Print Issue 01, Available Now
In November 2023, Broadcast released its first print issue, featuring writing from hannah baer, Janna Levin, Ed Park, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and others. Broadcast Issue 01 is available for purchase online, at Pioneer Works, and at select bookstores in NYC. Below, read the issue’s letter from the editors.
Kleptoplasty is a phenomenon so strange and alien that before its discovery it would have been considered physically and anatomically impossible. Certain sea slugs can steal an algae’s lifegiving material, sucking up DNA, proteins, and cells through a straw-like organ. The slugs are then able to photosynthesize, metabolizing light just like the plants they’ve pillaged, turning green with chlorophyll. The divide between animate and inanimate, alive and not, dissolves under the pressure of this discovery. How can you not be moved? Where is the sense in insisting, “No, I am a slug. And you are a plant”? Or I am the plant and you are the slug?
In that dissolution is a demonstration of the cultural power of science. The seemingly obvious axioms of our humanity—who we are, what we are—are in an instant reconceived.
At Pioneer Works, we’ve sought to foster a new kind of cultural kleptoplasty. The space is a shelter for artists and for scientists, for awe-seekers unwilling to accept that education ends with school. In defiance of labels, we see the naturalist, the artist, the explorer in everyone. If an animal can become a plant, if a plant can be carnivorous, if trees can move and communicate through their roots, then surely the silos that conventional disciplines impose, that separate makers of paintings and of proofs, can disintegrate.
We launched Broadcast as a digital extension of Pioneer Works physical campus. We’ve been guided by certain convictions: that science is culture; that the postulates of sculptors and poets are as vital to our shared future as any policy; that place matters to humans, and so do the stars; that precise language is power, and math is too; that what’s beautiful isn’t always pretty; that the jargons which fill academic journals can as often hinder clear and creative thought as enable it; that there’s not just space but a need, in our wary and battered “media landscape,” for a new arrangement of ideas—rigorously fact-checked, lovingly edited, and designed with vigor because form is content, too—that’s free and accessible to all.
Broadcast began at a time when most of us were forced by a global pandemic to retreat from life in public and move even more of our lives online. But from the start, Broadcast hasn’t felt as unphysical as we originally imagined it to be; it has insisted on feeling like a thing.
Here, the virtual and the physical coalesce in our first print edition. It’s a précis of what we’ve been up to online, and a statement of where Broadcast is heading—as a digital magazine that will also land in your hands, from time to time, as a tangible one. We love the platform the internet furnishes for what we do, and who it lets us reach. We’re also devotees of objects and of places. We believe in the unique magic of words on paper, and in the particular way that synapses fire when people hold ideas in their hands. And we think that carefully collecting work between two covers—art that refracts and prose that reveals, science that confounds, and poetry “as ambiguous as algebra”––suggests something important about our determination to think and to tell stories, to integrate and connect—to be kleptoplastic—in defiance of the artifice of boundaries. ♦
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