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Editorial: Welcome To Dystopia

Welcome to Issue No.1 - Dystopia. Art is dead, and we have killed it.

Tate Modern - artist fighting with paintbrush

Zombies have invaded the corridors of power. The divine worship of simulated combat animals, and their fluffier, more customisable counterparts, has taken hold. Old ideas, once considered new, are forged and reforged in the crucible of social upheaval.

Welcome to the Radical Art Review.

This digital magazine looks to the future with hope, borne out of a desire for all to share in humanity's greatest asset: creativity. We believe everything is art, and therefore that art is inherently democratic, world-forming, and boundless. Why, then, have we chosen to launch our site with an issue that most convincingly articulates our imminent destruction?

Firstly, and purely opportunistically, dystopian art is a core generator of effortless aesthetic cool. We are extremely grateful to have had some incredible submissions to our first issue's digital gallery, which we hope you will enjoy. Highlights include award-winning photography work from one of the Glasgow School of Art's brightest stars, as well as exclusive collages emerging from the wild depths of Spain.

But Dystopia also reflects the profound uncertainty that governs our time. That the trajectory of globalisation is hellbent on providing no alternative, provides its own door into limitless universes of possibility - even as the flames of so-called progress destroy individuals, communities, and our shared environment.

Dystopia therefore represents a captivating, imaginative critique of the world as it is lived today. Its emergent possibilities for resistance and change form the central concerns of this inaugural issue. Do we find in pessimism the potential for revolution, as Julian Langer argues in his Manifesto? Do the technological spaces we now inhabit promise transformation? Or, as Finn Butler argues in her review of Sherry Turkle's 'Alone Together', do they only replace our genuine freedoms with artificial limitations?

Perhaps things have always been this way, and we're only just waking up. Our upcoming feature, 'A New Society', wonders whether film can ever truly force a shift in this trajectory, through the lens of Sofie Wolthers' directorial debut.

This conversation is just the beginning. We are a cooperative, participatory venture, and we want this to be the start of a boundless community. We are proud to offer such a diversity of voices, opinions, and forms of expression in Issue No.1, in the hope that this encourages all who are reading to pick up their pen, paintbrush, or Ancient Chinese loom, and join us.

Excellently yours,

Niall Walker

Ciarán Daly

Co-Editors, The Radical Art Review


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