Neural (magazine)

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Cover of Issue #2: Dream Machine
Chief EditorAlessandro Ludovico
Assistant EditorAurelio Cianciotta Mendizza
English EditorRachel O'Dwyer
Staff writersJosephine Bosma
Chiara Ciociola
Daphne Dragona
Rachel O'Dwyer
Paolo Pedercini
Paul Prudence
Benedetta Sabatini
CategoriesNew Media Art, Electronic Music, Hacktivism
FounderAlessandro Ludovico
Ivan Iusco
First issueNovember 1993
Based inBari
LanguageEnglish, Italian

Neural is a print magazine established in 1993[1] dealing with new media art, electronic music and hacktivism. It was founded by Alessandro Ludovico and Minus Habens Records label owner Ivan Iusco[2] in Bari (Italy). In its first issue (distributed in November 1993) there was the only translation in Italian of William Gibson's Agrippa (A Book of the Dead).[3]


The first topics covered were: cyberpunk (both as a literally and political movement), electronic music, networks and BBS, virtual reality, media, science fiction and UFO. The magazine's mission was to be a magazine of ideas, becoming a node in a larger network of digital culture publishers.[4] The magazine was also committed to give its topics a proper visual frame: focusing on graphic design and how it could have expressed the electronic culture in a sort of printed 'interface', exploiting at the same time the "sensorial" possibilities of the printed page. So, for example the page numbering was strictly in binary numbers for three years, then decimal figures were added aside. There was a department with stereogram pictures and the centerfold hosted a few optical art artworks. The graphic design included a fixed space in every article for contact and links, being inspired by the Whole Earth Catalog experiments.[5]

In issue #18 the centerfold was dedicated to a hacktivist fake. It was made by fake stickers, created by the Italian hacker laboratories' network. These fake stickers were sarcastically simulating the real ones that are mandatory stuck on any book or compact disc sold in Italy, because of the law supporting the SIAE, the local Authors' and Musicians' Society. On the one published on Neural is written 'suggested duplication on any media'.

In 1997 the first Neural website was established, and it has been updated daily since September 2000. The Neural website is bi-lingual (English and Italian).[6]

In 1998, the topics were restricted to three: media art, with a peculiar attention to the networked and conceptual use of technology in art (the so-called, hacktivism, or activism using electronic media to express itself and electronic music, investigating how the technology is involved in music production, consumption and experimentation.

In May 2002, Neural was one of the founding members of, electronic cultural publishers, an international network of magazines, whose slogan is "Collaboration is Better than Competition". This network was founded during the conference and workshop "Post Media Publishing" that took place at the Universidad International de Andalucia, in Seville (Spain).[7] Since then, a few meetings, mutual workshops and presentations were done in various countries, and three Readers[8] were published as well.

In 2007, Neural was part of the Documenta 12 magazines project [9] and Alessandro Ludovico was appointed as an.[10]

In 2008, Neural celebrated 15 years of publishing[11] with a join micro-printed action with Swamp group.

Neural magazine (ISSN 2037-108X) started as a bi-monthly but since 1997 it was printed three times in a year (some years it was printed irregularly). It was printed originally in Italian, but since 2003 there were two different printed editions: in English and Italian. The Italian printed edition was discontinued in 2008.

English Edition[edit]

  • Issue #20, Hacktive Community
  • Issue #21, Breaking the Rules
  • Issue #22, Facing Reality
  • Issue #23, Hacking the Air
  • Issue #24, Geek Girls
  • Issue #25, Media Interventionists
  • Issue #26, Disturbing the System
  • Issue #27, Copyright Guerrilla
  • Issue #28, Data Error
  • Issue #29, Digital China
  • Issue #30, Dangerous Games
  • Issue #31, Information Value
  • Issue #32, Machine Affection
  • Issue #33, Scripting Green
  • Issue #34, Fake'ology
  • Issue #35, Friends?
  • Issue #36, Time Deceptions
  • Issue #37, Common Spacing
  • Issue #38, p2p > f2f
  • Issue #39, Multiplied Identities
  • Issue #40, The Generative Unexpected
  • Issue #41, Addiction(s)
  • Issue #42, The Illegal Issue
  • Issue #43, Networked Tangibility
  • Issue #44, Post-Digital Printing
  • Issue #45, Américas!
  • Issue #46, Unearthed: The 20th Anniversary Issue
  • Issue #47, Art in the age of neurological reproduction
  • Issue #48, Uncanny Abundance
  • Issue #49, Off-Western
  • Issue #50, Transient Gestures
  • Issue #51, Revive
  • Issue #52, Complexity issue(s)
  • Issue #53, Obfuscate or Die
  • Issue #54, Making it up
  • Issue #55, Inconvenient Utopias
  • Issue #56, Intelligently Weak
  • Issue #57, Propaganda Mon Amour
  • Issue #58, Archivism (the dynamics of archiving)
  • Issue #59, Pimping the Eye, VR now
  • Issue #60, Blockchain. The Trust Catalyst.
  • Issue #61, Speculative Pink
  • Issue #62, Spiked Pieces, Celebrating 25 years of Neural
  • Issue #63, Surveillance Surveyed
  • Issue #64, Post-Growth
  • Issue #65, Redirecting Networks
  • Issue #66, State of Emergency
  • Issue #67, Adversarial Tactics

Italian Edition[edit]

  • N. 1, Agrippa
  • N. 2, Dream Machine
  • N. 3, Realtà Virtuali e Guerra
  • N. 1 nuova serie, Bruce Sterling
  • N. 2 nuova serie, Brain Machines
  • N. 3 nuova serie, Videogames
  • N. 4 nuova serie, Wired
  • N. 5 nuova serie, Intrusioni Cerebrali
  • N. 6 nuova serie, BBS copyright non è reato
  • N. 10, Telefoni cellulari, i danni biologici
  • N. 11, William Gibson
  • N. 12, Next World Radio
  • N. 13, Dead Media
  • N. 14, Scanner
  • N. 15, Lassigue Bendthaus
  • N. 16, Etoy
  • N. 17, RTMark
  • N. 18, Marcus Novak
  • N. 19, Richard Stallman
  • N. 20, Hacktive Community
  • N. 21, Breaking the Rules
  • N. 22, Facing Reality
  • N. 23, Hacking the Air
  • N. 24, Media Interventionists
  • N. 25, Copyright Guerrilla


Prix Ars Electronica has been awarded since 1987 by Ars Electronica, based in Linz, Austria, acknowledging excellent international initiatives and achievements in electronic and interactive art, computer animation, digital culture and music.

From 2001 to 2006, awards were given in the Net Vision / Net Excellence category. In 2004, Neural received an honorary mention in this category.[12]


Contributors who wrote on Neural:

Josephine Bosma, Jonah Brucker Cohen, Bronac Ferran, Daphne Dragona, Paul Prudence, Vittore Baroni, Francesca Bianchi, Aldo Chimenti, Cosma Di Tanno, Francesco Lodolo, Antonio Scacco, Paul Toohill, Fabrizio Usberti, Luca Valtorta, Maurizio Verga, Francesco Zappalà[3]

Further reading[edit]

  • Eraso, Miren; Ludovico, Alessandro; Krekovic, Slavo (2006). The reader. UK: Mute. ISBN 9788479075088.
  • M. Buergel, Roger; Noack, Ruth (2007). Documenta Kassel 16/06-23/09 (Documenta 12 Catalogue). Germany: Taschen. ISBN 9783822816776.
  • Bianchi, Amos; Galati, Gabriela (2012). Limina n.2/2012. Italy: M-Node per NABA LIBRI-Laureate Italian Art and Design Education. ISBN 9788895286099.


  1. ^ Quaranta, Domenico (2013).Beyond New Media Art,
  2. ^ DECADENCE, Il libro sulla dance anni novanta, Ivan Iusco e la Minus Habens Records: una rara anomalia italiana, 2016, Retrieved on 25 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b Ludovico, Alessandro e Iusco, Ivan, (1993) Neural n.1, Minus Habens Records, Bari.
  4. ^ Bazzichelli, Tatiana, (2008), Networking - The Net as Artwork, Digital Aesthetics Research Center, Milano.
  5. ^ Dmitry Vilensky, Materialities of Independent Publishing: A Conversation with Aaaaarg, Chto Delat?, I Cite, Mute, and Neural,, 2011. Retrieved on 25 September 2016.
  6. ^ Regine, Interview with Alessandro Ludovico (Neural Magazine),, 2008. Retrieved on 25 September 2016
  7. ^ Post-Media Publishing. Print-publishing and networks for electronic culture- Programme, Spain, 2002.Retrieved on 25 September 2016.
  8. ^ The Reader: Experiences in Electronic Cultural Publishing (2006), ISBN 978-8479075088, 2009.
  9. ^ documenta 12, ISBN 9783836500524. 2007. Retrieved on 24 August 2017.
  10. ^ advisor, 2007. Retrieved on 25 September 2016.
  11. ^ Bruce Sterling, Fifteen years of NEURAL magazine, Wired website, 2008. Retrieved on 25 September 2016.
  12. ^ Honorary Mention Net Vision, "Ars Electronica Archive", Ars Electronica, Linz, 2004. Retrieved on 14 September 2016.

External links[edit]