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GRAPHITE

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Kids in university these days are far better at being adults than we ever were. Maybe it’s just me, maybe, but we keep sharing project after project after project from local students in schools who are blowing the pants off of anything my peers and I were doing in school five years ago. It’s super impressive and, while Baby Boomers are concerned that twenty and thirysomethings are going to steal their jobs, we twenty and thirtysomethings should be concerned these even younger people who haven’t even finished school are going to steal our work from us. It’s a keep creating, keep connecting kind of world and students are really taking it to the next level.

The most recent, “Damn, kid!” moment for us was from a little journal we got from UCLA students. It’s called GRAPHITE and is a yearly interdisciplinary arts journal produced by the students to detail what interests them and what they see as the connections between all sorts of different expressive forms. With the help of the Hammer Student Association, GRAPHITE has released their 2012 – 2013 publication under the theme of Movement, a topic intended to investigate “the dynamics within and beyond political, cultural, architectural, and conceptual concerns.”

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The journal is a hundred-ish paged beautiful white book. It’s thin and matte white, almost appearing to be a strange blank notebook. The front cover has some glossy, shiny letters that spell the title–GRAPHITE–which is the only mark the journal has. Everything else is just white. The design of the book gets the idea of the theme out immediately with arrows and dotted lines from number to footnote, which travels behind the text in light copper. There are eight essays in the book that all come from the GRAPHITE students and run through topics like On Playing And Parking to an interview with Miranda July titled “You’re Not In Trouble.”

There are many art pieces peppered into the journal as little pamphlets, like artistic brochures to other aesthetic worlds. A lot of these feature familiar faces in the local art world like Chris Engman and Jesse Stecklow, both artists that we’ve been big fans of recently. They also cover quite a range from painting to photography to architectural models to conceptual video stills. The inclusion of these little art pieces are a bit like commercial breaks amidst these semi-thick, academic essays. While we have yet to dive into them head first, everything about this edition of GRAPHITE seems delicious.

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This edition of the journal actually features the most artwork of any edition with fifteen total represented. This information comes to us by way of the journal’s Editor-in-Chief Emily Anne Kuriyama, an Art History student graduating from UCLA this year and the person who sent us a copy. She included a few notes that helped to define their work. “The departments of art, art history, design and media arts, musicology, world arts and cultures, architecture, film and theatre, and comparative literature hold one thing in common: they are all on the same campus, yet they remain largely divided,” she says. “Our desire is to change that by engaging students with a combination of scholarly work open to all of these disciplines and beyond.”

“We hope to re-contextualize the understanding of interdisciplinary art not only among Bruins but also within the contemporary art world through GRAPHITE,” she adds. We definitely agree and can firmly echo the importance of all practices in the art world to acknowledge, respect, and come together. Especially in Los Angeles–a town of makers–it is important to have an awareness of all types of makers. This awareness of all the different types of artists in our city is important because this could open up new creative opportunities for you, whether it is lending your skill and expertise to someone else or working together to create something completely new: we very much dig that.

We don’t think the latest issue has made it out yet but we do suggest you follow their website to see when it’ll be released. Moreover, Emily mentioned that you can get involved with them regardless of your talent by submitting your work for the next edition. There doesn’t seem to be a call for entries now but keep an eye out here and you can definitely get involved in this young journal’s work.

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