Triple Canopy is an online magazine, workspace, and platform for editorial and curatorial activities. Working collaboratively with writers, artists, and researchers, Triple Canopy facilitates projects that engage the Internet’s specific characteristics as a public forum and as a medium, one with its own evolving practices of reading and viewing, economies of attention, and modes of interaction. In doing so, Triple Canopy is charting an expanded field of publication, drawing on the history of print culture while acting as a hub for the exploration of emerging forms and the public spaces constituted around them. Triple Canopy is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.
Triple Canopy was founded in 2007 as an informal, nonhierarchical, geographically dispersed editorial collective, for the purpose of publishing an online magazine, the first issue of which appeared on March 17, 2008. Since then the scope of the project has expanded and its activities have become more diffuse, while the organization’s mission has been clarified. Triple Canopy currently consists of a staff of writers, artists, researchers, designers, and developers based in New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin. The magazine operates as the locus for the collaborative production of artistic and literary projects, research work, public programs, and print objects that mine the legacies of the artist book, the avant-garde journal, the political pamphlet, the alternative arts space, and the magazine-in-a-box, all the while enriching those forms with new media.
As a magazine, Triple Canopy is dedicated to slowing down the Internet
. This begins with our design interface, which encourages prolonged, focused engagement. It extends to our methods: We work closely and collaboratively with contributors from the inception of a project to (and often beyond) its publication or public presentation, ensuring that each work is the product of a thoughtful conversation. We consider the editorial process to be a collective enterprise, not a utilitarian transaction; a workspace for testing ideas and cultivating aesthetic experiments that might otherwise lack a critical, nonspecialized context, online or elsewhere. We are committed to learning from past efforts to rethink and renovate the print object and the exhibition space, as well as the literary and artistic forms they have engendered. We are convinced that the Web can act as a proper venue for these endeavors, one with its own materiality and timeliness.
The first iteration of Triple Canopy’s design aimed to create a richer, more coherent experience of reading online than existed at the time, trading the vertical scroll for two historical information-organization tropes: the magazine page and the proto-browser application HyperCard. The constraints of the page metaphor, which was central to that design (and can still be seen in the first nine issues of the magazine), eventually chafed as we sought to develop projects built around more various, multidimensional, and non-linear experiences of text and visual media. In November 2010 we launched a new design that jettisons the page, atomizing it into a smaller structural unit, the column. This move inserts a greater degree of plasticity into Triple Canopy’s format, in keeping with the increased fluidity of reading, viewing, and interacting online (and the explosion of the interfaces traditionally associated with those activities), while continuing to cultivate a deliberate, considered reading experience. (The article-layout system, Horizonize, is available to the public as an open-source application via GitHub
To date, Triple Canopy has published eighteen issues of our magazine, containing more than one hundred individual projects, in collaboration with nearly four hundred different contributors. Rather than publish short articles every day, the magazine is published in issue format, around six times a year; each issue is carefully curated, oftentimes around a particular theme, and contains between six and twelve projects, which are unfurled in installments over four to eight weeks. (Click here
to review the praise the magazine has received.)
Triple Canopy has also organized numerous public programs
in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, Sarajevo, and elsewhere. These events are designed to create an additional context for and expansion of the object of the magazine: They give projects a life beyond the computer screen, generate encounters that are later adapted for the magazine, foster collaborations with other organizations, and enable us to realize compelling ideas that aren’t feasible on the Web.
As of September 2011, Triple Canopy is based out of 155 Freeman, an office and venue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that is shared with two other nonprofits: Light Industry
, a venue for film and electronic art, and The Public School
, an open-source framework for education. Between February and November 2010, Triple Canopy, Light Industry, and The Public School were headquartered at 177 Livingston
, a 5,000-square-foot storefront in downtown Brooklyn. Together, the three groups programmed nearly 100 events drawing more than 5,000 people.
Triple Canopy’s work is supported
by many generous foundations, grantmakers, and individuals.
To request Triple Canopy's organizational narrative or to make any other inquiries, send us an email
. For more information on the issues discussed and positions articulated above, please see the following articles, public programs, and podcasts:
"A Note on The Medium Was Tedium,” March 2008: The introduction to issue 1. “Not to flatter the hypocrisies of the Internet, but it remains free, approximately. Of course, a rhetoric of freedom obscures a logic of control....”
"A Note on Unplaced Movements,” July 2010: The introduction to issue 9. “Every innovative new-media publishing venture is born obsolescent. No sooner has an editorial initiative laid claim to a new technology than some newer technology arrives, turning its predecessor into an outdated curio....”
Sender, Carrier, Receiver, June—July 2010: A series of conversations, screenings, readings, performances, and provocations in Paris, Berlin, and Sarajevo. Of note: "The Page and the Screen,” a Public School class examining print culture in the digital era; “How to Read the Reading Room,” a conversation about revivifying lost archives and reading and remembering in the digital era; Print and Demand #1, a panel discussion of the changing nature of publishing and related art practices and publics.
Print and Demand #2, November 2010: The second in an ongoing series of conversations exploring how print culture is being changed by the manifold forms of online publication, and how public spaces are being constituted around those forms. Print and Demand #2 took place at the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 in Queens, New York City. (A podcast of the conversation will be posted in late November.)
“A Note on Triple Canopy’s Redesign,” November 2010: “This design will facilitate visual narratives that are seamless, yet allow audiovisual objects to maintain their own internal organization, their own autonomy; are expansive in their scope, yet granular in the way they tailor the reader’s interaction with specific elements of an article; are multidirectional yet propel the reader along a discrete horizon....”
“Volume Number: On Artists' Publications,” June 2011: A discussion of the past, present, and future of artists’ publications, presented with Printed Matter, Inc. at Dia:Chelsea, New York City. Participants include Gwen Allen, Paul Chan, Angie Keefer, Matt Keegan, and David Platzker.
Triple Canopy Project Areas: Research Work, Immaterial Literature, Internet as Material, Thinking Through Images, New Media Reporting, New Programming.