Letter from the Editors

To Hell with the New

We already have more music, writing, art, and experience piled upthan we can possibly deal with, and so much of the fresh news wereceive is at best a distraction. Every week, the next movies arrive,the next celebrity temper tantrum, the next batch of lies from the podium, and meanwhile Jack Abramoff's gaming of the politicalsystem already seems like ancient history. It's getting clearer all thetime that most of what passes for the New is just a way of forgettingwhat really matters.

In this issue, Plazm takes on the subject of Collective Memory.What's worth remembering in an information society? We have afew ideas. In the following pages we delve into the archive of TomRobinson, photographic negative preservationist and all-aroundgenius. We ponder the legacy of geographic partition plans amongretreating empires. We pool our memories of a music scene withmany protagonists. And we make room for artists such as StormTharp, Jessica Hutchins, and Casey Watkins, who have taken thetime to understand their roots and humbly work within traditionsolder than themselves.

We also focus our thoughts on the one big innovation we really careabout: the end of war. Artists such as Sue Coe, Yoko Ono, and ArtChantry, among others, contribute ideas about a future withoutorganized murder, and what it might look like.The New is so Twentieth Century. We want wisdom, not information.We want to explore old music, old books, and old photographs,figure out what we care about, and preserve it for those who comelater. We want to walk backward into the future.

-Jon, Josh, & TIffany

About This Story


  • Art: Joshua Berger
  • Contributors: Jon Raymond, Tiffany Lee Brown
  • Published Online: Jan 13, 2012
  • Print Publication Date: Jul 2008