Thursday, January 24, 2008

What is the Daily Constitutional?

Literally, it is something that one makes time for on a daily basis for the betterment of that individual’s health. The most common interpretation would be a daily walk. And, of course there is the slang definition, a shit. It has been a year and a half since we started out on this project and I continue to get the question, “What is the Daily Constitutional?” I have struggled to answer this very question since I first envisioned this publication, and like most pieces I have worked on; it is only after I have had time to step back from a work and see it as a viewer that I can begin to understand and appreciate it.

It is difficult to answer a question over and over again when you are not totally sure of the answer yourself. Therefore, for simplicity and to ease my discomfort with this question, I had adopted the answer, “It is a publication for Artist’s writings and Artist’s who write.” This sounded good to me, but it is no clearer or concrete than the slogan in our masthead. I needed some real ammo to be able to answer this question. Besides that, are we really just another art ‘zine? I hope not. When I think of art magazines, the big ones come to mind first (Artforum, Art in America, etc.), and that is not what we are, nor what we want to be. I am not here to give you the lowdown on what is going on in the Art World. Nor is it my interest to dig up dirt on the latest and greatest hot poop in New York, Berlin, London, or where ever the dope art is being created at any given moment.

Perhaps the publication is something like a printed gallery. Occasionally we receive a submission, looking for us to print the artist’s portfolio as they look for another way to score in this new careerist Art World where resume building seems to be more important, at times, than the work itself. I can understand this as I am just as guilty as the next person of trying to get a break. Although, to view the publication as nothing more than just a gallery in print form, does not give due credit to the ideas of the artists involved, nor to the contributors that have submitted ideas, writings and projects, because they want to be a part of the publication and believe in what it has become.

Now that we have finished the third issue, I can begin to step back and view the publication as a reader. Finally, I have a grasp on the skinny of what the Daily Constitutional is. Each issue is another work in a series; it is a collaboration between our readers and the artists that make up our editorial staff. The editorial staff for each issue, consisting of Derek, myself, and four rotating artists, is collaborating with all of the artists who have submitted to our open call. Here is how the collaboration works: The submissions we receive from fellow artists are looked at in their entirety and once discussed, are used as sort of the ‘raw material’ (for the lack of a better word) for the collaboration. In return, the six artists, who make up the editorial staff, chose from the submissions to use as building blocks in creating a new cohesive piece in the series (the next issue). Because of this format and approach I feel the publication has developed a free and open format for a diverse, engaging and enlightening reading experience with new things to discover in every issue.

With that said, here is our third issue. I hope you enjoy it. Others in the publishing industry have told me that the third issue is the hardest and most pivotal issue; “The first two are easy, but if you can make it through the third issue you might have a chance.” So, thank you to everyone that has helped to make this issue a reality and let the scuttlebutt begin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only Daily Constitutional I ever heard use was when the late President of the United States, Harry S. Truman, said in his daily talk show, he used the phrase as his daily walk when reporters would trail after him, thank you, Mickey from Texas