SAND Issue 21
Ten Years of Literature and Art
To mark a decade of publishing SAND, the editors are calling 2020 their “year of archaeology” and have filled SAND Issue 21 with a mix of new discoveries and excavated favorites. And in the midst of a pandemic, they have gotten to know the pieces even more intimately, seeing them in a surreal light they could not have imagined when they began this issue.
Archaeology is the study of context. It’s not just about digging up and admiring an elegant sculpture, but about reimagining the vanished context it came from, a day-to-day landscape in which that sculpture made a different kind of sense. In Jeff Gu’s “The Grieving Emperor,” an editor puts a red pen to a Roman love story. Zophia McDougal humanizes the same empire’s abstract units of measurement. J.M. Parker’s characters visit a Canaanite arch in the crossfire of the Israel-Palestine conflict, juxtaposing the old silenced stones against today’s cacophony. In Singapore, Hsien Min Toh describes a ledger of donations towards funeral expenses, a written record that swallows its wordless grief. However, sometimes in the issue, it seems as if the past also gazes forward from behind us, unapologetically at us, anticipating our present. The poem “Anxiety” foresees our agitation in a storm of thumbnails and nerves—a fragmented, flattened portrait like Morgan Stokes’s evocative cover. Or, in Siru Wen’s video installation stills, a simultaneous reach back into an intimate, domestic history as well as a foreshadowing of an insular and physically-distanced present.
This moment’s solitudes are more collective than ever. We’ve learned overnight that our whole species is linked by a chain of touch and breath. We’ve grown aware of the thousands of extinct viruses whose bodies are still archived in our cells. That connectivity terrifies us, no matter how poetic. We’ve come to think of our personal and global excavation processes as being a bit like trying to understand the ocean by fishing, yanking the fish out of its watery habitat and inspecting it in the open air.
You can watch selected performances and animations of the issue’s work on this YouTube channel, along with the full replay of the 10th anniversary issue launch festival.
SAND Issue 21
Editor in Chief: Jake Schneider
Managing Editor: Simone O’Donovan
Editorial Coordinator: Matthew Deery
Editors: Ashley Moore, Melissa Richer, Crista Siglin, Emma C. Lawson
Art Editor: Ruhi Amin
Distribution & Funding Coordinator: Natalia Dumont
Designer: Dimitris Gkikas
Communications & Outreach: Ruby Mason
Event Coordinator: Courtney Gosset
Verein Coordinator: Christina Wegener
Digital version: June 2020
Printed version: July 2020
Format: 14.8 × 21 cm
Retail price: 12.– Euro