I've subscribed to Adbusters for some years now. Sometimes I find myself reading more into the changes in the magazine's format than the magazine's content.
The most significant change I've noticed is that Adbusters has deliberately moved away from the advertising spoofing that was once the magazine's -uh- trademark.
The Adbusters of old used to promote creative vandalism (or, as they would put it, "creating media viruses to induce culture jamming") as a means to wake up the minds of the unaware. Maybe they got tired of the same visual attacks on the same targets (Nike, Philip Morris, and McDonalds) or perhaps it was the realization advertisers had appropriated the method to (surprise) sell product... Regardless, there a lot fewer spoof ads in the Adbusters of today.
Instead, Adbusters has fallen back on good old-fashioned art to make a statement.
Now each issue is largely made up of a series of photographic essays. In the most recent issue of Adbusters, there are three painting and photography spreads that take up 16 pages of the magazine's approximately 60 pages. It's as if Adbusters is imagining a world in which magazines are supported by, not ads, but art.
It got me thinking...
Advertising uses the media to instill a particular reaction in its viewer.
Is art just advertising without a product?