We would often get asked what the theme of the next issue of Starship will be, and then we could have said: But Starship always has the same theme. It is about the future. But then again, we do think about themes—Henrik pictured this theme-finding process in the editorial of the last issue, so let’s first cite this:
(There is also the undeniable fact that the first contribution sets the theme, which was the case with Monika Baer’s alcohol paintings in Nº 13.) This issue now has a theme. Or let's say, parts of it have a theme, and we decided to produce a sort of insert with that theme, with its own graphic solutions, and its own formats. The theme has a name and, it being Plastic Island, the form of an island in the center of the magazine seemed obvious, and also accommodates the need to produce color pages in an economically sound way. The theme and the curatorial approach of the insert was Nikola’s decision. Her thinking about it started at the Venice biennial last year. But she didn’t start thinking about art, she started with a well-known feeling of disgust concerning the waste every big event produces, with all the bottles, cups, plates, wrappings that go through our hands, and more so when we are traveling. We always leave waste. And we were by the sea, too. She started to talk about it, and met with another well-known topic. Being that disgust is an unclear feeling, and that—while Plastic Island seems catchy—thinking behavior and usage further meets its being embedded in controversial notions of waste, and also it (waste) being the end of production, and a strange notion of material production with unspecific aim, which is art. But, alas, here we started, and while some of the works produced, or collected, for the Plastic Island insert seem to talk about something else, looking at them one has to keep in mind that they were associated with the theme, some of the other texts and images talk about a broader Plastic Island theme, even when not specifically produced for the insert, but for the more futuristic part of the magazine. This futurology that has been the theme of our last two issues should now become more phantasmic, phantasmagoric, we decided. And we will think about that further in future issues.
We have another theme. Which is language. This magazine is produced in Berlin. We mostly speak German. But our contributors, and public don’t. Or they do, and then not. So what language to use in a magazine then? We decided to keep the contributions as they were, and then again we also started to translate, because we want to introduce our writers to a bigger audience. And we also started to write in English. This is a reference to a globalization, but we also know that it comes with illiteracy. Everyone is expected to read English, resulting in nobody reads. And does an English-speaking audience want to read this English as a second language? We can’t solve that now. But it is a theme that recurs throughout the magazine.
-Nikola Dietrich, Martin Ebner, Ariane Müller, Henrik Olesen