Ded­i­cated to Alexis Tioseco (19812009)

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


  1. This pref­ace was last revised in 2014.
  2. Beyond our patient and out­stand­ing con­trib­u­tors, the edi­tors would also like to thank for their gen­er­ous sup­port: Mubarak Ali, Jake Atienza, Chris Bourne, Tag Gal­lagher, Matt Hayler, May Adadol Ingawanij, Ryland Walker Knight, Mei Ko, Fran­cisco Algarìn Navarro, Cyril Neyrat, Casey Pegram, David Phelps, Andy Rec­tor, Kather­ine Shillito, Jos Smith, Jean-​Marie Straub, Nakako Takei, Antoine Thirion, Bar­bara Ulrich, Niko­laos Vryzidis and Apichat­pong Weerasethakul.

Image by Nick Sturrock.