Triple Canopy is a magazine based in New York. Since 2007, Triple Canopy has advanced a model for publication that encompasses digital works of art and literature, public conversations, exhibitions, and books. This model hinges on the development of publishing systems that incorporate networked forms of production and circulation. Working closely with artists, writers, technologists, and designers, Triple Canopy produces projects that demand considered reading and viewing. Triple Canopy resists the atomization of culture and, through sustained inquiry and creative research, strives to enrich the public sphere.
Triple Canopy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, has been certified by W.A.G.E., and is a member of the Coalition of Small Arts (CoSA) New York.
A description of our current issues can be found here.
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. (“Not to flatter the hypocrisies of the Internet, but it remains free, approximately,” we wrote in the introduction. “Of course, a rhetoric of freedom obscures a logic of control.”) In the intervening years, the form of the project has evolved, the range of activities has increased, and the scope of our work has expanded—even as we have continued to define Triple Canopy as a magazine, and fixate on the cultural and political uses (and effects) of emerging technologies. Triple Canopy currently consists of writers, artists, scholars, designers, and developers in New York City, Berlin, Mexico City, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The magazine operates as the locus for the collaborative production of artistic and literary projects, research, public programs, print objects, and exhibitions 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 sustained inquiry, careful reading and viewing, resisting and expanding the present. We are set on engaging the world at our own speed. (In “The Binder and the Server,” a memoir-manifesto published in 2010, we proclaimed our intention to “slow down the internet”; later, in recognition of the erosion of the line between “online” and “offline,” we pivoted to “slow down the world.”) This aim is reflected in our design interfaces, which encourage prolonged, focused engagement, and extends to our methods. We work closely with contributors from the inception of a project to (and often beyond) its publication or 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 proper context. 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. And we are convinced that the web—or the concatenation of hardware, software, communication networks, and technical protocols that we typically experience via the browser—can act as a fitting venue for these endeavors.
The central form for Triple Canopy’s publishing activities is the magazine issue. Issues may include digital works of art and literature, public conversations, books, editions, performances, and exhibitions. New issues are devoted to the collaborative production of bodies of knowledge around specific questions and concerns. Issues are published over the course of several months, often concurrently, at a rate of approximately three per year. As of March 2018, Triple Canopy has published twenty-four issues of the magazine and twelve books, and has worked with more than nine hundred contributors.
Triple Canopy’s public programs are meant to enrich the relationship between editors, contributors, and readers, and to establish the kind of intimacy that cannot be replicated online. They enable us to test theories, incorporate friends and strangers into the production of projects, generate encounters that are later adapted for the magazine, foster collaborations with other organizations, and realize ideas that won’t work on screens. We’ve organized numerous public programs and participated in residencies in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Chicago, Tucson, Paris, Berlin, Sarajevo, Turin, and elsewhere. Once or twice per year, we offer the Publication Intensive, a free two-week program in the history and contemporary practice of publication.
Triple Canopy has collectively authored works that have been presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), MoMA PS1, MCA Denver, and Kunsthalle Wien, among other institutions. These works include installations that meditate on the circulation of colonial-era furniture or house temporary schools for speculation; videos in which librarians explain digital media for denizens of the distant future; broadsheets and paperbacks that prompt, condition, and incorporate the artifacts of conversations and performances. They reflect on and utilize publishing as a mode of organizing time; molding behavior, tastes, and opinions; structuring cultural experiences, personal relationships, and political expressions; marking distinctions as well as forging bonds between strangers and intimates. We often embark on such projects as a form of research and development; as a way of investing a magazine issue with a particular narrative or form, in response to a particular context or public.
Triple Canopy creates publishing systems that enable the magazine to elucidate relationships between activities that occur on the web, in print, and in person. The first iteration of Triple Canopy’s online platform aimed to create a richer, more coherent experience of online reading 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 nonlinear experiences of text and visual media. (“Every innovative new-media publishing venture is born obsolescent,” we wrote in the introduction to issue 9, Unplaced Movements. “No sooner has an editorial initiative laid claim to a new technology than some newer technology arrives, turning its predecessor into an outdated curio.”)
In November 2010, we debuted a new design that jettisoned the page, atomizing it into a smaller structural unit, the column. This move established a greater degree of plasticity, in keeping with the increased fluidity of reading, viewing, and interacting online (and the explosion of the interfaces traditionally associated with those activities). In early 2013, we dug into John Dewey’s Democracy and Education and announced “a rethinking, from the ground up, of how we create culture and a coherent body of knowledge in a resistant, efficient, particularized world.” Months later, we again revamped our publishing model and inaugurated a third system for authoring and presenting digital projects, Alongslide. We called the new platform “a framework for the relationships, conversations, and collaborations that underlie Triple Canopy—which is to say the deliberate, intimate interactions that are fundamental to culture, and cannot so easily be captured by digital tools.” Alongslide balanced the visual dynamism and formal structure of print layouts with the temporal and spatial experiences afforded by web browsers, while accounting for the proliferation of screen-based devices and reading experiences, the narrowing of the distance between online and offline.
Since the summer of 2016, Triple Canopy has been based in an office and venue at 264 Canal Street in Manhattan, where we regularly organize public programs. For the previous five years, Triple Canopy was located at 155 Freeman Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Light Industry, the inimitable venue for film and electronic art. For nine months in 2010, Triple Canopy, Light Industry, and the Public School New York shared a 5,000-square-foot storefront at 177 Livingston Street, in downtown Brooklyn—and feverishly organized nearly one hundred events, which attracted more than six thousand attendees. (We’re still recovering.)
Triple Canopy’s work is supported by many generous foundations, grantmakers, and individuals. (You might like to read an argument for supporting the magazine, tailored to those who are chronically disappointed with reality, emphasizing our efforts to devise alternatives. Be warned: “I cannot guarantee that reading Triple Canopy will not allow you to quit your day job, though, realistically probably it will not—since if you do quit your day job, other factors will likely be involved.”) Triple Canopy is a founding member of Common Practice New York, an advocacy group that fosters research and discussions about the role of small-scale arts organizations in New York City. Triple Canopy is proud to be certified by W.A.G.E., which ensures that all contributors are fairly compensated for their work.
Triple Canopy is named after a security company that was founded in 2003 and received numerous contracts from the United States government as part of the privatization of the war in Iraq. The company chose the name “to evoke the protection offered by a ‘triple canopy’ jungle,” and to define itself “by the multiple layers of security it offers as well as the levels of redundancy built into every operation.” We stole the name to emphasize the richness, fertility, and diversity of such a habitat and, simultaneously, to communicate that “murder is the logical extension of business,” as we wrote, quoting Charlie Chaplin. “And, well, war-for-profit is the logical extension of that. Private fucking armies paid by our government with BEAUTIFUL corporate names seem exemplary of our present moment. Taking their name is an appreciation of their art, and a small, tiny, act of war on their disgusting brand.” We hoped, at least, to remind all who Googled the magazine of the activities of the security company and its ilk, and we envisioned the other Triple Canopy eventually foundering, disappearing from the top ten, fifty, one hundred results. (The other Triple Canopy was rebranded in 2014 as Constellis Holdings.)
Grants & Communications Manager
Publishing & Technology Fellow
Craig Rodmore, Emily Votruba
Rachel Aviv, Taylor Baldwin, José León Cerrillo, Colby Chamberlain, Seth Erickson, John W. Fail, Taraneh Fazeli, Lizzie Feidelson, Adam Florin, Hannah Frank, Sam Frank, Maya Harakawa, Adam Helms, Lucy Ives, Dana Kash, Sarah Kessler, Bo-Won Keum, Jessica Y Lee, Laurence Lowe, Gerardo Madera, Mylo Mendez, Camila Mercado, Lara Mimosa Montes, Meredith Morran, Cary Potter, Sarah Resnick, Andrew Ritchie, Tom Roberge, Peter J. Russo, Christine Smallwood, Genevieve Smith, William S. Smith, Zoe Stahl, Allison Tepper, Anthony Tran, Dan Visel, Emily Wang, Hannah Whitaker, Jane Yakowitz
Board of Directors
Courtney Willis Blair
Steven Goldglit, Treasurer
Regan Lin Grusy
Josh Kline, President
Gregory R. Miller
Susan Sellers, Vice President
Mónica de la Torre
Donn Zaretsky, Secretary
Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
Fraser D. Mooney
Former Board Members
Current institutional support
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Arison Arts Foundation
Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston
Foundation for Arts Initiatives
Henry Luce Foundation
Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
The Jacques Louis Vidal Charitable Fund
Ken & Judith Joy Family Foundation
Lambent Foundation/Fund of Tides Foundation
Literary Arts Emergency Fund
National Endowment for the Arts
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
in partnership with the City Council
New York State Council on the Arts
Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust
The Stolbun Collection
VIA Art Fund
The Willem de Kooning Foundation
Past institutional support
Buddy Taub Foundation
Center for Craft, Creativity & Design
Chamber Music America and the
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Experimental TV Center
Media Arts Technical Assistance Fund
Fifth Floor Foundation
Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Furthermore: A program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund
The Greenwich Collection, Ltd.
National Endowment for the Arts
Arts In Media
New York Council for the Humanities
New York State Council on the Arts
Electronic Media and Film
Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Robert D. Bielecki Foundation
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York
Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation
The Truckin’ Foundation
In recent years, a bumper crop of smart small magazines have taken seed in New York, both online and off. … But if I could spend hours alone with just one it would be the genre-defying Triple Canopy.
—Andrea K. Scott, the New Yorker
Since its first issue in 2008 the nonprofit Triple Canopy has been a high-minded, high-design artifact, with writers and art directors from Harper’s and Artforum and a sharp, scholarly wit. Triple Canopy deals with heady cultural concepts. Online it broke the mold of traditional Web design; instead of scrolling down, readers page left and right, which gives the work a framed look.… Their concept of “slowing down the Internet” has come to seem prescient.
—Melena Ryzik, the New York Times
A welcome facility with the basic machinery of the Web is complemented by an even more welcome interface: Triple Canopy may be a journal of high intellectual resolution, but it is also very easy to read on a computer screen.… A grasp of how the Web moves and renders information is valuable, but so is Triple Canopy’s role as a modified version of the general-interest magazine. The editors’ approach may come more from the art world than from the newsroom, but Triple Canopy is satisfyingly old school in the catholic nature of its interests. Some of the collective’s output qualifies as news that applies to the larger population, and some of it is smaller in scale, close to the purely poetic or personal. And they’ve just gone and done the most old-school thing of all: released a book. Invalid Format is a delightful collection culled from the first four issues of the magazine. What is sacrificed in pixels and sound is made up for in a primitive portability you’ll recognize, and in an intimacy only the printed stack knows: all that information is destined to bunk together forever. No escape button.
—Sasha Frere-Jones, the New Yorker
I propose you explore the audio, images, and text in this excellent multimedia magazine that—however attuned its editors are to what the web does well—hasn’t forgotten what magazines also need to be: written.
—Wyatt Mason, Harper’s Magazine
A beautiful art object in and of itself—and a welcome reminder of the wonderful things Web publications (and only Web publications) can do when they take advantage of their medium.
—The New York Observer
Triple Canopy is a multitasking brain trust of a nonprofit that publishes an extremely smart Internet magazine, presents performances and organizes exhibitions.
—Holland Cotter, the New York Times
Triple Canopy is an online magazine that lets you watch videos, is not limited by word or page length, and can be read simultaneously by people anywhere in the world. In other words, it’s the future. Only thing is, you can’t read it in the bath. Yet.
—Jennifer Higgie, Financial Times
Like [Triple Canopy], Corrected Slogans sidles curiously between print and digital. Its fastidious edits, a vestige, increasingly, of the printed page, lend it the feel of a dog-eared book, removed from the web’s frictionless slick. At the same time, it takes the footnote and subjects it to the logic of the Internet. Its annotations seem beholden to the sort of tangential wandering through sources that Google and its bevy of digitized books enable. Search for a phrase, and you’re bound to end up elsewhere, often in a topic only tenuously threaded to your initial query. Viewed through this frame, Corrected Slogans hypostatizes the web’s abstract flow, where every text yawns into another.
—Courtney Fiske, the Brooklyn Rail
Triple Canopy adds video to the usual prose and photographs, but there’s no question you’re reading a literary magazine—even if it has no paper counterpart. It’s not the first place on the Web to try this trick, but it’s one of only a handful where it works well.
—Blake Wilson, the New York Times
An intriguing example of innovative online publishing—a reading experience that draws you in like print, with the flash and frisson of the Web.
One of the densest, highest ideas-per-page reads I’ve had in a long while. Innovative and very likable.
—Kevin Kelly, the Long Now Foundation, Wired
One of the best things you’ll read this year … and it also seems to me to be the Writing of the Future. It is its own thing.
—Ed Park, the Believer, Personal Days
Little did [Bob Dylan] know that his Beat generation mentors (the original slackers) would be thoroughly out-slothed by subsequent cohorts, primarily my own (Generation X), to the point where a bunch of talented youth from Triple Canopy can hang an event on failure, be successful, and look good, if appropriately maudit, while doing so. Indeed, these busy Y-sters have distilled and perfected the deception of cloaking themselves in the distressed sartorial aesthetic of their predecessors while being, in truth, fiendishly ambitious and competent.
—Andrew Hultkrans, Artforum
Triple Canopy is a fascinating, ambitious, terrifically designed new literary-and-more online magazine.
Smart, gorgeous, informative. They’re doing the sort of stuff that people say is not happening on the Internet: intelligent reportage and analysis that isn’t afraid to go in-depth. I’m going to be digging through the archives for a long time to come.
—Paul Constant, the Stranger
A highly protean publisher that routinely experiments with the concept of “format,” Triple Canopy has become one of the most engaging and conceptually innovative projects in the American landscape. And it’s one of the few publishing outlets that seems to have digested the finer points of media theory. —Jonathan Sturgeon, “Five Small Publishers Who Are Changing the Face of the Industry,” Flavorwire
Triple Canopy currently seeks a part-time Development Intern for the fall semester to assist with fundraising and strategic development. To learn more, visit our education page.
Please direct all inquiries to:
264 Canal Street, 3W
New York, NY 10013 USA
For information on submitting a proposal or project, please visit our submissions page. Please do not send press or review materials by postal mail without prior approval.
To make a tax-deductible contribution online, please visit our membership page.
To receive rates, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To receive occasional updates on the magazine and other projects, please join our mailing list.
Triple Canopy supports the following browsers and operating systems, with occasional exceptions:
- Chrome 40.0+ (Mac/Windows)
- Safari 8.0+ (Mac/Windows)
- Firefox 38.0+ (Mac/Windows)
- Internet Explorer 10+
- iPad/iPhone iOS 7+
- Android OS 4.3+