Call for Proposals – After Tomorrow

We are apocalyptic only so we can be wrong.

Günter Anders

We live in end times. This is, no doubt, a thought that has crossed many of our minds in the past few years, perhaps over and over again, often in the middle of the night. No doubt these thoughts are compounded with the knowledge that in January 2020 The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hand on their Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been, and reaffirmed that time in January 2022. That affirmation came before the ongoing horror of the invasion of Ukraine, the publishing in February 2022 of IPCC Working Group II Report on Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability followed in April by the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. One can only imagine the loss of a few seconds at the very least.

However not everyone has the same relationship to the end of the world. For many the end already came hundreds of years ago. Some suggest the native peoples of the Americas even have a date, October 12, 1492. Colonization, enslavement, genocide, the horrors of history outstrip even the most hyperbolic apocalypses dreamed up in science fiction. Nevertheless many remain, living in the after. The end of world is plural, in time and space; like so much else, it is not evenly distributed. The typology and taxonomy of eschatology laid out by Déborah Danowski and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro in their brilliant “The Ends of the World” show that there are many worlds and many ends, and our task is to choose which world and which end.

The past few decades have seen a dramatic foreshortening of the future. Where there used to be flying cars and teleportation, we now anticipate a new version of our phone and maybe a slightly faster internet connection. Mark Fischer describes this as “Lost Futures.” The future now looks like just more of the same and then…a break. The future is no longer just what happens next, increasingly it is what happens /after/, after the end. It is this /after/ where we start to get purchase. We can look to what has been learned by those who are already living in the after, those who Stengers following Lautour call “Terrans.” We can strain, at sometimes against all odds, so see the “end” as, paraphrasing Donna Harraway, a boundary not a destiny; perhaps even as an opportunity.

The here and now is a prison house. We must strive, in the face of the here and now’s totalising rendering of reality, to think and feel a then and there. Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of this moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport; we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds.

José Esteban Muñoz

For this our 4th issue of FLAT, our theme is After Tomorrow. We are looking to think outside of the binary of optimism and pessimism as neither feels quite right; the former often stifling, and the later unwarranted. Instead we want to think about what we can and should carry with us across the boundary, what should be left behind, and most importantly about what is on the other side. We invite you to join us in the challenge begun by Danowski and Viveiros de Castro, to take up “the colossal effort of contemporary imagination to produce a thought and a mythology that are adequate to our times.” 

We all know this civilization can’t last. Let’s make another.

McKenzie Wark

— the editors


Application

FLAT looks for works relating to the intersection of visual and conceptual art, technology, and/or media.

Your work will be reviewed by our 2022 editorial board for consideration. If your work is chosen for this issue, your content will be included in this year’s online publication, at the designers’ discretion.

Submissions must be received by 11:59PM PDT on October 1st.

Format

The following types of new, ongoing, or previously published works are welcome:

  • Theory/criticism / scholarly research in writing or writing with images
  • Interviews
  • reviews of artworks, software, films, television, or other media
  • Fiction, poetry, sound
  • Photo essays, photography, digital images
  • Illustrations, animations, videos
  • Instruction based works, software, interactive media

You may submit up to three works. Past publication or experience is not required. Other content types may be accepted. If you have specific requirements to make your work viewable in the ideal fashion, please let us know, we can work with you collaboratively, especially for interactive or complex media types.

How to apply

Applications are submitted online here and should include:

  • Abstract (100 – 500 words) for any submission over 2000 words
  • Full plain text document (.rtf, .doc, .html, or google doc are preferred)
  • Artist’s or Author’s short bio
  • Links to author’s site or other published relevant works
  • Any useful supporting images/media
  • Images should be jpg, 1200px on one side (if your work is chosen, we will request high-resolution images at 3000px)
  • For videos or interactive media, please provide a link that does not expire such as Vimeo, Youtube, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box. (Please note that we review applications towards the end of the open call timeline. WeTransfer and Firefox Send links tend to expire before our editors review them. If we cannot access the link, we may not be able to successfully review your submission).
  • Alt-text descriptions of any visual media
  • We prefer the main content of the submission (text, video, etc) to not have any personally identifying information. This helps us to ensure a fair double-blind process.

For further information and questions please contact flat@flatjournal.com with the subject line “JOURNAL INQUIRY”

Please note: at this time, this is unfortunately not a paid opportunity. All rights to submitted and published works remain the sole property of authors, artists, and contributors.