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an exploration of words and images

I am primarily a writer, a novelist. Words lined up on a page allow me to create worlds. But I always thought that words on a page, by their very nature, demanded an art that was non-realist, much like the visual representations that are needed to create a space. The form could be called magical realism, surrealism, expressionism, whatever—but if you used words to create a “reality” that merely mimicked our own streets and neighborhoods and friends, then your art—your created world—would always be second-rate. Words cannot actually compete with the real touch of a hand on a silken thigh, or the real anguish lingering in a broken heart. No matter how well you employed your words, the world on your page would be inferior to the world around you. But these words, when used to create a kind of hyper-reality, a reality that was not possible in our actual, quotidian existence—that was an idea that enthralled me, even as a child. Let me see if I can say this even more clearly. Words which attempt to be no more than a copy of quotidian reality are themselves—quotidian. Ordinary. Unremarkable. It is only when words attempt something greater, something particular to words, something deeper, something more magical, something that explores and expresses the sub-strata of normality, that they perform their necessary function. Words can do things that reality cannot.  And reality is capable of things that words are not. The question, therefore, that the artistic writer must ask himself, is—What can words do, that nothing else can do? What is particular and peculiar to words scrawled on a piece of paper? What opportunities does this offer a writer? How can mere words, its alphabet of symbols, be used to explore that half-seen, half-sensed archetypal world beneath the surface? That is a question which has engrossed me all my life. This same question challenges all the arts. I also create with photography, video, sculptures, and each brings its own particular opportunities.

Which takes us to the web. What can the web do—that only the web can do? that is different from novels, cheap college textbooks and stories? different from paintings? different from music and film and stage? That is what I wish to explore in Artifacts Magazine. Here you will find samples of my work, of course—novels, photos, everything I create—but the arrangement of this work is also intended to be artistic and adventurous. At the moment—as I write these words—most of the main pages open with a video at the top. That is a simple thing that a printed magazine, for instance, cannot do. There is also interactivity, although Flash seems to be dying out, and hypertext and animation, and blended versions of all these disciplines. I want this website to be in a state of constant, fluid transformation. Art is a form of exploration, and an adventure. So let's be adventurous.......D.N. Stuefloten