It was February 2019, a world ago in practice, when I met the founders of Eki who, between a chat and a spritz, told me about the project they were working on: a magazine dedicated to light in all its facets. Obviously the parallel with The light observer, when it comes to magazines and light, it is quite immediate, but we must admit that in Eki light is not just a pretext to talk about art, it is precisely the main focus that flows between the pages starting from the die-cut of the cover.

Eki was born from a group of 5 students and former students of the photography direction course at the Experimental Center of Cinematography in Rome: Camilla Cattabriga, Claudia Sicuranza, Eleonora Contessi (who are currently part of the editorial staff) and Maria Chiara Morolli and Arianna Pucci. Once the magazine was structured, new elements were added to the co-founders up to a complete editorial staff. 
We asked its founders to tell us some curiosities about this magazine, whose number 00 is already in its first reprint.

How would you describe Eki to someone who doesn't know you?
EKI is a magazine independent of art, for those who love light, draw inspiration from it, study it or simply observe it. It is a space for sharing, comparison and enrichment between the different technical and creative approaches linked to light. It welcomes established and emerging artists from all over the world. Eki deals with LIGHT not only as a tool but also as an artistic subject in itself.

You investigate light through interviews and works by artists who work with light every day, but how did the idea come about, but above all the interest in this topic?
As photographers and directors of photography, for our studies and works it is necessary to do constant research to always have new ideas on how to use light and its infinite emotional and narrative possibilities. Confronting these researches and cultivating a common love for paper, the idea was born of putting all this information together in an object that could be shared with other people with our same interest. 
On the other hand, in art it is well known that light plays a fundamental role, it makes possible the three-dimensional perception with shadows, it attributes quality to surfaces. Light affects us emotionally, during a film, but also in everyday life ... the sunlight or the lighting of a square. It is an extremely fascinating element with a thousand potentials and uses that we often take for granted. Light is life is pure energy. Full of infinite symbolisms.

How did you select the guest artists on the pages of this issue zero?
We consider number 00 as a pilot copy, to put ourselves to the test and to see if the idea works and is received with curiosity. We have chosen to stay on the generic light theme, but the next issues will analyze more specific aspects of this tool, for example the next issue will deal with night light. After choosing to stay on the theme of light in a broad sense, we did a long brainstorming on the various aspects we wanted to address and on the basis of these we chose the artists who in our opinion were most suitable to dissect them in the best possible way.
We immediately aimed at big names, contacting people who are points of reference for us. 
Also, we think that the world of cinema, like so many others, has always been dominated mainly by men. We have therefore decided to commit ourselves so that Eki never excludes female artists, to guarantee visibility and support to colleagues who know how to create and build meaningful artistic narratives.

I saw that the magazine is already sold out on your site (congratulations!), Are you already working on the next issue or will there be a reprint?
A reissue of the 0 will be released, because we are sorry that many people who wanted to have it did not manage to get it in time. But in the meantime we are already working hard on number 1. 

A paper magazine instead of a less risky (economically) web platform. Why this choice?
It may actually seem like a somewhat anachronistic choice to give birth to a paper product these days. We are living in an ever faster world, where the time for creation, use and dissemination of the material object has decreased. We felt the need to slow down, and we think it will be an increasingly shared need. We want Eki to invite you to a moment of reflection, a return to physicality and sensory tastes, such as the touch on the page, the smell of a magazine. We like the idea that it is an object to be enjoyed slowly, carefully.
Even just putting together the contents to make this type of editorial project takes a long time. We have chosen to go out every six months to take the right time to focus on research, experimentation and in-depth study. And we want it to be also a beautiful physical and material object to keep and collect. The cover of the 00 is metallic gold, with the die-cut logo through which the light passes. In addition to reflections on light, Eki also stimulates you to play with it, and only a physical object can do this. For example, inside the magazine we have inserted a sheet of gelatin. 

What are the plans for Eki's future?
We have fun thinking about the infinite sub-themes of light that we can face in the next issues and we can't wait for this to happen. We have also already made some changes to the next issue compared to the first, adding more content. Eki wants to be a creative starting point and therefore will not only talk about art but will range in all the topics related to the theme that can be stimulating for a target of artists or onlookers.
We would like to organize (in the not too distant future) themed events / parties where everyone is invited to be as bright as possible, full of installations and performances. To be able to give a live light experience.

And what future does periodical publishing have, if you see one? 
Comand we said before we created Eki giving it the shape of a paper object because we felt the need to slow down, and also from how it was accepted it seems to us that this need is increasingly shared. P.Moreover, a return to paper seems to us to be a real moment of rebirth of publishing, a rebirth of a slow culture where the need for relaxation and slow digestion of contents is becoming more and more alive. Where the content is more important than being enjoyed in real time.


July 04, 2021 — Anna Frabotta

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