“While no one is making masterpieces anymore, no one is trying to make them either,” Rhonda Lieberman remarked in her iconic 1992 essay “The Loser Thing.” Appearing in that year’s September issue—which launched Jack Bankowsky’s eleven-year editorship of the magazine—the piece brilliantly explicates the aesthetics of abjection, slackerism, and self-abasement that were then efflorescing into a kind of fin-de-siècle flop era, one in which artists began “exploring the richness of student-loan debt, credit-card debt, masturbation, bloated ambition, and enforced downward mobility as the substantive

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