Volume 4 - Issue 3 - These Are the Times: The Images on the Thresold

By Vertigo

“Is history simply a matter of events that leave behind those things that can be weighed and measured – new institutions, new maps, new rulers, new winners and losers – or is it also the result of moments that seem to leave nothing behind, nothing but the mystery of spectral connections between people long separated by place and time, but somehow speaking the same language?” – Greil Marcus, from Lipstick Traces

Most of the stories we tell are meaningless in dealing with their own end. Yes, people will continue to love, certainly to hate; they will work and dream and some might even thrive, but whatever happens over the threshold of climate change – if radical action is not taken immediately – will take place in a human order utterly altered from the tales we live within today. What does a story mean, what might a walk in the gardens of evening mean, what might expressions of solidarity mean - what might they achieve and effect, when the human continuum, the thread of being that for millennia has run through conflict, through pestilence, through all the woes and calamities of this life, when that very thread of ongoing hope (hope because of life) is severed. And not just locally, with a planetary awareness now that things continue elsewhere, but endemically and everywhere? So that there is no solace, only a form of salvage, of survival, for a very few.

Against this, what happens to a magazine pales; however, the two seems linked somehow, the latter experiencing a change of its own in the landscape, in the weather, in the atmospheric conditions.

As we go to press with this issue, Vertigo faces closure. Since 1993, it has remained unique as a publication of both defence and advocacy, untied to commercial dictates of what constitutes so-called ‘cinema.’ Partisan, polemical, politically engaged in its examination of both form, content, industry infrastructure and international developments, it has considered the entire spectrum of moving image media, from features, through shorts, documentary, artists’ film and video to hybrid production and new media.

Vertigo’s belief is in the entirety of the moving image, as an artform, as a medium for social and political dialogue and an active agent of development and justice. Poverty is not simply an economic consideration, and the moving image plays a vital role in building our sense of who we are, of our imagined communities, of who we might become and of tolerance in the face of what is threatening and unfamiliar.

In the past, Vertigo has been supported by Arts Council England, the UK Film Council and the Jerwood Foundation. For this we remain extremely grateful. However, like others across the spectrum of innovative film promotion, in today’s climate of shifting priorities, and reduced budgets, such sources can no longer be relied upon.

Vertigo is now in its fourth print volume. The team has also projected its editorial vision through a multiform website, screenings, events, conferences and film seasons. Vertigo has been a small but influential manifestation in response to our own vertiginous times. If you value the role it plays in contemporary moving image culture, can offer financial support or would like actively to assist, please come forward immediately to enable its survival. 

Thank you all, writers, artists and readers, for your loyal support over the years.

Gareth Evans and Holly Aylett, for Vertigo