What is AMERICAN VULGARIA?
AMERICAN VULGARIA is an independent art and culture magazine based in Missoula, MT. We exist to defend artistic freedom against ideological corruption; to promote gratitude for — not censorship of — the arts. Our approach to art and culture mirrors our commitment to free speech and expression: all ideas are open to entertainment, and we believe that an entertained idea does not equal an accepted one.
We are artists for art’s sake.
* * *
“Vulgar” stems from the Latin vulgus, which means “common person” and not simply “saying naughty things” or “wearing no clothes.” Our universal baseline is vulgar: rot and reproduction, digestion and excretion, bodily urges and subconscious impulses — these are the things that connect us, regardless of class lines or moral differences. The best art doesn’t evade our base vulgarity. It confronts and transmogrifies our vulgar baseline into something beautiful and enlightening; and under conditions of excess beauty and enlightenment, art reminds us of our inner murk and darkness.
No doubt, these are vulgar times, a consequence of our ratings-driven media environment, which we’ve dubbed “Vulgaria.” From social media to news media to the Walt Disney Company, the various information channels that comprise the mass-media machine appeal to our lowest, most vulgar instincts — not to the better angels of our nature. Mass marketing expands its target demographics by fostering an all-inclusive brand identity at the cost of eccentric individuality, encouraging the anti-social artist to waste their talents on social activism and trendy brand design.
The artist is, and has always been, an entirely uncommon person, a socially unacceptable weirdo looking in from the outside. The artist benefits society not by moral leadership but by assault:
The poet, the artist, the sleuth — whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely “well-adjusted,” he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists between antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power is manifest in the famous story “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
— Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage
And so who cares if the artist says naughty things? If the artist behaves erratically and irresponsibly and refuses to wear the latest fashion? They do so to highlight the absurdities of our environment, to sharpen and expand our perception to see not only the content of our media but the media itself.
* * *
Who funds AMERICAN VULGARIA?
AMERICAN VULGARIA is independent and ad-free, and we’re able to maintain this status through community funding. To support us, please consider subscribing to AMERICAN VULGARIA at $5 per month through the following link: SUBSCRIBE.
* * *
Write for us
To send an art or article pitch to AMERICAN VULGARIA, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
How to contact us
Send all e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.