Unpsychology issue 9: IMAGININGS now open for submission
SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE 9TH ISSUE OF UNPSYCHOLOGY MAGAZINE. DEADLINE 12TH FEBRUARY 2023
“Why are things as they are? Must they be as they are? What might they be like if they were otherwise?” To ask these questions is to admit the contingency of reality, or at least to allow that our perception of reality may be incomplete, our interpretation of it arbitrary or mistaken.”
Ursula LeGuin, It Doesn’t Have to Be the Way It is, 2011
:…that might become the theme of our little quest: slippery-hand-reaches-even-slippery-tail”
Bjork writing to Timothy Morton, 2015
“Imagination is not formed in nothing; it is brewed in the experiences of the organism. From that pool of experiences and relational limitations, a hypothesis can be made as to what ‘change’ is required. But the imagined goal or direction of change is dripping with existing presuppositions; some obvious; many are not obvious.”
Nora Bateson, Ready-ing, October 2022 (https://norabateson.medium.com/ready-ing-f1d79271a610)
Issue 9 of Unpsychology Magazine is based around the theme of IMAGININGS
Following Unpsychology Magazine’s epic Anthology of Warm Data (issue 8), we are following up with an equally ambitious project; one which aims to reimagine the present within and beyond social, ecological and multispecies contexts. We are inspired by fictions and speculations and invite creative responses to these themes and musings. Read on or download a version of the guidelines from HERE.
Issue 9 will deal with what Donna Haraway calls, “SF: science fiction, speculative fabulation, string figures, speculative feminism, science fact, so far.” For her, these figures, stories and imaginings offer ways in which we will be able to stay with the trouble” of our “mixed up times…overflowing with pain and joy…”.
“Staying with the trouble, does not require such a relationship to times called the future. In fact, staying with the trouble requires learning to be truly present, not as a vanishing pivot between awful or edenic pasts and apocalyptic or salvific futures, but as mortal critters entwined in myriad unfinished configurations of places, times, matters, meanings.”
“The task is to make trouble, to stir up potent response to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places.”
Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, 2016
The relational ‘now’
This unpsychology project has long been concerned with imagining how things can be different in the here-and-now, and not just in some utopian or dystopian future. SF (in all Haraway’s variations) reaches back and forward in time in order to make sense of how human minds are co-present with the lives and minds of non-human kin, and with the Earth itself.
Haraway, and other writers, practitioners and artists are inviting us to move beyond spiritually infused narratives of Gaia, transformation and magical thinking towards a kind of ‘tentacular’ animist materialism, a messy and playful socialism of the mind, an anarchic soul-making that recognises the multiple layering and interdependencies that make up our reality and consciousness.
The relational ‘now’ is a difficult place to find ourselves in, yet only out of the spaces between the people, places and multispecies companions will emerge responses that will, in turn, take us into the foggy time we call our future. We might, (after Donna Haraway) call these practices of ‘worlding’ or (after Nora Bateson) ‘warm data’ — getting down and dirty into the soul-making, kin-making, story-making and composting of complex ecologies of mind.
What we think
In this edition of the magazine, we envisage that this complex being-with will be imagined in a variety of SF forms (“SF: science fiction, speculative fabulation, string figures, speculative feminism, science fact, so far.”). See our list of suggested inspirations at the end of this pack — but you may have your own…
- starting from where we are — not just starting over
- the fictional worlds of Ursula K LeGuin, Olivia Butler, NK Jemesin, Jeff Vandermeer & many others
- the lived experiences of human (and non-human) people in all our difference
- a kind of eco — socialist — cosmo — queer psycho-politics
- imagining anew our multispecies relations,’ labour’ and personhood
- a decolonising, anti-racist, speculative, poetic feminism
- stories and art which refuse human exceptionalism
- super-wicked problems and how they defy intentional straight-line solutions
- hyperobjects, ecology without nature and the ‘mesh’
- warm data, complexity, symmathesy and aphanipoiesis
- the conjuring of alternative, interdependent, diverse ‘nows’ and ‘thens’
- coexistence, capability and multi-species nurturing
- sciences that form and coalesce as the material heart of the matter
- beyond non-dual dualisms and staying with the material trouble
- poetry, imaginative non-fiction, multispecies art of all kinds
- newly imagined psyches, pathology and healing,
- therapies situated deeply in context and relationship
- Think, especially, SF — Speculative Fiction, Storified Fantasies and the rest…
Like our previous Warm Data anthology we intend to offer both a free downloadable version of IMAGININGS and to make a printed version available too. We will be commissioning some individual pieces for this edition, and also welcome new and previous contributors:
- Visual creators and multi-disciplinary artists
- Musicians and generators of sound, fury and love
- Writers of poetry, fiction and non fiction
- Unpsychological practitioners and authors
- Storytellers and tentacular thinkers of all types
- Transcontextual therapists and Warm Data hosts
The invitation is for imaginative fiction, non-fiction, art, poetry and creative submissions that respond to and emerge from the themes and potential of imagining.
We invite submissions that respond to the theme as creatively as possible and which emerge from the multidimensional aspects of mind, ecology, speculative fiction and imagination.
The deadline for submissions is 12th February 2023. The issue will be published in the Spring/Summer of 2023.
We prefer work that is original and hasn’t been published elsewhere — we want to encourage new frames of responding — but if you have an existing project or perspective you think would fit this issue of unpsychology, get in touch and have a chat with one of us.
Submit writing in Word or Pages. Artwork as high quality jpeg.
We value our authors and artists, and know ourselves how difficult it is to get creative work out there. unpsychology magazine is a self–funded publication, and so we haven’t got the resources to pay people for their work at this time. However, your work will be profiled on social media, and you will be invited to be involved in the unpsychology community and events in coming months.
Contact unpsychology editors, Steve Thorp or Julia Macintosh at: email@example.com with queries and ideas, or to submit your pieces.
Some current inspirations
- Ursula K LeGuin’s essay, It Doesn’t Have to Be the Way It is: https://www.ursulakleguin.com/blog/28-it-doesnt-have-to-be-the-way-it-is
- Bjork’s music and her email conversations with Timothy Morton: https://www.dazeddigital.com/music/gallery/20196/0/bjork-s-letters-with-timothy-morton
- Nora Bateson’s latest essay on Healing: https://norabateson.medium.com/tearing-and-mending-e543abf29248 and other pieces: https://medium.com/@norabateson
- Donna Haraway’s String Figures https://adanewmedia.org/2013/11/issue3-haraway/ & Cyborg Manifesto https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/donna-haraway-a-cyborg-manifesto
- Kim Stanley Robinson, Can Science Fiction Wake Us Up to Our Climate Reality?: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/31/can-science-fiction-wake-us-up-to-our-climate-reality-kim-stanley-robinson
- Akala’s music and book Natives: https://www.foyles.co.uk/blog-extract-natives
- Mark Bould’s The Anthropocene Unconscious: https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/5186-the-anthropocene-unconscious-of-some-alien-invasions?
- McKenzie Wark’s Molecular Red: https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2007-ecology-against-mother-nature-slavoj-zizek-on-molecular-red
- The work of the musical collective Sault: https://saultglobal.bandcamp.com/
- Jules Evans’ recent essay, The uselessness of non-materialist theories of reality: https://julesevans.medium.com/the-uselessness-of-non-materialist-theories-of-reality-9cec763378d4
- The Most Unknown, an extraordinary film, about science, scientists and the evolution of knowledge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysfbE65vm7A