Friday, April 11, 2014

Great Ocean Quarterly & Acid

A few days ago I had a nice conversation with someone who runs an online art gallery. We touched on artistic process, sensibilities and value systems. We talked about archiving and collecting. I mentioned that I used to keep notebooks of drawings and writings but that those things were inevitably replaced by blogging, something I had conceived of as an easier daily practice at some point, the argument being that the blog, being inherently public, offers the kind of pressure to produce that having an audience (however imagined and fictional) provides. The idea that someone somewhere just might be waiting for that next statement or observation or flight of fancy or experiment, the idea that there might be someone like that in some possible world at least, is enough to coerce laziness to scram. In fact, over the years blogging has done just that. I've been able to practice writing, to one degree or another. I've been able to create little worlds of process that have allowed me to stake out a little mental space for myself apart from the rest of my life. But when I mentioned this move away from the overtly tactile process of keeping a physical journal, full of hand written notes and little sketches and drawings, I think she sorta got a screwed up look on her face, a little crinkling of the nose, as if she'd momentarily smelled something disappointing. My apologetic reaction to that was to assure her that I someday I will return to sketching and writing in my books, a thought that has occurred to me but I'd never really given much weight. As I said it though, I realized how true that statement is. I will return to the notebooks.

How do magazines continue? How do they stay relevant? It is easy to see why the garden variety daily newspaper would be overcome by the hourly, minutely, news cycle digital media offers. You'd think magazines would go the same route. But magazines are something different. Somehow the online glossy just doesn't have that mystique, that magical component of physical artifact still playing upon our heart strings just so. In the best cases, a magazine, the physical thing itself, becomes a little art gallery of imagery, and a little library of thought that's all yours. There it is on the shelf, or the table or wherever, a kind of inspirational security blanket that might remind you that poetry isn't dead, that travel writing isn't dead, that hard work isn't dead.

A couple really rad ones. Magazines that warm the literary heart. Thanks to Tommy Colla for keeping a GOQ for me which inspired me to finally subscribe after months of promising to do so. Glad I did. And Acid there, I bought that little magazine a while ago and have been waiting for the next round ever since.  Now I gotta go find it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

magazines pop up in the mail unannounced. a lovely surprise for the day. long live print