Issue One: Failure


The discourse of failure, while commonly perceived as the antithesis of success, can be understood to engender experimentation and potentiality. Making mistakes becomes an important moment, necessary in the pursuit of progress and discovery. Failure approves of time to reflect on what has taken place; retracing steps in order to analyze, learn and understand outcomes; taking advantage of and recognizing the happy accidents. Within creative practices, error becomes the device for re-investigating, re-evaluating and re-making an event, a moment or a work to implement something different. Pop culture and cybernetic space is rife with memes of failure and reveals the provocative humour in our mistakes. By turning failure on its head, emergent and alternative paths open up to experience and possibility. The process of becoming calls for expanded perspectives and the assimilation of new knowledge.

As scholar, artist, critic and keen observer, how might failure be transformed into a pretext to create? Is it possible to engage a perspective in which failure, and therefore the mistake or the error, might be seen as a fundamental moment in the creative and pedagogical process? When is being wrong right? How might a non-judgmental context be recognized as incentive to go beyond limitations and expectations of success?

The inaugural issue of the CMA Journal includes works from local, national and international artists and scholars. What we hope to accomplish is a kaleidoscopic vision of failure, one that allows for many outcomes and possibilities.