Founded in the UK in 1994 by artists Simon Worthington and Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Mute Magazine started as a platform for critical engagement with issues relating to new media and art. The magazine was a response to several factors more and less familiar from popular descriptions of the early 1990s: the development of digital technologies and the World Wide Web; the gradual popularisation of a specifically British avant-garde art in the mainstream media; and the explosion of DiY culture across the UK. These exerted mutual pressure, and forced many artists to reassess the place of art and artists not just in relation to the market, new distribution platforms and the public sphere, but also to the politics of information, technology, and science.
Originally published bi-monthly, Mute Magazine was until recently released twice-yearly in book format. It is now experimenting with a publishing model incorporating Print On Demand (POD) technologies and 'cluster' issues published more frequently in a smaller format. Through all its appearances, Mute has remained a valuable contributor to the UK new media arts scene, as well as being committed to investigation and reflection on social movements, geopolitical developments, information politics and contemporary theory.
In 2001, Mute Magazine generated off-shoot projects OpenMute and YouAreHere as ways of developing free knowledge and open systems, as well as to support networking initiatives in the East End of London. It currently hosts OpenMute, a website service and hosting package geared to independent media, artists and community groups. An example of such a group supported by Mute is the rampART creative centre which has a website hosted by OpenMute and obtains its internet connection via YouAreHere.
Mute has had many contributors such as Peter Suchin, Marina Vishmidt, John Hutnik, Emma Hedditch, Heath Bunting, Matthew Hyland, YProductions, Hari Kunzru, Anthony Davies & Simon Ford, David Panos, Stewart Home, Kate Rich and Saul Albert.
Mute is based in Whitechapel, London.