Higher Arc Aims Higher

Published:  December 10, 2013
Bonnie Abbott
Higher Arc Aims Higher

Independently published out of Melbourne, Higher Arc represents the self-funded efforts of Mieke Chew (Editor), Luke Brown (designer), Will Heyward, Jordan Dolheguy, Sam Rutter, Celia Brightwell and Elizabeth Bryer, to produce the kind of magazine they wished existed.

“We started Higher Arc because we couldn’t find the magazine we wanted to read,” explained Chew. “One that looked at art and literature side-by-side, and one that published experimental, unexpected pieces without worrying about genre.”

Three issues in and the Higher Arc team has grown, matching their ambition. Unconcerned with reputation, the team search out visual and literary work that piques their precise interest, celebrating local and international creative work in a exhibition and accompanying party for each new issue. Under the design direction of Luke Brown (see: Desktop interview, January 2013—Luke Brown), the magazine’s layout is fluid and reactionary, critically responsive to a number of factors that come from within and outside the magazine.

“Design is part of Higher Arc’s identity,” continues Chew. “It happens in each other’s bedrooms, where we squint for hours into InDesign clutching cups of tea or wine and listening to music. Everything is fresh with each issue. But, we also pay attention to history—to what has come before, and what might come in the future of magazine publishing.”

Each of Higher Arc’s 3 covers have been a reinterpretation of another magazine’s cover from the past. So far, they have been artist renditions of covers of Time, Meanjin, and ArtForum.

Higher Arc issue 1

As the team begin their 4th issue, Higher Arc has graduated from a local art mag and launch party. Recognising the publication’s existence as an archival art object, past content has been moved onto an online library, translating their editorial vision for a wider reach. This move is well timed, as the Higher Arc family examine their depleted pockets.

“Higher Arc is bought all over the world and it’s made in a dining room in Melbourne,” explains Chew. “It’s incredibly exciting. We have so many ideas and plans. They get more ambitious with each issue. We could do something unforgettable but we need a little help. We need a push so that we can cover all our printing costs.”

Higher Arc online: Trevelyan Clay

Higher Arc online: Tara Langford

Many independent publications begin and end within their first handful of issues. The level of energy and determination required to get a magazine off the ground is never enough to sustain it, and excellent content and willing readers sometimes only buy time before advertisers herald the end of creative liberty. Attempting to avoid the financial guillotine, Higher Arc are turning to their audience, Higher Arc are asking their readers to help them continue their journey in freedom, through crowdfunding site Pozible.

“We do it for love, not money,” says Chew. “It’s something we are all very proud of and we happily sit up late into night after we’ve all finished our day jobs.”

Help send Issue 4 to print
higherarc.com online archive

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