Mould Map 3



Mould Map is an art zine published by Landfill Editions in Stockholm. It’s full of crazy, non-sensical comics, and super-crafted net art.  It’s well made and fun to look at. I certainly enjoyed perusing it’s strange, vibrant pages, and if you’re reading this you probably would, too. I decided to ask the editors, Hugh Frost and Leon Sadler, about this modern masterpiece.

Interview by Jordan Moneysign, photos by Rebecca Storm

What made you want to start Mould Map?

Kramers Ergot

What kind of team are you? Are there a lot of people working on this project?

Hugh: The two of us edit and publish the series which has brought together work from around 65 artists over the three books so far.

Leon: Hugh does all the most difficult stuff and takes on the financial burden and I sit back and take a credit just for putting some of my ideas in the pot.

 I think it’s great you’re providing a (printed) platform for a lot of artists who seem to reside on the internet or who may not have reached the type of audiences that MM3 touches. Do you guys consider yourselves to be building/supporting a community?

H: No. More like capturing a specific moment / time / place where these loose communities and outliers already operate.

L: In a way, part of me feels bad for possibly making some comics people feel isolated or like they are “not good enough to be in our special book”. It’s nice to have your work published in a book, maybe it’s a nice thing for an artist to put on their CV.




 Whoever wrote the essay “The Darkness” provides a moving account of ‘art now’ or whatever you want to call it. The author calls for a kind of sacrificial approach to creativity as a way to maybe escape or challenge in some way the social and economic status quo. Does MM3 challenge the status quo in this way?

H: It was Jacob Ciocci. In terms of the format Mould Map is a curated (gatekeeper guarded) and commercially distributed print publication, which is about as orthodox as it gets. But I like the way Markus Miessen puts it when he says that art has always acted as a revolutionary mise-en-scene, maybe gathering this work manages to capture what’s on the mind of a broad subculture at the moment.

L: The artists in MM3 themselves make challenging work, printing them together in this way makes for a challenging whole, but MM3 is just a kind of lorry filled with challenging cargo to be unloaded.

 Boris Groys claims art cannot truly exist in the present because of its simultaneous obsession with the past and future. A lot of net art seems to be afflicted quite acutely by this condition. How would you respond to Boris’ claim?

H: So it’s either recycling or waiting / anticipating? Sort of an interesting idea but for me it’s about the experience you have when confronted with art. Experiences take place exclusively in the present. Anticipating and recalling phenomena / events both amount to another processing of the imagined or remembered phenomenon / event, in the present. All art exists in the present, but there’s so much out there that inevitably it can’t all be powerful for everyone.

L: This is part of why comics appeal to me: you can be clever and arty, and ignore this distracted kind of thinking. Every living thing is obsessed with the past and future. To me it feels like comics are protected from critical theory or the internet by a kind of bubble, inside which, you just have to make damn good comics.




 I’m interested in the theme of Capitalist Realism and how it relates to MM3 as a whole. Does the medium/format of MM3 mean to play with the theme of Capitalist Realism in the sense that the book is controlled, ‘precisely edited’, commodity based art? Or am I getting too meta?

H: Too meta, but I like that theory. Part of the original direction was taken from Mark Fisher’s idea of breaking out of cyclical ‘hedonic depression’, to move beyond hopelessness, as our ill-fated working title TRANS-HOPELESS suggested. But a byproduct was that we inadvertently paid around £1,500 to Amazon since they process the Kickstarter payments, so who’s laughing now?

L: I’m not sure what Capitalist Realism means, but in 2014, everyone on earth is a stooge of capitalism

There’s obviously a lot of hyper-sexualized images in MM3, do you guys have a stance on this, or are these images purely aesthetic?

H: I’m really glad you asked. Some people were offended by Dmitry’s futanari imagery. And as far as I could tell, even some of those who weren’t offended saw it as shock-tactics or an attempt at cheap laughs. But given that the core theme of MM3 was the ways in which technology mediates our experience of the world and of each other it was some of the most essential work in the book. The decision to include it was meant to evoke the disconnect between sexuality and reality, extreme appetites born out of instant free access to huge amounts of imagery catering to every taste. And near future possibilities of genetic engineering. And what gender would mean, post-singularity. And the question of what constitutes technology (Heidegger’s tool analysis meets dildos and love beads). And so on. In the current cultural climate it’s easy to decide that because you don’t ‘like’ something it’s intrinsically worthless and has nothing to offer, but this is rarely the case. Mould Map 3 is not, despite first impressions, a desperately friendly book. It is, as mentioned above, an attempt to capture a specific era and the various ideological incompatibilities that exist right now. Love them or hate them, all of these images are products of our time.

L: I’m interested in powerful imagery, and seeing Dmitry’s art was the most intense, exciting, inspiring art experience I’ve had for years so we had to publish it. I don’t think anything else in the book is hyper-sexualised.