A Collaborative Space
Volume no. 1 – Summer
In our second issue of Newfound, we welcome new insights from thought-provoking writers and artists working in a variety of contexts. David Maisel’s work builds upon that of late 1960s Earth artists, such as Robert Smithson, who aspired to redefine the traditional viewer/subject relationship in art. Accordingly, Maisel’s photographs encapsulate the themes presented by many of the contributors in this issue. Selections from Maisel’s The Mining Project reveal the complicated aesthetics of environmentally impacted sites, which seems particularly prescient as many Americans grapple with the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its long-term ecological consequences. Photographed from the sky, Maisel’s arresting images draw attention to the physical distance between viewer and subject, not only allowing the viewer the chance to perceive order and beauty amidst ecological destruction, but also suggesting that beyond the loss of life lies the terrifying acknowledgment that such continual degradation might inhibit humans from feeling the full import of that loss.
The distance between viewer and subject is also a point of exploration for public artist Erik Burke in “Gallery” and “Inside Out,” where he dismantles the border between “high” and “low” art through impromptu outdoor venues. In her interview with Cameron Turner, installation artist Kia Neill parses the “unnatural” beauty of Terrain, an interactive sculpture installation that she produced from recycled materials. Writers Jason Jordan and Aubrey Streit Krug approach their fictional worlds through the plurality of the community voice, while Tom Hertweck’s non-fiction essay, “Every Day is a Brand New Day,” serves as a personal meditation on air travel, environmental degradation, and the passage of time. Poems from Mackenzie Carignan, Serena Tome, and Kelsi Vanada evoke visceral images that elicit new connections and associations between the human and nonhuman. Our reviews include Daniel Keltner’s deconstruction of Avatar’s environmental message, Sarah Morrison’s astute perspective on Ken Kalfus’s collection of short stories, and Jim Bishop’s closer look at the wild and woolly antics of wilderness survivalist Bear Grylls. Last but not least, guest contributor Kate Sayre launches our new blog with a topical article on the art of reclaiming food from your local dumpster.
Finally, we hope you’ll notice and appreciate the changes made to our site. We have redesigned the journal to move Newfound into the future of digital publishing. In line with our commitment to rethink human relationships to place, we have enhanced our site to encourage reader response and criticism, aiming to make Newfound a collaborative space for contributors and readers. Readers are now able to comment on our new blog and on each published article, and are invited to join both our RSS feed and traditional mailing list. We have also adopted an online submission manager to make the submission process easier for everyone, so let us know what you think.
Gwynne Middleton, Managing Editor