CIRCA has a new mission statement. It is not so much a change of direction, rather a renewed emphasis on how we see our engagement with artworks and art practices. We are in effect taking stock of what we have published over the past few years, but also reckoning with a changing publication landscape in Ireland, our lack of success in accessing public funding, and the effects of COVID-19 on the arts and elsewhere.
In the mission statement, we emphasise ‘with’ and ‘through’ in contrast to ‘about’ as a reminder that CIRCA was initiated by a collective of artists, that writers are often artists themselves, and that we seek to engage with art and processes not evaluate them as discrete objects.
For the next couple of years, we will focus our energies and financial resources on commissioning new essays and continuing our editorial work on the archive. Both strands will seek out contributions that are thoughtful, disturbing, challenging or bizarre, experimenting with texts, visuals and audio possibilities.
A few words about CIRCA as an organisation since 2016: we ourselves are working on a voluntarily basis but we pay as much as we can for what we publish. Our main source of income at present is from JSTOR, complemented by in-kind and financial donations.
We have found that traditional sources of income for magazines, such as advertising and subscriptions, are not readily transferable to a small-scale online publication. Thus we prefer to develop a voluntary support model. More on this subject soon.
These are times of difficult changes for everyone, for the Arts, and for CIRCA. We have wanted for some time to restate our mission. We hope you will join us on the new journey.