Breakthrough Nostalgia: Reading Steve McCaffery Then and Now guest-edited by Stephen Cain Open Letter, Fourteenth Series, Number 7, Fall 2011
Stephen Cain: Introduction
CLINAMEN Geoff Hlibchuk: “Dark ’Pataphysics: The Necropoesis of Steve McCaffery” Stephen Voyce: “Steve McCaffery’s Kommunism” Gregory Betts: “Becoming Clinamen: McCaffery and the (new) York school of writing”
Who but the ever marvelous Yunte Huang could possibly get away with this marvelous opening sentence in an op-ed piece in today's TImes Sunday Review: "IMAGINE this: It’s Sunday morning, beautiful and quiet, except for the mockingbird practicing comic routines on the sweet gum tree in the backyard."
This is an unusual moment of global economic crisis, failure of capitalism and of progressive political movements, a moment of political impasse, and of generational shift, following upon a series of traumatic political events and a decade of war. Methods of communication have changed since we began our project 25 years ago and concepts of privacy and individuality seem to be in a process of radical transformation.
Our 25th anniversary issue centers around two themes: the impact of public trauma on art and art critical practice, and the nature of privacy for the artist or critic working in the age of social networking and global spectacle.
The first issue of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: A Journal of Contemporary Art Issues, was published in December 1986. We published 20 issues biannually over ten years. In 2000, M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism was published by Duke University Press. In 2002 we began to publish M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online and have published four previous online issues. The M/E/A/N/I/N/G archive from 1986 to 2002 is in the collection of the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
To address our themes in this online issue, we invited a wide spectrum of artists, art historians, and poets, some who had written for our journal before and many new artists and writers whose work we have encountered in recent years. We are proud to continue our commitment to maintaining an open, non-profit space for independent writing about art.
We are honored to publish the responses we have received, people really wrote what they wanted, what they felt, each very individually, many clearly inspired and energized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began September 17th in Lower Manhattan and has rapidly sent a wave of optimism around the world.
Susan Bee and Mira Schor New York City, November 18 2011