Announcing our 2012-2022 anthology & end-of-life for’s publishing with a book launch & club night send-off at London’s ICA

, 19 May 2023
AQNB 2012-2022. Design by PWR Studio. Image courtesy TLTRPreß, Berlin.

Announcing the release of our 2012-2022 anthology. Marking the end-of-life for’s publishing, we will be sending off our stubborn labour of love with a club night and book launch at London’s ICA on June 2, 9pm-1am, as well as a conversation between AQNB’s Steph Kretowicz (aka Jean Kay) and Jared Davis as part of Presse Books Fair at FormaHQ on June 17, 4pm.

The book is an archive dump celebrating a decade of our cult editorial platform’s outputs at the margins of art, music and digital culture, published by TLTRPreß with design by PWR Studio.

Our Patreon will remain active for proceeds towards the website’s hosting costs while we find a way to archive it indefinitely, and who knows if projects pop up again under the ‘AQNB’ umbrella. But for now it’s curtains. We’ve had a lot to say over the years, but will sign off here with one last preamble, our anthology foreword by editor Steph, aka Jean Kay.**

Preface 1


Steph Kretowicz

AQNB 2012-2022. Design by PWR Studio. Image courtesy TLTRPreß, Berlin.

A blog, a Twitter spam account, a Facebook Page, an Instagram profile, a sparsely-populated Discord server, a YouTube channel, and an undersubscribed Patreon that really just wanted to be a website. AQNB, and its forgettable sequence of letters, has a past that’s rooted in the 2010s “post-internet” era—a vague and dispersed art movement that most of its movers rejected before it ended at the 9th Berlin Biennale. Or, at least that’s the lore. The online publication wanted to produce smart and inclusive writing about interdisciplinary art on the internet that needed to be taken seriously. 

The group of people that ran AQNB was small, but its influence was big, if obscure and indefinable, much like its mission statement as an “editorial platform committed to independent media.” That commitment extended only as far as it seemed impossible to monetize, or convince a funder it was worth funding. Its interest was “transmedial,” then “interdisciplinary.” Then it worked at the “intersection” of “art and technology,” which became “visual art, music, and critical thinking,” before the intersection was dropped altogether, having become an in-crowd cliché, like “hybrid,” “convergence,” or “queer.”

AQNB 2012-2022. Design by PWR Studio. Image courtesy TLTRPreß, Berlin.

First founded by Guillermo Fraile in London, the site started out as a culture and technology blog with navbar links like “cultart,” “madketing,” and “geeknology.” It was looking to catch the current of the Web 2.0 weblog boom of the early 2000s, teeming with the likes of Triangulation, Style Rookie, Mashable, and Gawker. Some did better than others. AQNB’s long-term success was medium.

It was first called Atractivo que no bello, meaning “attractive, not beautiful” in Spanish, which weirdly suited its eventual direction. There was something intriguing about the young artists who were arguing for the legitimacy of social media as a place for making and promoting art (among other things) at a time when the notion of digital dualism was still the standard. Internet art, of course, existed already, but the corporate creep and institutionalization of the world wide web had begun, making it more controlled, if more accessible.

That, though, was neither here nor there for the of 2009, with its quirky branding and goofy pen names covering comic books, street art, and the latest developments in multinational technology company rollouts. I joined in 2011, and took over a redesigned website as editor in 2012, along with its new URL, now shortened to the initialism. I’d come to characterize the shift in editorial direction as a sort of digital reclamation of a space intended for an entirely different occupant, rather than the online avant-garde set that would later define AQNB’s identity.

AQNB 2012-2022. Design by PWR Studio. Image courtesy TLTRPreß, Berlin.

Built on the detritus of Banksy event announcements and web-based product releases, AQNB blindly fumbled its way through the media art continuum, from an essay on the “Object in Net Art” to a video interview with Shu Lea Cheang and Mark Amerika (sadly, now lost to the graveyard of prematurely closed Vimeo channels). As a music critic still largely in my punk phase, I knew comparatively little about art, and much less about digital culture, but found the freedom of an anonymous and underpaid side hustle to be the ideal channel for exploring anything and everything I found interesting. Over time, that interest would crystalize into an incredibly dynamic but also pretty niche cultural discourse, carved into the mountain of obsolete systems and cyberjunk buttressing the AQNB construction site to this day.

AQNB 2012-2012, published by TLTRPreß and designed by PWR Studio, launches with a club night at London’s ICA on June 2, 2023, 9pm-1am.