Divert the mainstream.

durham (1)

So the Wired culture column Wired didn’t want to publish? I’m taking it elsewhere. Right now, it’s not a question of whether the column would have a home, but where. That’s a great thing.

But Wired, being Wired, had money. Most of the places offering to host the column can’t pay the rate that Wired could. But writing is how I make a living, and I already do plenty of it for free. So to make the column good, I have to make enough money to justify the time I devote to it.

So here’s my deal with you:

(1) A professional rate would be $500 for 1000 words. Patreon takes 5% and credit card and transfer fees add up to around another 5%. So if we reach $550 per column, I launch the column.

(2) For a year, I promise no less than one column a month, and no more than two columns a month.

(3) If you support the column, YOU can use Patreon to post artists whose work you want me to see.

(4) WHAT IS THE COLUMN, ANYWAY? Hey, great question. It’s about artists who create the future through their work. The founding assumptions being:

​That it is possible to divert the mainstream.

That artists are the first architects of our common reality.

That that future is already here, and it’s just a matter of those who see it and those who don’t.

That art and social change are lovers, and always have been.

That genre, like gender, is a construct of the past.*

That the United States is not the center nor the leader of world culture.

That science, art, and religion are all faces of the same human impulse to create.

That the majority of humankind is brown women, and those artists’ work will be privileged above all others without hesitation or apology.

That “mainstream American art” is almost exclusively created from within, and to serve, the white male colonial gaze. That is an established fact that requires no further proof or validation going forward.

…I guess some would think of the above as “radical.” To me, it’s the most basic shit possible.

Here are some artists I want to talk to about the futures they’re making:

Ana Lily Amirpour. Ayesha Siddiqi. Nnedi Okorafor. Walidah Imarisha. Angel Haze. Hye Yun Park. Sofia Samatar. Daniel José Older. Meshell Ndegeocello. Ana Tijoux. Usman Tanveer Malik. Shirlette Ammons. DJRang. Alaya Dawn Johnson. Skylar Gudasz. Shirin-Banou Barghi. Jeff VanderMeer. Saleem Reshamwala. Ted Chiang. Dessa. Clint Smith. Lupita Nyong’o. Priyanka Chopra. Delano Dunn. Zadie Smith. Amanda Palmer. ​Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. ​Howard Craft. Nalo Hopkinson. Young Jean Lee. Janelle Monae. Danielle Durchslag. Kim Stanley Robinson. Lauryn Hill. Hari Nef. Elnathan John. Habib Yazdi.

Who gets to decide what pop culture is in the first place?

We do.

And we will.


*Credit: Dessa, “Fighting Fish.”

**I’m white. This doesn’t make me “objective.” In a racist society, there’s no such thing as a neutral position. So here’s my subjective position as I understand it: being white means having profound privilege, and for me personally, I intend to use that privilege to redistribute power. I wrote more about that in The Atlantic. If you have any thoughts about this, I would love to hear them at @monicabyrne13 or monica@monicabyrne.org.


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7 Comments on “Divert the mainstream.”

  1. vheidr says:

    I absolutely love this. And, well, believe it or not, completely understand.

  2. jamjarhead says:

    I don’t mean to seem forward but I love your words (and probably you). Redistribution is essential and overdue.

  3. LAnthony says:

    In the beginnng was the word. Now how do we get the word out to support the Patreon columns? Is there a best way?

    • Monica Byrne says:

      Twitter and Facebook are both great ways! Also there’s a big interview coming out soon, covering the launch–patrons will get the link as soon as it comes out! Thank you, Lance.

  4. LAnthony says:

    Reblogged this on LAnthony, Mystery Author and commented:
    Consider supporting this project.

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