Submissions sought for Materiality No. 3: PRECIOUS

I know I know I still haven’t coaxed Materiality No. 2 to the presses (the TIME issue) but I thought I’d better get the next edition rolling.

The theme of the next issue is PRECIOUS. Essay, fiction, verse and images are all sought on our relationships with precious things. (With an emphasis on THINGS – material culture, matter, the physical and tangible). Pitch me your ideas! ( Submissions are paid, but only token amounts I’m afraid ($10-30, depending on length etc).

The theme of Materiality No. 4 (out this time next year) will be SURFACE (think concrete, silk, veneers etc), so, if you have any ideas lurking about that could fit that theme, please get in touch!

Here are some ideas for the PRECIOUS issue:

  • Gold – why does this material hold such power over us?
  • Manufactured value – why does money exist?
  • Precious items of trade in times past and present—spices, oil, pigments, ebony, ivory, rare earth metals…what made them precious, to what lengths did people go to obtain or protect them?
  • ‘Precious’ vs ‘semi-precious’—what’s in a stone? Why is a diamond more valuable than garnet?
  • The story of a particular precious object—a famous diamond, a ring, a painting, a photograph, a comic, a lock of hair.
  • Original vs copy—why does an original have more value than a copy? Why, when a painting previously thought to be by Rembrandt is found to NOT be by Rembrandt, does its value instantly decrease? There are all sorts of things about the art market that could work—the illegal trade in antiquities; how the value of art works changes with time (and, say, the death of the artist); how do you assign value to a work that can be reproduced infinitely? (Eg a digital photograph). What products came about as imitations of precious things (eg imitation tortoiseshell) and why? How has their value changed over time?
  • Why do we sometimes seem to place more value on things than on people’s lives? (Eg the instinct to save a photograph album from a burning house, plus all those examples of labour exploitation out there)
  • Types of precious—market, communal, personal.
  • That hope we all have that we will find (and recognise) and incredibly valuable thing in an op shop which we will buy for $2 and sell for (preferably) $2 million. Or dig up a suitcase full of Spanish coin when we’re planting out some lettuce seedlings.

I’m sure you’ll think of all sorts of other interesting angles to the theme—you have so far!

Submissions can be 500-3,000 words (for prose); please submit in plain text or as a word document, without formatting. Images are best sent as tiffs or high-resolution jpgs (300dpi at least). Most images in Materiality will have to be printed in black and white (but I can do the conversion). Submissions due by 30 September.

Thanks to everyone for your support to date! By the way if you’d like to purchase (or encourage someone else to purchase) a copy of Materiality No. 1 (BOOK) then please head over to the pinknantucket press shop. And feel free to share this with your networks!

Not-so-precious agate

Not-so-precious agate