Monday, May 17, 2010


Berlin-based mono.kultur literally blows in a waft of fresh air to the rather stale world of printed magazines. For mono.kultur #23 they've collaborated with Norwegian scientist and artist Sissel Tolass, whom some might call a master of the olfactory. Having spent the greater part of her life dedicated to smells, Tolass has teamed up with mono.kultur to "impregnate" the magazine with 12 unique scents and not a single word or picture. Using a technique called microencapsulation, the scents themselves release upon rubbing the paper, creating a present day scratch-and-sniff that's substitutes hints of meta for the splashes of snozberry. But don't go thinking these are like the scents hidden behind those folds of paper you once tried to stealthfully rub on your necks and wrists in junior high. Instead, the scents are described by the artist as "difficult smells," which has me curious and altogether nervous. Any way you look at it, it's an interesting integration of the senses within the often non-sensical world of print.