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On Transfer

Call for Submissions

Sinister Wisdom: On Transfer

Sinister Wisdom: On Transfer expands on the art-focus of past issues of Sinister Wisdom, specifically Sinister Wisdom 64: Lesbians and Music, Drama, and Art, and Sinister Wisdom 73: The Art Issue, offering and reflecting contemporary lesbian artistic production. In her 2005 “Notes for a Magazine,” for Sinister Wisdom 64: Lesbians and Music, Drama, and Art, former Sinister Wisdom editor Fran Day writes: “The pieces in this issue frame important questions about the political potential of the visual and performing arts to inspire us as individuals and to change the world.” In 2008, Day’s “Notes for a Magazine” for Sinister Wisdom 73: The Art Issue forgoes written words. Instead, a photograph of printed pages arranged on a made bed (perhaps Sinister Wisdom submissions in the moment of review, or layout) announces the issue’s agenda.

Transfer is a form of claiming and taking up space. Transfer is an inherent part of Sinister Wisdom as an alternative publishing entity: a steward of lesbian culture, propelling out and reporting on the pain, dreams, desires, debates and lives of our own. Receiving the news that the Sinister Wisdom archives were recently transferred from the Bay Area of CA to Florida—a literal transfer—I began a conversation with Julie Enszer, Sinister Wisdom Editor and Publisher, on the conceptual framework and potential of transfer. With the National Endowment for the Arts under threat of total defunding, the propagation of fake news, and the sanctioned disappearance of and performance of erasure on research and information on everything from climate change to LGBTQ rights and advocacy from our country's highest office, a renewed urgency has been placed upon ideas of preservation, protection, and marginalized empowerment in contemporary artistic production. With an emphasis on interviews and contemporary art, On Transfer declares agency despite these oppressive forces, and pays specific attention to the idea of intentional transfer as an essential component in artmaking to be critically engaged with.

Questions to consider could include: How does the concept of transfer show up, perform, and enact modes of connectivity within lesbian contemporary art production? How does artmaking—in whatever form this takes—function as a platform or catalyst to do this for you or your practice? What has been transferred to you as an artist and cultural producer, and how has that informed your work? How do we incorporate, shadow, or play out these lived experiences that we encounter through artistic production and transfer? Has transfer been forced in an academic or similar traditionally recognized and sanctioned context or form, and was this problematic, useful, or otherwise? Did transfer arrive in a conversation, a memory, a photograph, a song, something you witnessed, something you did, an event, at a protest, in a bar, in public or in private? As we continue to show up, be visible, push against, and shape our communities—and a world—we want to inhabit, what do we pass on or transfer to future generations? How do we connect with, motivate and inspire present ones?

Please submit visual art, photographs, interviews, fiction and non-fiction writing, poetry, and genre-non-specific contributions to ontransferissue@gmail.com by Friday, November 2, 2018.

Images should .jpg or .tif files only, and be of print resolution, sized at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch).

Questions about submissions? Please email ontransferissue@gmail.com.

The anticipated publication date for this issue is in 2020.

Guest Editor: Susannah Magers. A Bay Area, California native, Susannah is a lesbian femme curator and writer currently based in Long Beach, CA. Her practice prioritizes collaboration and supports contemporary intersectional feminist and queer perspectives and cultural production. Specific interests include alternative publishing, video and film, building her own lesbian and queer art, literary and ephemera collection, and cultivating and holding intentional space. Recent experience includes working as Curator of Contemporary Art at Rochester Art Center, MN, where in 2016 she curated the first solo museum exhibition of Amanda Curreri, The Calmest of Us Would Be Lunatics, an interdisciplinary exhibition that emphasized the active role of the archive, the power of the past to inform the future, and a call to action through engagement. The exhibition and related programming invited the participation of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis; the non-hierarchical working group ERNEST, SF and OH; c3: Initiative, Portland, OR; University of Minnesota’s LGBTQ Tretter Collection Archivist Lisa Vecoli; Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz; participation in the 2016 Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, and community-led Lending Library talks on readings that have informed and inspired Curreri’s work. The publication for Curreri’s exhibition featured a version of a commissioned interview between the artist and Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz that appeared in Sinister Wisdom Issue 101: Variations, edited by Alexis Clements.

Prior, Susannah was Interpretation Manager for the site-specific contemporary exhibition about global human rights, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. Magers also co-directed the North Oakland, CA project space, The Royal NoneSuch Gallery, an all-women artist and curatorial collective which supports emerging and mid-career artists in the Bay Area. She holds a BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in photography and a BA in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA.

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven

"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

Andrea Dworkin

“Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught.”
― Leslie Feinberg