With the release of this site we are once again slightly rearranging the structure and definitions of the platform. In taking the domain that we did, we confess our intentions of using Becoming to form a Press. To address the conceptual changes in Becoming, we have written a short letter about our progress so far and how we think about the project now.
Many things have become possible in light of your support until now, its been a really intense few months, but the wave of interest and submissions has been really touching.
Becoming as a project is without expectations; the project grows as more is added to it, new additions create new demands, new breaks create new visions, and always the project must express itself. More than running the project, we often feel as though we are interpreting it, in a quasi-religious way, we are more like eavesdroppers than girlbosses. If you have been following the initial years of “Becoming”, you will recall this situation in the past: we often appear to declare a new situation, but the situation is always responding to new needs that have arisen of their own accord. In building this machine, it became and continues to become entangled in other machines, and the capabilities of the machinery evolve continuously because of this.
The last time we wrote an Editors’ letter, it was titled The Darkside of Ecstasy, and it was the first item published after printing Issue Zero, after more than 6 months back in the laboratory. The Darkside of Ecstasy attempted to declare the new phase of Becoming — but it was more of a report: in building Issue Zero, printing it, receiving feedback, and going back to the drawing board, the interests of the project developed and became more refined. Issue Zero was the attempt to pull the project into existence, and the next step was to refine the resolution of the intent and the interests. That editors’ letter was just a reading of the winds which changed of their own accord, and it came alongside the presentation of the new instagram and website. We declared, or we divined, at that time, that Becoming would become online-only, and that all publications would be published online, and presented on Instagram in the way that you can see up until this point. Yet, as we had to reupload all the printed articles of Issue Zero, by the time we got around to actually posting the Editors’ Letter “The Darkside of Ecstasy”, the reboot was already 3-weeks old, and it was less of an announcement, and more of a “by the way, you may have noticed some changes”. The project goes by itself, and we are always just running after it.
In that way, we feel less anxiety about explaining what is happening, as we do not feel that we are explaining our own decisions, more we are letting everyone know of our child’s changed pronouns, or name, or identity. We want you to know what’s going on, to feel involved, and we report our updates being fully conscious that things must, necessarily, change again, and again, and again.
We are back again, in a new Editors’ letter to report on the new state of Becoming, as the developments of the last months leading up to Issue One have changed the situation dramatically. Given the interest people have taken, and the responses we have had, we are feeling very comfortable in our subject area and in our perspective; Queer Cynicism and Negativism has brought together a very interesting group of artists and writers and we feel that the ship is ready to set sail. As may seem obvious at this point, we have revised our decision to stop printing, and have already committed to the publication of 3-5 printed materials this year. Having dwelled on it a lot, we will be dropping the word “magazine” from the title of our in-house editorial, as it appears to confine certain expressions or set up certain expectations for commodification and presentation that we wish to avoid. We simply publish an editorial titled “Becoming”, and it is the heart of the Becoming project.
As it became clear with the publication of Émilie Carrière’s essay Technically Man Dwells upon this Earth, the platform was suited to more than just being a digitized version of the magazine, and in place of this we confirmed that instead of Becoming Magazine, we would establish ourselves as a publishing entity that has an editorial. There were already plans to publish a book on Raving from niko mas, but with the arrival of several proposals, it was confirmed that Becoming would engage in publishing projects beyond its own in-house editorial.
The situation we were left with was that we needed a platform that could host all of these variations, and needed a conceptual framework to house and make sense of the archive. The platform would need to be able to arrange all of our articles, essays, interviews, reviews and visual contributions into a chronological feed, but also separate them into locations, and to be tagged intelligently across the board. We had a vision to establish a Press, a stack of papers and publications building up in the run-out tray of a printer. This began by admitting to ourselves that despite having barely used our old website for more than 6 months, we would need to reconceptualise the virtual presence of the project in such a way that would accommodate the new direction.
It got confusing at times, how to explain that some publications were virtual, some were physical, some were both, and that some publications were standalone articles or essays, and some were part of series or groupings. Yet, we realized that we had already solved our problems within several articles that we published prior to this phase. To harmonize everything, we had to abandon the usual way of thinking about publishing and about materials. Within a lot of our recent publications, we had been working with a new framework of Quantum Sociology, and the ideas that were coming out of this were feeding into the ever-changing manifesto of Becoming. We were working with the idea of desiring and producing-machines, and realized that all of the publications we were producing, regardless of what and where, seem to begin as an expressive impulse, long before ever opening Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop — where the item ended up, how it looked, were just parts of the specification process from impulse to machine, the printed materials were just reifications of an expression that was without body or form. Sometimes we were so moved by an impulse that we would immediately prepare it for online and print formats, as if the affective power of the impulse was so great that it materialized a body around itself.
What we ended up deciding was that the lowest common denominator between all of our publications was this simple truth, that everything starts as an impulse, and impulses leave traces behind them in trails, like footsteps left by a schizophrenic nomad. What we would present, then, online, would be the traces of everything, not the materials themselves, but the immaterial traces that can be materialized and repurposed and represented in many ways or many places. It is only here, that we can declare or divine, that Becoming is now a publishing-machine that produces traces, and elaborates on those traces by specifying them further and disseminating them wherever possible. For this, we have produced the following abstract, found in the about section of “becoming.press/home”:
The site of these traces, the intersection of all the trails of footprints left by the nomads who use Becoming as a way-station or coffee shop will be our new site: https://becoming.press/, there you will find all of the content Becoming has published, and that will be the site of all the future publications of Becoming. We will be producing immaterial traces from creative impulses, then distributing them virtually or pressing them into pulp and uttering them through microphones.
Welcome to the new Becoming, we hope you feel welcome here.