How to achieve cultural enlightenment in lockdown with Buffalo Zine

From gong baths to body painting with neo-naturists and acid on the beach, the new issue of Buffalo Zine offers an invaluable guide to feeding your mind, body and soul right now.

by Ryan White
13 May 2020, 1:00pm

Right now the world needs a guide to living 'better' in lockdown like a hole in the head. Between all the Instagram ads for home workout apps and influencer posts espousing the importance of humility one must sift through in order to find memes, there's little mental capacity left for more virtue or abstemiousness. But what about a guide to living weirder? Living wilder? Nourishing your soul without partaking in the algorithm's cruel, sardonic mind games and instead embracing the power of nature in all its glorious forms? Well, we think we've found just the thing, and it's Buffalo Zine's new issue.

You already know Buffalo Zine and its clever takes on the fashion industry. Or at least, you should. If you didn't catch its 10th anniversary earlier this year or its lampooning of ours and many other fashion magazine's signature covers last year, this issue is a good place to start. The team have decided to "tune in and drop out" for its 11th issue, and right now, what could be more enviable than that? "We’ll be taking a trip off the grid to discover and celebrate all of the various ways in which we can reconnect with nature," they say, "from foraging to nudism, gong bathing to trekking, bird watching to day tripping." Here, the team behind Buffalo break down a few of the many many things you can learn from buying a copy.

Staying indoors?

buffalo zine
Photography by Chris Maggio

Get into knitting with Sam Barsky

Here's a little inspiration to get you started making your wardrobe. “Instead of wearing what the mainstream commercial market has to offer, I prefer to wear my creations. I don’t own anything else, but I do have 147 sweaters to choose from," says American artist Sam Barsky. “I’m an extrovert, so I enjoy talking while we knit together. You could just be in the saddest kind of mood, and you come in and everybody is just delightful and nice. It's definitely therapy.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Dexter Lander. Fashion by Naomi Itkes.

Take dream interpretation therapy with Robyn

“I started dreaming really intensely when I was in a more active part of my psychoanalysis,” the beloved pop singer tells Buffalo. “I have this clear memory of a dream with the tiger, but there's another one I had when I was a child that also came back. It was a very spiritual moment for me, and I think that once I started dreaming again, I just realised how beautiful it is to have an unconscious that you can get information from.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Raphael Bliss

Throw a crazy costume party with Monster Chetwynd

“I love painted skin, me being me," Monster Chetwynd tells Buffalo. "Even if it's with high heels and a handbag, I definitely like being nude." The multimedia artist also encourages you to find empowerment in pushing the boundaries of our normative society. "It's the same thing with the name. I just love the empowerment or the tactic of it. It's outrageous! At the Turner Prize, when you say where you live, I said I was part of a nudist colony. There's this boring text on the wall where you can say where you're working. It's a pigeonholing experience, like 'based in Glasgow', 'based in London', based in wherever you're based. And I said that I live in a nudist colony and it meant I didn't have to have any other address. But also the fact that they allowed it! I couldn't believe they allowed it!”

buffalo zine
Photography by Kim Jakobsen To

Try bodypainting with the Neo Naturists

“Initially, it was tied to the idea of going out and everyone competing to wear something more outrageous,” Wilma of art collective Neo Naturists says, “then we thought, let’s do something even crazier: not wear any clothes at all!” According to them: “Being painted is entirely different from being naked. It brings you a kind of protection, and so doing it together feels almost tribal.” Jennifer agrees: “Once it’s on, you just let go. You become a body-painted person. As a group, it's very bonding.” For Christine: “If it doesn’t get smudged, I get depressed. It doesn’t feel like you’ve really worn it. I want to wear my body paint until it comes off, from dancing and sweating, so when you get home and wash it off, it’s only the residue rather than the pattern.”

buffalo zine
Digital Art by Ruby Gloom. Fashion by Tati Cotliar.

Design your own avatar and explore your digital identity with Grimes

“Humans are working on building artificial general intelligence, which is fascinating, because if we can actually create a sentient being, that’s an extremely godly act," says musician and new mother to XÆA-12 Musk. "But at the same time, the thing we’ve created would be, compared to us, a god in terms of how powerful it is. So I think it leads to this interesting paradox whereby creating AI we are gods, but we’re also making gods that could so easily destroy us. I find that a very poetic concept.”

Grimes also found time to discuss with Buffalo the possibilities of a multiverse. “We’re all engaging with multiple identities more than we think we are. And that might be one of the big problems of the current age, that we’re not adjusting psychologically to this. We’re not accepting that we’re all living multiple lives in multiple universes.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Caroline Tompkins

Sculpt, paint and make your own clothes with Susan Cianciolo

“Meditation sets a tone for how I’m led into the work. Most of the work is really based off of what kind of feelings arise from those meditations," says designer and artist Susan Cianciolo. “If a family member is sick, instead of how I used to feel so worried, I just click over to constantly projecting energy on them. And that energy or love or whatever you want to call it, I feel it’s very powerful.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Alessandro Raimondo. Fashion by Claire Lemaigre

Bathe in sound, not water!

During the making of Buffalo Earth, the team had the pleasure of going to a sound bath, kundalini yoga and cacao ceremony. This tripartite ritual aimed to “heighten presence and awareness, elevate our creative and spiritual capacities and realise a state of balance and clarity.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Molly Matalon

Feed your spirit with a chakra dinner courtesy of Amanny Ahmad

Amanny Ahmad is an artist, chef, forager, ikebana enthusiast, writer, food activist and traveller. For Buffalo she prepares a menu designed to align with you. "Because light is a radiant energy and thus vibrates -- and colour is the visual language of light -- we can deduce that colour is energy manifested as visual spectral vibration," Amanny says. "With this in mind, we can choose to align harmoniously with colours to affect the energies that compromise that various aspects of our being on this 4D plane of existence."

buffalo zine
Photography by Dario Catellani. Fashion by Vittoria Cerciello.

Do yoga with Carolyn Murphy

Turkeys optional.

Going outdoors?

buffalo zine
Photography by Devin Blair. Fashion by Claire Lemaigre

Get sexy in the woods with Spencer Phipps

“Don’t get me wrong, I love Patagonia,” says Spencer Phipps of Phipps International, the eco high fashion cross-over embraced by the fashion industry. “I’m from California and it’s in my DNA. But it’s very much functional hiking clothes -- a sort of nerdy uncle vibe. For us, it was a question of, how do we make it sexy and fun?" Perfect attire for a little dogging in the woods then. “People in the wild can get up to some really crazy shit... There’s just that whole sense of the birds and the bees, and everybody’s just humping and living their lives and reproducing. The more you study biology, the more you see everything is just extremely horny, all the time.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Rene Vaile

Escape the city and live in the wild like Miriam Lancewood

Want to escape the world entirely? Miriam and her husband did and now they live a completely nomadic life in the wild, splitting the hunting and cooking duties respectively. “The biggest effect of this way of life is clarity, and the clarity of making the right choices," she says. "It’s very primitive and not many people would want to exchange their comforts with this, even though I would say mentally, it’s much more comforting.”

“Nothing to read, nothing to do, obviously no social media, nothing like that. I just had to sit through it. But after some weeks it became normal, you get into the flow and I didn’t have so much trouble anymore. It went away and dissolved. And that’s what I found with a lot of these psychological problems, they dissolved. Rather than being solved by thinking about it, rather than analysing it.”

buffalo zine
Photography by Alice Schillaci. Fashion by Tati Cotliar

Drop acid on the beach

Just how Lana Del Rey likes it.

Buffalo Zine Issue 11 is available to buy here.

buffalo zine