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dear readers, As both an art creator and now an editor, I start this letter with what for me is the allimportant question: what is the purpose of art? This question has haunted me throughout the duration of putting together the first issue of Burner Magazine. And while I can’t claim any particular expertise on the matter, I can say that in the process of taking Burner from idea to issue, I have safely come to know what art means to me, and therefore what the impetus of Burner is at its core. Art is to make experience beautiful, relatable, and human, no matter what that experience may be. From the simplest to the most fantastical of human conditions, from the hyperrealist to the abstract, art is to take a moment and to give it a sense of context, compassion, understanding. In this issue, we find ourselves empathizing with an impossibly sympathetic robot woman (see Jeremy Hanson-Finger's Electric Company), knowing suddenly without ever having taken the trip myself what ferry rides into New York City can evoke in a man (Joseph Reich's Scenes from the Ferry), and experiencing the melancholy whimsy of a young French girl creating images from the world she sees around her (the art of Julie Dru). The institutionalization of art, via academia or other hierarchies, has damaged the process by which the most powerful of it is created and shared. At Burner, we hope to reverse this. We hope this issue makes you want to create something yourself, whether you have an education or experience or simply the most human of all desires: to communicate. We hope you find something in this issue that you want to read or look at over and over again. We hope to remind you: it's all in your hands.

Sarah Miniaci, Editor

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Culture is a word often associated with a ‘refined’ understanding of the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement, as my ever-present Oxford Concise English Dictionary informs me. (For what sexy intellectual does not keep that invaluable accessory at hand, alongside of the floral fishnets, chili lipstick and iridescent eye shadow?) In our culture, culture is either ‘high’, as in bland, over-intellectualism that only the authors’ friends read, or it is ‘low’, like the sordid supermarket tales of botched cosmetic surgeries. Burner is here to burn down the canonized alibis and the commercial lies, and return culture to its roots (pun intended, of course). Culture is growth, human achievement, for everybody and by anybody. With Burner Magazine, the pop art eye is awakened and attuned to edginess, interest, insight. We do not have an anonymous submission process, but we do not read bios, nor do we care who you are. We check out your work − quickly − because even with our first issue, we are swamped with submissions. (And this being the twenty-first century, if you can’t catch us quickly, you won’t catch most people at all.) Is it interesting, insightful, outstanding? Can anyone enjoy this piece of art? If the answer is a resounding “yes”, you are a Burner babe. We hope you enjoy our inaugural issue. We hope it inspires you to dig deeply, to share it with others and to come back for more (pop art) culture.

Leah Stephenson, Editor

Profile for Burner Magazine

Burner Magazine, issue 01 (September 2010)  

The inaugural issue of Burner Magazine, which aims to take the boring out of the literary and arts scenes.

Burner Magazine, issue 01 (September 2010)  

The inaugural issue of Burner Magazine, which aims to take the boring out of the literary and arts scenes.

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