Janna Gonyer: How and why
was The Jivin' Ladybug created?
Jared Demick: The Jivin' Ladybug was founded in May 2007 by myself and Angela Bouchard. We started the magazine because we felt
that the American arts community, poetry especially, had been colonized and sterilized by the blizzard of MFA programs and
open careerism. This is an era where globalized capitalism threatens to neutralize all criticism and vanquish the minds of
those who want to live otherwise. At this current time, it seems that the 20th century's avant-garde impulses, those thrilling
and terrifying movements from the Russian constructivists to Berlin Dada to the Vienna Actionists to COBRA, have become ghostly
memories, destined to be cast away like the century's great political struggles, the 1917 Revolution, May '68 in France, etc.
So we started a magazine devoted to the last traces of the avant-garde still in existence.
Our magazine operates on 2 principles:
a.) Grassroots community building- We do not merely take submissions and then forget about the artist. We try our
best to establish a relationship with the artist and provide a network of exhibition and communication. Many American artists,
in their rugged individualism, have forgotten the avant-garde's greatest lesson: you will only survive through collaboration.
This is especially true in a culture where art has been quarantined to the classroom and the museum. Keeping this lesson in
mind, The Jivin' Ladybug has developed long term alliances with poets such as Heller
Levinson, Clayton Eshleman, and Lily Cho.
b.) Art as a gift-economy- The Jivin' Ladybug does not charge money for
issues and does not pay money for submissions. While we do pay money to our web server, the magazine is an act of love. Like
Kenneth Goldsmith's UbuWeb, a truly wonderful web resource, The Jivin' Ladybug scorns the chokehold that universities, publishing companies, and the mainstream media still
have over artistic expression. While Gilles Deleuze may be right in saying that capitalism infects one's mind, the only thing
that circulates in our capitalist system is ideas.
Janna: What criteria must
a submission meet in order to make in it into an issue?
Jared: Each and every submission
must challenge the way we perceive the world. Not necessarily to tell us something new, but to tell us something we didn't
know we knew.
Janna: In what direction to
do you plan to take your publication? Are there any changes you plan on making?
Jared: The magazine has been
exceptionally poetry heavy. We are going to be expanding with work in other areas soon: more photography, a discussion with
a scholar on the sublime, etc. We're always open and our direction is often decided by the nature of our submissions.
Janna: What makes your publication
unique and stand out of the crowd?
Jared: The Jivin' Ladybug does not stand out of the crowd: that is less a judgment about our magazine than a comment
on the flood of information in our world today. Our senses are overloaded on a daily basis, so much so that even Waldo doesn't
stick out. However, we do stick out in that we never forget our grassroots base. We've never pretended to operate like a faceless
Janna: What are your opinion
(s) in regards to the online magazine community? Do you think that it is a good environment for writers and poets to share
their works amongst each other and the general public? Ideally, what would be a good environment for the online writing community
in your opinion?
Jared: Hopefully online magazines
will take over like the plague. Published arts magazines are fossilized parodies of the wonderfully exciting journals of previous
eras (for example, Ed Sanders's Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts which was mimeographed
and hand stapled). The internet is a great place to SHARE works and increase their exposure. Like I mentioned before, Kenneth
Goldsmith's site is especially phenomenal in this regard. While most people write poetry like they would a blog (which reinforces
Andrei Codrescu's conviction that there are more poets than poetry readers), there is a slight chance that the internet will
give rise to an artistic collective—one with the deadly humor of Dada, the pulsating joy of the Futurists, and the encrypted
satire of the Language Poets—that will relentlessly interrogate the ideologies we take shelter under.