There I was at a beer garden in London in a pre-Covid December when my drinking mate asked me for the seventh time, what I was going to call it. I was hapless and out of my depth−what should I call this magazine? Horse & Hound was already taken. Royal Life was too. So, I answered grumpily, and ‘cross’ was born.
To be honest, it’s not much of a story. Names are supposed to be everything: ‘cross’ could have been too ‘priesty’ or too ‘porny’. In truth, there was a Norwegian, there was a pub (and so there were the makings of an excellent bar joke)−but CRXSS was made to mean intersection, overlap: the magazine equivalent of a Venn diagram. Anything but ‘interdisciplinary’−a term painfully obese on syllables.
Launched last April in Austin, Texas, and operating out of Edinburgh, CRXSS has grown into an experiment which people from all over the world are dabbling in. The idea was to offer something a bit different−an international platform where student scientists and artists and essayists alike could feel comfortable and empowered. We don’t like conventional boxes and their gatekeepers. ‘Politics’, ‘Culture’, ‘Science and Technology’−why not ‘Diet’ or ‘Growth’, ‘Mind’ or ‘Conspiracy’? I think perspectives are more vibrant and diverse and accessible when they orbit themes rather than categories.
We are passionate about young people, what they can create, and how to do that content justice. With climate change dominating the horizons of most, CRXSS had intended to launch its first printed edition on Climate in April 2020. But what with Covid-19's raised drawbridges, all that remains of that aspiration is the graphic design dotted across the site.
Now, over a year on, CRXSS has finally released its first print edition on the only thing that seemed appropriate given the context: breakups, big and small. From romance and workplaces to public health and democratic politics, things are more broken now than usual. We’ve learnt a lot about what we take for granted. Few hugs, fewer pubs−I, for one, struggle with not being able to meet the team that keeps CRXSS chugging along. But it is remarkable to see the world shrunk so small with such an international and diverse group of writers, editors, producers, photographers, activists, and musicians.
So, CRXSS is still up and running, barely surviving the academic work that we probably should have seen coming and a pandemic that we definitely didn’t, to hopefully offer up something interesting for everyone.
Founder & Director