issue 4: spring 2002

#4: Still Trawling the Net

As the economic hope of the internet has famously proven to be exaggerated, much has also been written in recent months about the decline in interesting content online. While the average computer user may spend a little less time scouring the web, constantly amazed with the wealth of quirky, humorous, and informative web-sites, we believe that losing its novelty may be the best thing that's happened to the internet yet. While being new has perhaps been the reason behind the popular and corporate fascination the internet created in its infancy, the true power of the medium has nothing to do with simple novelty. Work that has an artistic need to exist online will still appear there. As it evolves and carves out a place for itself alongside the forms of human expression and communication that have existed for millennia, the web is proving that it can do things that could never be attempted in the media that preceded it.

Our goal is to help find and showcase excellent work on the web, as well as to add to the artistic ouvre of the internet by bringing previously unpublished work online. Often web artists and writers have their own sites, so the work is literally 'on the web.' Self-publication is central to the vitality of the internet, but we feel an important function is served by the editorial process. Like responsible fishermen we're doing two opposing things when we look for and publish work: fishing from the pond and stocking it anew.

We're also interested in restoring to the watered-down arts of criticism the piquance of strong opinion, the kind of response to an artist or to a work that elicits an equally strong reaction. Whether we agree or disagree, extreme assessments engender dialogue, while vague, lukewarm, or prefabricated turns of phrase do little to augment our ability to produce and to proliferate meaning. Since April is National Poetry Month, it's incumbent upon us to decide anew what role poetry can play and more importantly, what exactly constitutes a poetics. What effect, if any, does the mainstream embrace of a particular species of poetics have on the production and reception of other related and unrelated poetics? As Leslie Fiedler concludes in a review of Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings, "the final ironies of an author's work are always beyond his conscious control." The critic's charge is to tease out those ironies while spurring the reader on to make his/her own interpretive decisions, which we are happy to reprint if you send your opinion to editors@drunkenboat.com.

A Note on Format

Drunken Boat has changed from a semi-annual to a quarterly schedule of publication. We decided that presenting a smaller selection at a time better serves both the audience and the contributors better. Particularly in issue 3, we unleashed a huge amount of content all at once, and we fear some of the great work in that issue has gone unread. Consider this a plug to go back and check out some worthy visual art, sound, and writing: archive


archive info links
ISSN # 1537-2812 
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