SomethingDark (SDk) is here, a webmagazine presenting some of the edgiest, most coherently assembled photography, art and writing on the internet. It’s been a long while in the making, but with eyes on the future, strong foundations have been laid. We hope you appreciate the difference between what is presented on the following pages and what is to be found elsewhere.

At first glance, tens of thousands of websites already purport to offer what we offer. Most, however, reflect the media frenzy unleashed by the information revolution: sites that ravenously chew through “content” in a vain attempt to satisfy the apparently insatiable appetite of an internet-trawling global population. All very fine, if a website does not offend the eye and its offerings are worth viewing, but, in the scramble to publish, both substance and quality of presentation too often fall by the wayside. Today, substance and quality are largely forgotten concepts, the ability to recognise them and produce them perhaps even lost skills.

We can broaden the perspective: the fast-food approach to mass-produced culture does its best to lull entire populations into a state of numbed acquiescence as it relieves them of the contents of their pockets. It is a state of mind cultivated by an international corporate world that cares only for endless profit growth at the expense of the psychological, emotional and even physical health of whole societies.

We here at SDk interpret this situation, collectively, as a diseased culture. An antidote is required.

Having gone beyond lament, SDk advances more than just substance and quality presentation: it offers stability. Stability in the sense that we are not interested in a mind-dizzying, shabbily presented flow of that once-treasured resource but now-commodified consumer product, “information”, that assails the senses on a relentless daily basis and leaves one longing for the careful construction of a well-edited and -designed newspaper or magazine.

The fast-food approach to mass-produced culture
does its best to lull entire populations into a
state of numbed acquiescence.

When we speak of stability, we are referring not only to meticulously planned cohesiveness of content and coherence of presentation, but also to a slowing of the pace, because such substance and quality of finish take longer to create, and it deserves – indeed, demands – the breathing space necessary to think about it, absorb it, appreciate it. And return to it even many weeks later to enjoy it again, knowing the experience will not result in the draining, orgiastic rite of ploughing through flippant entertainment dressed up as “information”, or in the blind panic of following link after link in search of a Holy Grail, only to discover yet more sites offering superficial news and opinion. Or, on those occasions when a site carries quality (that word, again) content, it is usually presented in a now-standard, uninspiring Web or even blog format that is immediately forgettable.

We must hasten to add, however, that our interpretation of stability comes from another world when compared with the “stability” offered by our supposedly civilised states. As the apparatus of the contemporary Western state provides a protective environment for – and, as we have seen over the last two years or so, even underwrites – an economic system in decline, it is at the same time toiling night and day to tighten the mechanisms of authoritarianism: all-pervasive systems of surveillance; increasing censorship; new, increasingly repressive laws; and all manner of measures of population control introduced to “protect” us both from outside threats and from ourselves. All this, of course, in the name of stability.

Thus does SDk represent freedom and individuality, and the cultural expression born of a consciousness of these states of being. To the manufacturers and promoters of mass-produced culture, and to the would-be protectors of society’s collective, virginal-but-violated soul, the celebration of individuality and its uninhibited artistic expression is a thing reprehensible and, all too often, something to be restrained. To the oblivious consumers of the manufactured mainstream, it is incomprehensible. To all of them, it will always be something dark. SDk