Essay in Proximity, Marching Backwards, and Passes to Fictionaut

Proximity Magazine Issue 3Essay in Proximity
Proximity was started in June last year six months after the current recession had started and six months before it was officially called. The first paragraph in the first magazine notes the paradox of recession (and even depression) … “Only a bunch of artists would start a new art magazine in the throes of recession. […] Because sure — the economy is receding … cultural production in Chicago is surging yet again.” Ed and Rachael Marszewski. Proximity as a magazine is concerned with mechanisms of cultural production. The first issue, primarily focused on Chicago, featured an article about the collective art production during their factory braks in Pennsylvania of of a group built a communal art project called Swampwall. “Early on this relative of mine and several of his co-workers spent their work breaks attaching newspaper clippings, snapshots, spent soda cans, industrial debris, trashed food containers and similar pieces to one wall of the plant.” Proximity contains charts, diagrams, analysis, articles, and speculation about the persistence of this kind of production.

I have an article in this issue three, which just came out. I spent eight months working as a social media analyst and discovered I enjoyed, perhaps too much, analysis. I used some of the new tools and techniques I learned at this job to compare the blog-based networks associated with three Seattle literary magazines and their corresponding print-based networks. I studied The Raven Chronicles, The Crab Creek Review, and Pontoon from 2003-2008, and discovered some surprising things.

Essay at Plortlandfiction.net
Another semi-commie or at least collective effort is Portlandfiction.net is a Web site in Portland. “Each week, the authors in The Portland Fiction Project write on a suggestion word.” They’ve written about wedding anniversiy materials, Paper, Silver, Leather and Lace, answers to unstated questions, and so on.

In addition they have published a few guest essays including an article by Tom Spanbauer on Dangerous Writing. ” I’m right now writing a book on Dangerous Writing and one of the things I’ve come up with is the fact that we are, all of us, in some way or another haunted. These days, we use psychological terms to express our hauntings. But when we come right down to it, isn’t an Oedipal complex, a very specific haunting by a mother and a father?”

They just published my essay, “Marching Backwards into the Future.

The movement to restore the primacy of the printed word is a conservative one with the same degree of sense as might be found among medievalists, adopters of the Paleolithic lifestyle, and steam engine train enthusiasts.

Passes to Fictionnaught
Finally, I have five guest passes to the beta release of Fictionnaught an online writing community with a super clean interface and membership including some huge powerhouse writers such as Pia Ehrhardt, Claudia Smith, Marcy Dermansky, and Gary Percesepe. It was created by Carson Baker and Juergen Fauth. Although as a community it doesn’t contain the mixers that make FaceBook work so well, it is an excellent way to find great fiction and share your work. Commentary tends to be on the gentle affirmative side. If you are interested in one of my passes, let me know, and I’ll send it you. I’m at: matt(dot)briggs(at)geemail.

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