academics and casual readers can relate to. Clog is committed to slowing things down and allowing readers to fully digest topics ranging from Brutalism (a personal favorite), Landmarks, Guggenheim and even Science Fiction. When we first picked up their release on Brutalism it was a truly eyeopening experience. The book's ability to explore multiple viewpoints on the topic in a easily readable format was amazing. On top of that, each book is even presented in a way that reflects the topic which it explores.
Near the end of 2015, Clog made an announcement that they would soon embark in a completely new direction. The company held a fire sale of sorts and sold out all copies of remaining editions. For fans of the publisher, we were only left scratching our heads and waiting with excitement at the same time. Then, in early in 2016, Clog released the following statement:
For nearly a thousand years, the gun has played a key role shaping histories, societies, and lives. Today, it is estimated that there are approximately 875 million small arms throughout the world, with over 300 million of these in the United States. To give a sense of scale, there are approximately 700 million iPhones globally, with 94 million of these in the United States. CLOG x GUNS will examine the past, present, and future of this important and ever-evolving object.
This open call for submissions welcomes anyone to contribute a written or graphic piece to CLOG x GUNS (see submission info). Any viewpoint/approach will be considered so long as it specifically addresses the object of the gun. General subjects to be explored will include, but are certainly not limited to: the history of the gun, guns in popular culture, guns used in hunting, guns used for sport and target shooting, guns used in defense and security, guns in video games, guns as design objects, toy guns, gun safety, gun countermeasures, gun control, gun legality, the future of guns, manufacturing of guns, guns used to kill, guns in crime prevention, guns in war, forensic science and guns, psychological effects of guns, the gun industry, and more.
Loving this new direction, we reached out to the publisher and got in touch with editor-in-chief Kyle May. We asked Kyle if we could speak to him about the new announcement and the company's progression. He graciously complied and please find our Q&A below:
The Brvtalist: First off, for those who are not familiar with Clog and its previous publications, how would you describe what the company does or publishes?
Kyle May: CLOG was founded in 2011 in an environment where rapid digital publication was consuming architectural dialogue. While this had its benefits – young architects being given a platform they otherwise wouldn’t have had and an abundance of information at a large percentage of the population’s fingertips – we felt the substantial issues of the day were being lost in the deluge. Our reaction was to create a platform to discuss important and relevant topics in a much deeper and holistic way. Each issue of CLOG delves into one topic from many points of view. The contributions are short and accessible, and look at other forms of criticism besides from the standard text. The print issue becomes the start of a substantial dialogue that continues to our live events and hopefully in the homes, cars, and bars of our readers.
TB: We were so drawn to the previous series of books on architecture and related fields. In fact, Clog's Brutalism book has even become a definitive tome for us. Why the decision to completely change things up and start on a new topic?
KM: We are not completely changing, but re-evaluating and expanding. After fourteen issues, we began to realize that we had created something successful – a way of talking holistically about important topics. We began to wonder if that couldn’t become even more influential by discussing topics outside of architecture. Architecture is in many ways too isolated in its rhetoric from the general public. We feel we can take what we’ve learned from the last fourteen issues and begin to discuss issues that affect everyone on our planet.
TB: Clog is now accepting submissions (written or graphic) on the subject of the gun. Any viewpoint is acceptable and it's an open call to the public. Talk a little bit about this new concept and what you guys plan to do with the submissions.
KM: The gun as an object has been surrounded by controversy since its birth. Today, unfortunately, the object has become politicized, and worse, binary. Either one is for or against guns, pro-gun control or anti-gun control. There are many more facets to the object, and we intend to explore as many of them as we possibly can. At the end of the day, we hope our audience is more informed of the totality of the issue, regardless of which side they happen to, or continue to, support.
TB: How do you see the future of Clog? Your dedication to relevant topics is something that can constantly be changing. Do you see things continuing to change? Any more plans beyond books?
KM: We plan to continue to grow CLOG into a substantial popular publication that anyone can read. There are very few resources being published that take a deep look into these really significant issues. We intend to fill that gap. In doing so, we are looking into how we use digital means as well, as there are limitations to what can happen in print. However, we do not want to have a redundancy between digital and print content, so we are looking at new types of content that are more suitable for digital consumption. But as architects and designers, we still think there is immense value in print publications and will continue to exist in print. Several people have voiced concern over CLOG’s new direction. We don’t feel we have a new direction, but are merely expanding our previous direction, and expanding beyond the realm of architecture.
We would like to thank Kyle May for taking the time out and contributing to a great discussion. In a world drowning in superfluous text, both digital and print, we admire a publisher who has successfully created something that is both relevant, tactile and progressive at the same time. We could not be more thrilled about the upcoming issues on Guns and we strongly urge our readers to submit their work. For more information, please visit Clog.