In our initial undertakings we emphasized community—the building and sustenance of it—and honesty.
With the former we hoped to create an underground network of artists who didn’t feel their place to be in the larger field of magazines and journals; and through the latter we hoped to give rise to a wing of artists who could take, and make, themselves serious without having to resort to such singlehanded genres, such as confessional poetry. In their conjunction we could cultivate a social integrity operant upon measures against oneself, in what ultimately would amount to self-checks. We laid trust beside the heart in a sort of centrifugal opportunism, which really just amounted to a practice of self-surveillance. The next step was to stage one as one another. If we could connect honest people with one another, then perhaps honesty would work out conflicts to the end of improvement, insofar as we always saw the next person within the scope of the artwork submitted to the underground. At least if we understood ourselves as an underground confluence then we would be the headspring at which any number of influences would actualize at the point of realizing that we all lived equally with one another and as ourselves. In short: There was no honest I without the honest other.
Now, however, I would like to tighten up Brev to be more of an agency, rather than a mere conduit or channel. No longer to be the underground, but rather the street itself, to be the very distinction between what is in and what is not, what is unheard of and what is. Rather, Brev can stop being antennas for talent and just be a fellow artist amongst others, entailing that radios, too, have a life of their own. This would entail a much more active and, superficially, selective appointment and range of powers. Contrary to the prior mode of rhizomatic contagion—guerrilla movements in wagers of equality—Brev will now operate dialectically: It is a member of the field that it takes as its object, so that its actions would be taken—to the limit crosshatching between the possible and impossible—into consideration both at the outset and upon the actual point of entry of its interventions. Effects would entail further causes and the gap between cause and effect would be closed, since the subject of Brev would be one retroactively presupposed by its own taken actions, and its self-inauguration would be at the same level as everyone else’s insofar as freedom requires such standpoints of inward decision. This way Brev sustains itself in a perpetual existential crisis, always fighting for its own sake, just like any of its contributors. The equality we stand for will be the materialist one that accounts for an idealism of spirit. Our tastes and our selections will further widen and speak, not to, but as part of any Zeitgeist that it might be worthy of becoming—and we can only drive ourselves to live up to the task and expectations that we ourselves will conduce, and hopefully introduce.
To begin at one thing, we can no longer appoint others to do our work, to curate or edit our issues. To recover from our latest and long fall, we will produce shorter and more thematically concise issues, topics for which are to be decided serendipitously at the backend of each seasonal consideration period (submissions will be rolling). Each issue can be seen as a work of art itself this way, and these issues would serve as ends of Brev’s artistic agency. But we can go further by working towards actually publishing our contributors works through third-party outlets like Amazon, or whatever DIY publishing option that exists in a more fundamentally ethical way than Amazon.
Strategically speaking, the following types of works to be received are our ambitions:
1) Highly developed theoretical writings on the subjects of community—such as how can singular individuals can live together and with non-individuals as well (nuclear power, animals, potentialities for eugenics, etc.); freedom—such as how a free act can be distinguished from a mere gesture that can only propagate an already existing system, or how subjects can be considered free in the face of accelerating deterministic sciences, or how collectives can insist politically while sustaining a membership that sees one another eye to eye; and aesthetics—such as how built environments and artifice testify to impossibilities while broaching upon those impossible fields themselves, or how the terms ‘literature’ and ‘fiction’ create non-agential, even non-systemic, experiences and the significance of such singularities, or how performativity can be reconsidered in light of contemporary (continental) philosophical research, or even at a most general level such as that which considers how secondariness retroactively conditions notions of primariness (this would bring the questions of aesthetics up to the questions of ontology).
Of course, the editor states outright now that his leanings are leftist and Lacanian, and are largely educated by the works of the likes of Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Ranciere, and those in rapport with these central figures—as such, submissions facing even at askance these lights will be given priority. All submissions, however, will still remain to be given as fair a read as possible, and so are encouraged for submission despite any seeming odds that this statement might have just engendered.
2) Nuanced literary or art (music or painting or installation or performance) criticisms that without deploying the esoterica of strict philosophical writing still manage to rigorously develop viewpoints, and even arguments, in response to which any multi-issue polemics may be waged. In this line of criticism, mere meditation is insufficient, as any argument can be considered meditative, and it is the argument and creating of grounds through stance and style that opens up meditation to its own meditation, to reflexivity. The ‘opening the open’ of meditation is taken as false in that it ignores the dialectic of meditating upon meditation, an act which inserts the subjective engagement itself, the stance and style of the subject, into the meditation itself, and to presume pure openness is to disavow this contingent knot of the subject aesthetically tested in its own meditation. Thus, against simplicity, Brev strikes inwardly to the limits of everything, such that there is no exception in its work, not even itself.
3) Political satire with subtle but strong directions towards some positive ambition—not merely critical, not merely negative, not merely humorous. Let’s have some real horrors and traumas and polemics! One can laugh, but one cannot protect the neck from bursting when the joke is internal, when it surges from behind the shields of easy politicking.
4) Poetry that is historically minded yet so personal, that is universal at its start as being that much motivated in emotion and reflection that it can only but push at all lines of scrimmage as to what it is to be human or not, or even to be or not to be. We would like to see poems that not only force us into new vantages but that also aren’t afraid to change the world, be it understood as cosmologically of one piece or inexistent as something to be fought for, or even as a world determined by nihilism. The extremely personal and intimate are hoped for, too, so long as it puts the heart into the mind or simply confuses the two.
5) Short stories dealing with the distinction between fiction and reality in situations of love and myth, or with big moral questions subverted into banality in situations of the day to day or waged labor, or with language barriers and education cultures heedless of the feelings of teachers or generations other than that of the present, or with possibilities of revolution or resistance to some anonymous but felt oppressor disguised or even non-existing in the first place, or with tales of hyperbole and fury that chase the sublime into areas of former impenetrability, such as the household or the circle. The flippant and 1980s-2000s postmodern styles are not encouraged, unless wittily and methodically subverted in their form and actual delivery; rather, emotion and thoughtfulness are encouraged.
6) Translations from any part of the world in space or time. Hyper-translations, ekphrastic or intermedia translations, cross-genre translations, any translations in experiment of any style (poetry, prose, critical, etc.) are hoped for and will be sought.
7) Prose poems, playwriting, lyrical essays, flash fiction, and all other experimental writings will be considered, but please keep in mind our preferences as stated above when submitting.