Dedicated to Alexis Tioseco (1981−2009)
We have named this journal “Lumen” as it connotes illumination literally and metaphorically. It is by the same name, after all, that scientists measure negations of darkness — little by little. The forms of illumination we are interested in are ideas and the craft applied to them as works, from diverse historical and aesthetic origins. We merely aim to reaffirm Adorno’s observation that every genuine work of art is an uncommitted crime. Lumen’s commitment is to source and bring attention to precisely this sense of pre-criminality, with minimal regard for intellectual property. In truth, intellectual property has already had its day now that ‘there is only intellectual responsibility’, as Jean-Luc Godard once quipped. We shall ensure that this space remains free of advertising and other hidden pursuits of lucre. And we actively encourage collaborations and proposals to pursue these humble goals as peers organically — write to us; work with us. Issues shall sporadically appear as a result, even years apart if need be.
This debut collection of essays and media is assigned to the theme of The Forest. We were subliminally drawn to it as a thread running through the cinema and literature that we found ourselves involved with whilst conceiving of this journal. We were struck by how apt it was as an invariant locus of conflicts between the known, unknown — and perhaps “unknowable.” This elemental theme of The Forest has staged countless romantic dramatisations of the Earth’s trembling, time’s ravages, and existence itself since antiquity. All the flowing and shimmering of appearing remains amenable to the forest as a singular figure. Indeed, this was the attestation of Thoreau’s verdant solitude: it is ‘where the problem of existence is simplified.’ How and in what way this problem is simplified continues to fire the imaginations of artists and readers alike. It is the task of each contributor to approach this question and theme as embodied in cinema and literature’s fluid interrelation.
—EM & MF, London & Exeter, 20112