Atlas Obscura | by Eric Grundhauser

For almost four decades, Public Illumination Magazine has been packing a ton of absurdity into a little package. Since the advent of glossy print, art magazines have almost entirely been presented as large-format, visually bold publications. But for nearly four decades, there has been one experimental art magazine that has no time for all of that pomp and circumstance. Since 1979, Public Illumination Magazine (PIM), an absurdist art zine with origins in New York’s underground art scene, has been proving that if size matters, they don’t need it.

“I call it the smallest magazine of its kind. That defends me against any other rival,” says Prof. Dr. Dr. Zagreus Bowery, the creator, editor, and all around producer of PIM since its inception. And he doesn’t exaggerate about the small size of his publication, which measures in at just 7 x 11 centimeters. A professional artist himself, Bowery has always gone by his absurdist, multi-titled pseudonym in all things concerning the magazine (in fact all contributors must use pseudonyms), which he says is just an extension of the overall goal of creating a consciously tiny publication. “It’s all about self-demeaning modesty. It’s a tiny little magazine. It’s obscure. It’s niche. And it all fits together. It’s a strange little thing.”…read more

Image: PIM may be the one of the smallest art magazines ever made. Courtesy of Printed Matter