Interview with Love is the Law Magazine's Editor-in-chief Marques Toliver
Marques Toliver is the editor-in-chief of Love is the Law Magazine - an ambitious, artistic and unique London publication. Marques, his team and contributors are launching the fourth issue this Thursday in Bethnal Green. Here he talks about the aesthetics of the LITL and why print is still very relevant.
What 5 words sums up and sets the tone of Love is Law #4?
Chaos, Euphoria, Groundbreaking, Thoughtful, ‘Fuck Your Gloss!’
What other things are ‘law’ when you and the team put together a new issue?
There are no other laws when it comes to the team putting an issue together. Everyone has their role. Those who can help, do! We are a growing team, because the strain of putting something together like this, in a relatively short time frame, whilst still promoting an extant issue and planning events, needs to be spread. I think I follow one rule, which is to try and give people a break when they need to concentrate on other things, and ultimately do everything myself that I can, leaving, hopefully the most interesting editorial tasks to the others, such as choosing which poems or which images from a submission should be considered, or indeed, choosing which submissions should be considered at all. We have a very talented and discerning team, which is why the quality of what we publish is so high.
Which magazines are in your top 3 of influential magazines of all time and what are their strengths?
Vogue is obviously an influential publication. Vogue is what starts it all really. After that, I’d say Harper’s Bazaar have the right idea regarding the fusion of fashion and art, and I’m going to have to say that Love is the Law Magazine is the other influential publication on my list. Of course I’d say that, but then, what else would I know. This has been a 5 year long project, only the last year of which has seen the publication go to print. Already by our 3rd issue we secured a distributor, and advertisers came on board in issue#2. So in some ways, we have had a magical rise to notoriety and pride ourselves on having achieved so much with basically no funding at any point whatsoever. We are resourceful creatives and we are dedicated to celebrating the beauty that surrounds us. It’s about everyday social practices we are involved in.
Why is the physical, tangible magazine still important?
People need to touch things and hold them. We need to feel things with our skin. It’s part of how we process information from our earliest days in life. It’s a special, sensual, corporeal kind of knowledge we get with our body: something that is subtle and sublime. Technology connects us with things far and wide, but alienates us from ourselves and our senses. Glossy magazines try to replicate that shiny, over crowded space, teaching readers to have shorter and short attention spans. We print on recycled paper because we want to protect the earth, and people respond well to the feel of the paper — it opens up a deeper appreciation of what is on the page itself, and gives the quality of something timeless. Print media is here to stay — but its up to us how we expect our readers to engage with it. We are trying to stand at the forefront of a new wave of publishing ideas, which challenge and push their readers to be more discerning in their approach to print media.
For the readers who don’t know the magazine…yet. Could we introduce it here in an alternative way? Say, if Love is Law was a famous building, a painting and a London street – which would it be?
If LITL was a famous building or street….it would be probably those gorgeous 16th century buildings in East London, like Princelet Street Museum or something like that, around Calvert Avenue, where our friend Hassan Hajjaj works. It’s because of the history and fact that for so long, people from all around the world have been coming there and contributing to the culture here in London.
If LITL was a famous painting…it would be Hieronymous Bosch ‘Ship of Fools’ — check it out — read into it what you wish!
What can we expect of the launch party?
The launch is set to be a fine occasion with one of the best line-ups of musicians we have brought to our audience since beginning this journey. We are also working hard to include some very interesting works of art, and ad hoc, innovative performances. Its simple really: we gather people together, and they have a great night of music and art and meeting other like-minded people, in a city that can sometimes feel intimidating - we try to welcome and encouragement the spirit of generosity.