Approximately 5 years ago, I had a big idea. I can't say it was one of those ideas that completely possessed me, but it was one that changed the landscape of my life dramatically. And with a ripple effect, it also touched many other people's lives, in ways I never imagined at the time that idea sprouted. Oh, it didn't cure any diseases, discover what black holes really are, or anything like that. Nonetheless, because of that big idea, I met and worked with dozens of creative and talented people from all around the world, and eventually began to publish their works, which was never part of the plan in the first place, but somehow happened in the process.
In the beginning, like most big ideas, my inspiration was sweeping, over-arcing and impetuous in nature, and, of course, completely ungrounded in the nuts and bolts of how I would accomplish the actual bringing of the idea to fruition or form in the tangible world. Nonetheless, I struck out on creating my vision of a demonstration project about the importance of the arts in everyday life. I did it in the same way creators created in the earliest myths humans shared way back in the day: I groped around in the dark and slopped some things together. I grunted at the results, destroyed what I made, and here or there started over. I also turned back a few times though to say, "Oh wait, I didn't mean to discard that part, I can still use that, um, thing-y," and tucked this or that in my pocket “just in case”.
Then the thing I was working on, this arts collaborative we called “Status Hat”, began to have an odd little life of its own, and I wasn't in the driver's seat at all – I was being taken somewhere. In fact, in how these things play out, I was on an adventure I didn't realize I was embarking on in those earliest stages. Had I known where I would wind up at this point, writing these words, I might have packed differently, but that is another story. As it is, five years later, I am ending a chapter of my life that started with that idea, which wasn't an earth-shattering “big” idea, but it also wasn't just a “let's move the couch and see how it looks on the other side of the room” type of idea. It was something in-between, and I was its prime audience, watching a little show I had created without knowing how the story would end.
When I began Status Hat Productions, I didn't ancticipate my activities would include publishing a monthly artszine or, now, this publication, Trigger, a biannual literary/arts journal. However, by the time we launched Trigger last year, I believed I would be continuing to work on Trigger for some time, as the subject matter of narrative interests me deeply. So while my story/narrative changed when I decided to no longer publish or produce projects, in an effort to devote more time to my own work, I find it intriguing to end this phase of my life with an edition of Trigger that speaks to two parts of my own nature. I love zooming in and out of big picture/small picture aspects of, well, everything. I like details – no, not the ones used to complete medical or tax forms, but the details that go into making something out of what was nothing but an idea to begin with. I also like the spontanteous burst of inspiration that leads to making an unplanned call, or e-mail, that somehow sets something new and unexpected in motion. Status Hat has contained both types of experiences for me, and most of my own works have navigated between these extremes too. I might teeter towards details, but my eyes are always on the horizon or skyward, as I like imagining what is beyond apparent limitations.
Christopher Lowe's collection of works for this issue have been compartmentalized into extremes of subject matter and/or approach; that they don't all fall neatly into one end or the other of the spectrum is part of our look at this aspect of narrative. As Lowe says, “art is art is art”, the works speak for themselves. We are happy to be sharing them with you in this format.
This edition of Trigger is the last under Status Hat's stewardship, but it is anticipated that Trigger will relaunch later this year in a new format. I am hopeful it will, as I look forward to reading the many issues I imagined it consisting of in the future. I also want to be surprised by what I didn't imagine at all.