Issue 05, Spring 2024
LETTER FROM THE EDITORIt can sometimes feel like our attention is being pulled in infinite directions. But despite our best multitasking ambitions, attention is not a neutral nor an inexhaustible resource. At a time where our attention is demanded by everyone, yet feels scarcer than ever, what does it mean to give something our attention?

In this issue, writers address the double-edged sword of attention, unfolding its glamor and perils in all their splendor. While Dawn Woolley sheds light on how social media mediates the hyper(in)visibility of marginalized bodies, Celine Flores and Jen Carroll ask us what our favorite star-kissed idols’ fifteen minutes of fame tells us about our collective values. David Laufer delves into how moral categories get in the way of insatiable algorithms on niche corners of the internet, and Mao Yinglun shows how the nostalgic pull of digital folklore reveals our need for storytelling and a connection to the world around us. Miki Aurora, Alicia Guo, and Aditi Peyush, in different ways, account for the state of our digital information age and its influence on our most inner worlds, reminding us that curiosity is our sharpest tool.

Perhaps curiosity could be a synonym for attention? Or is attention, as a quick search reveals, the “regarding of someone or something as interesting or important,” or maybe the “action of dealing with or taking special care of someone or something?” With a work inbox that never seems to reach zero and targeted ads around every hyperlinked corner, it can be all too easy to lose sight of the care that attention—real unmediated, wholehearted, attention—requires of us.

As multiple genocides unfold before us on our screens, the sharpness of the name of an account such as @Eye.on.palestine, one of many accounts we have seen censored by Meta and other platforms, is not lost on me. Because in an algorithmically driven age when money flows where our collective attention goes, the systemic silencing and suppression of accounts on social media platforms has extreme consequences. As with previous issues, I am wary of the takeaway becoming: technology is bad, we all must work towards unplugging permanently. Because the interconnectivity that tech allows for is also what allows us to pay attention, despite the fact that increased digital access does not guarantee increased engagement, or most importantly, action. If we think of our attention as an act of care, my hope is that tech allows for increased attention to the things that matter, so long as we can stave off feelings of jadedness or burnout and remain mindful of how we consume information and connect.

I encourage you to send direct aid when possible, keep protesting, keep boycotting, keep organizing locally—and get in touch with others who are doing the same—keep talking to your family about the genocide, keep sharing information with your friends.

Keep paying attention and free Palestine!

Maya Ellen Hertz

09: Attention Rebels
04: Fish Bowl
10: All Eyes On You
08: In public space, no one can hear you scream
07: Pseudo Presence
06: Water Monkey
05: Acid Dreams in the Age of UAPs
01: Before I Forget
02: Celestial Mechanics of Cyberspace
03: Misogynistic Gym Bros and Katy Perry Remixes: What is “Gym Hardstyle Music” Doing to Young Men

Maya Ellen Hertz, Editor-in-Chief
Editorial team
Louie Søs Meyer
Mathilde Hjertholm Nielsen
Megan Garry Evans
Print layout and design
Marina Cardoso
With special thanks to Vesterbro Lokaludvalg, who helped partially fund this issue. 

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