So I’ve been giving serious thought lately to the idea of starting a literary/art journal (or a literary art journal.) Evidence of this thought process is right here:

The initial idea, heavily influenced by/stolen or adapted from Wallace Berman’s Semina, was to create a journal that was open in form—to print the contributions on a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of paper and issue each subscriber a 3-ring binder in which they were free to arrange the “issues” of the journal as they liked. The idea, then, is to put some of the material and editorial control, those things that I get to enjoy all the time, into the hands of the subscriber. But I don’t think I like that initial idea, and here’s why:

It won’t really work that well. I bet, despite everyone’s best intentions, that all of the various pieces of paper would just sit in their envelopes, looked through but once, and the binder would never be filled. It would be one of those things that would fall by the wayside for most people. I probably wouldn’t be able to keep it up. One solution to this problem would be to do maybe only 4 issues, and have them released in a pretty rapid succession, in order to sustain the energy and engagement. Maybe. But then that’s 6 months to a year of commitment just on that piece…

The second reason I don’t like that idea is because it relies on the old technique of “I, the artist, so special, will give you, the viewer, so pedestrian, a chance to access my unlimited and god-like powers. If only you could be like me!” What would the subscribers’ gain from being able to arrange their own journals? This is a small world we operate in, so half of them would probably already be running a journal of their own. Other than that, it would only be a mildly fun activity, partly a chore, and they would only buy into the process if they simultaneously bought into my authority, but the point of doing this kind of piece would be to undermine and question that authority. But any questioning cannot occur this way.
So the idea must be adjusted.

No comments: