Arts & Culture 2012 - editor's highlights

A year of tumult and growth in outsider art, ideas and culture counted down by Dazed Digital's commissioning editor

crisis

This year, digits refused to play. December 21st dissolved into just another pre-Christmas night. Much of last year's spring of agitation - from the 99 per cent of Occupy to the £9,000-student protests - seemed washed out by the pre-Olympic deluge. Staggering figures - from austerity measures to election results to outlandish jail terms - cropped like poxes.

We covered these all in our own way, radically expanding the politics and ideas end of Dazed Digital's Arts & Culture section to bring it in line with the print mag's two-decade history of mixing radical culture, weird voices, awesome clothes and social reportage. We spoke to the founders of Occupy about the movement one year on and wrote back from the damp squib at the end of a student march. As cuts hit southern Europe even harder, we devoted several pages to young Spain's tragic stasis, followed by a report from the November night Barcelona erupted. When Obama took the battle to the hard right on immigration, and won countless millions of supporters for it, we were there to interview new American dreamers. When a group of Russian punks were jailed for their political protest, we covered it in full.

At the beginning of 2012, we told you if those four little numbers weren't exciting, you were doing something wrong. And this year, the creative world has been nothing if not thrilling. We've covered new art , writers and filmmakers - and a series of fascinating collaborations, from film to music. But, perhaps, in contrast to fashion's year of transformation described by my colleague Dean Mayo Davies, this has been 12 months of gestation rather than explosion. After a period of unparalleled and dizzying conversation between mainstream and avant garde, it felt as though this year much of the most interesting work really was taking place out of sight. The truly underground was truly thrilling again. Ground has been broken this year that will doubtlessly last, and new talents have created amazing work that will influence and live on. Let's hope the numbers keep surprising us all, and in the meantime, thanks for reading. Here are my personal favourite stories published since 2011.

When the lights went out

Manhattan, NY: Glasser on how Hurricane Sandy's power cut turned The Village's Halloween real devilish

TRIBUTE

MAINLINE / AG Rojas and Vince Haycock's series of youth films, showing exclusively on Dazed Digital

A Secret History of East London

Our interactive map of London's orient

Samara Scott wins Converse/Dazed award

The carpet loving provocateur triumphs at our annual art awards

LuckyPDF Film: Mynd Ream

In conjunction with the art collective's Dazed & Confused residency, LuckyPDF asked Daniel Swan to visualise a cybernetic and neurotechnological future

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