Started in 2015, SORT is a biannual zine created by Joseph Delaney and Matt King.
Tell us about how SORT came to be. Did it develop organically or according to a calculated plan?
It began as a result of our frustration that there didn't seem to be a place in print for what we were saying, but unsurprisingly the message and project as a whole developed of its own accord and continues to do so.
I want to say organically calculated? Joseph and I have worked together on art and fashion projects for some time and we wanted to create a publication for the imagery we couldn't create for fashion magazines. Having said that fashion magazines are changing fast – we love gritty, we love lo-fi. We felt this was all missing in the fashion/publishing world a couple of years ago.
Were there any publications you felt a connection to before creating your zine?
Some publications like Sang Bleu and Dust were an inspiration, but more artists and photographers like Araki, Barbara Kruger, Nan Goldin, Peter De Potter, Jeff Burton, Derek Ridgers, Robert Mapplethorpe, and the list could go on and on.
We're both pretty hardcore magphiles, but felt most connected to titles that seem detached from some of the usual messaging, instead being led by an agenda totally set out and controlled by them –Arena Homme+ and 032c specifically, and I'd include Novembre in this, though the aesthetic interests are obviously very different.
As a programming editor for Nowness, it’s clear you’re an expansive content consumer and commissioner. Was it difficult to choose what authors and stories you would include in your own zine?
Initially the idea was for everything to be made by us and us alone, but again we moved past this when we unexpectedly connected with people who were talking about some of the same ideas.
Can you talk a little bit about reactions you’ve received from this project?
We've had such a great reaction to issue 02 of the zine, Dazed placed us in their top homegrown mags you should have been reading (2016) and i-D listed us in their top 10 zines of 2016.
How is sexuality influencing SORT?
The project is essentially about presenting an uncensored image of a certain world, so naturally sexuality is a huge part of that. Also we're ever more conscious of diversity and, again, you cannot have that conversation without considering sexuality.
Is sex a vehicle towards liberation, both literal and metaphorical?
I don't believe you can live a whole existence without at least attempting to engage with the extreme aspects of it, and in that sense I think the vast majority of people are slaves to their own inhibitions.
Does it clash with anything?
It’s connected to almost every issue, so naturally is clashes with all of them in various ways. I think real liberation comes in acknowledging it as being embedded in identity without letting that identity be defined by it. For example I personally find “queer spaces” problematic in a lot of ways in that, though important for safety, they build on the same systems they claim to exist in opposition to and foster the same problematic structures. In a strange way SORT was almost about creating a fictional version of what we thought a real safe space should be – limitless expression and experience.
How do you see SORT’s mission and tastes evolving?
We're already seeing ourselves become much more part of a wider political discussion, which seems natural as freedoms are literally being taken away before our eyes. I see this becoming more important, and perhaps for that discussion to become action where it can. The next issue is very much about mobilizing these like minded people into taking real action.
What this project has done to or for you, personally/spiritually?
Aside from giving us the space to speak that we set out looking for, it's connecting us with like minds around the world. It doesn't present us as perhaps the most approachable people, but I'm hoping people will continue to get past that if they identify with something we’ve said or shown.
Give us a mixtape of songs you would recommend us listening to while leafing through SORT.
Cabaret Voltaire - The Set Up
Boyfriend - Shot
Mykki Blanco - Coke White Starlight
The Horrorist - One Night in NYC
No Bra - Noise Pollution
//Tense// - Boys in Black Leather
Damien Dubrovnik – Penis Corset
Empty Set - Function
Pharmakon - Transmission
Throbbing Gristle - Very Friendly
What would be a pickup line that would work for you?