Moonstone began as a curatorial project with a design edge. We wanted to create a printed literary magazine that featured art, where all the works fit together in meaningful ways. It wasn’t a novel idea—there are many other art / literature / poetry magazines floating in cyberspace, with some amazing work by talented humans. Where we differ is in our idea to have standalone issues, whereby each issue would be designed by a different artist, and could vary by any measure. One issue could be printed in recycled A4 paper, while the next could be a glossy pocketbook. One issue could be covered in marginalia, the next could be sober and Scandinavian. The design of the issue becomes part of the artistic value of the object, and it makes it that much more important for the magazine to be in print form.
There is merit to the idea of letting a written work or a piece of art to “speak for itself”, but we see anything, even a blank page with black text, as a design statement. Anything from the typeface to the margin space, from the layout to the color on the page—everything contributes to our experience of reading, of viewing a piece of art. By creating deliberate designs, and having the freedom to change those designs with each issue, we can make an artistic statement that brings even more meaning to the pieces within the magazine.
In our first issue, we have art, poetry, fiction, and essays dedicated to provide a look at humanity at present with an eye towards the future. What truths can spill out of our subconscious when we examine the possibilities of future events? The future is ambiguous. We are uncertain about the course of history, the approaching inevitable successes and failures of humanity. This universal uncertainty simultaneously brews hope and despair—such strong emotions are vehicles through which some of the most fascinating art is created.
We have selected pieces that we believe touch on these themes in refreshing ways, and each piece has been contributed by an artist or writer who believes in the idea behind Moonstone. In Stewart Finnegan’s “Autoscopy”, we learn that in the near future, desire can still rule our lives. Mike Soto’s featured poems are Jodorowsky-inspired hallucinations that echo loss: “soon enough a town that survives / like a fire at the bottom of an ocean / became a memory of the future.” The combination of earth tones and glitch art in Nichole Africa Mendoza’s The Falling Man supports a perpetually-falling Vitruvian man, a perfect emblem of helplessness in the coming episodes of humanity.
This first issue is a modest representation of our objectives, and we hope it will allow the project to grow to its full potential. We believe the pieces we selected are truly worth experiencing, whether or not we were able to create the perfect space for them. At this point, Moonstone will live online for those who find value in its concept and wish to champion its cause.
And now, without further ado, we present: Moonstone.