‘The Lonely Impulse’ asks, can free societies deploy the arts in threats of the modern age?

The Lonely Impulse

Zine, Jens Köhler, 16 pgs, UrgentBeautySquad.com, @urgentbeauty, $5 or trade

This debut issue by Los Angeles-based arts organization Urgent Beauty Squad is aggressively arty and theoretical. A concept called “Art Power” is central to this zine, which reads like a fractured manifesto. The gist, I think, is that art and creative expression can be powerful tools for combating information warfare and other threats of the modern age. This could take the form of words or design, but can just as easily be distilled down to fonts, formats, and tone. Perhaps more importantly, it serves as a catalogue to other works, books, materials and content that can be consumed as fodder for the struggle. It prescribes a blend of online and offline materials with a strong suggestion to buck the abyss of the online world and its drive to deflect and distract. It’s a bit pious but it also could act as a helpful starting point perhaps for open-minded humans, looking for lanes to channel their rage. As such, The Lonely Impulse is best consumed when you’re in a mood for some clear direction, because it’s definitely not subtle and certainly doesn’t feel very lonely.