The Interstitial Arts Foundation
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden

Essays - art by Ilene Lederer
illustration by Ilene Winn-Lederer

What is 'interstitial'? What does it mean to be an interstitial artist? In this collection of in-depth essays, an array of imaginative artists and writers from Holly Black to Charles Vess wrestle with these questions and explain what interstitiality means to them.

Barbara Chepaitis, 2010
"Like Scheherezade, I straddled the worlds of the oral and the literary tradition, playing with sound in speaking and in written text."
Henry Jenkins, 2009
"What I love about the folks who have embraced interstitial arts is that some of them do comics, some publish romances, some compose music, some write fantasy or science fiction, but all of them are perfectly comfortable thinking about things other than their areas of specialization."
Elissa Carey, 2009
"I belong in no particular circles, though I am acquainted with many. I'm the welcomed outsider. I am a messenger, a scholar, a trickster, a lover and a fighter. I am in myself interstitial, like the Borrowers I read as a child."
Alma Alexander, 2009
"Part of the problem with the latter bookend is simply the fantasy cooties thing, something that apparently requires a warding off of the first order should its evil eye fall on your work – but as I keep telling everyone, ALL FICTION IS FANTASY."
Barth Anderson, 2004
"There's a sense of playful disregard on the interstitial artist's part, seeking not merely to create something new, but something that jars..."
Holly Black
"I don't remember when I first heard 'step on a crack, break your mother's back', but I do remember leaping over the concrete lines..."
Carolyn Dunn, 2003
"People think of Indians as stoic, archaic, unmoving. However, we are great gossips. We love words. We love music, we love art, we love the land, and we love to move. To cross borders is our specialty – we've been doing it for thousands of years."
Heinz Insu Fenkl, 2003
Heinz Insu Fenkl offers a theory of interstitiality based in part on the anthropological and postcolonial insights of Victor Turner and Homi Bhabha, illustrated by interstitial works such as Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds, Kirsty Gunn's The Keepsake, and his own Memories of My Ghost Brother.
Gregory Frost, 2004
In this essay, based on a talk given to the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, Gregory Frost describes recent literary movements, such as slipstream, metafiction, and magic realism, that have brought into question the boundaries between genres, and makes a case for the importance of interstitial writing.
Gregory Frost, 2003
"I think a whole lot of our genetically modified products have escaped from the fantasy orchard and blown onto that really big field across the (often self-imposed) road, and some of it in turn has settled over our field; for some while now, we within the orchard have been trying to describe to ourselves all that cross-pollinated mutant stuff."
Gregory Frost, 2003
"We talk of borders and interstices, corridors and edges. It seems to me that the very act of creating, whether it's music or fiction or painting, sculptures or performances, is by definition to stand upon the edge..."
Kendrick Goss, 2003
Theodora Goss
"When I was a child, I traveled with my grandmother across the border between Hungary and Czechoslovakia….These are the things you lose when you cross closed borders: memories, a language, a country."
Ellen Kushner, 2005
Whose idea was this, anyway? In a brief overview of the organization and its goals, Ellen Kushner narrates the founding of the IAF, its essential outlook, vision and hopes for the future.
Warren Senders, 2003
"I seemed to prefer the music of artists who were hard to classify. Words like 'eccentric', 'oddball', and 'uncategorizable' were magnets. When I discovered Harry Partch, who created his own orchestra of 43-tone-to-the-octave instruments to play his richly textured compositions, I thought I'd found the Holy Grail."
Delia Sherman, 2003
"Borders are interesting places. As debatable land, sometimes waste land or wilderness, they can be dangerous places to visit or live in, but they are never boring."
Will Shetterly, 2003
"Crossing from Canada into the U.S., I was arrested for possession of hashish found in the car that I drove... I tell you this because life's dangerous between borders."
Susan Stinson, 2004
"After spending a weekend at WisCon, billed as the world's only feminist science fiction convention, I have been thinking about consolation, pattern, interstitiality, and community..."
Eve Sweetser, 2003
A close look at our impulse to categorize, and the ways in which categories are created and maintained, based on the findings of cognitive science.
Jeff VanderMeer, 2003
"When I first heard about the Interstitial Arts, I thought not just of writing and art and music – I thought of moments in my life that were interstitial, that led to the interstitial in my own writing."
Charles Vess, 2003
"That panic that had been instilled by my art instructors' declaration of the death of 'Art' began to subside. I came to know and be comforted by the fact that there has always been a great surging sea of artistic movements taking place in the far corners of the world."
Charles Vess, 2003
"Narrative skill was considered 'mere illustration', and woe to the student who fell into that great, dark chasm."
Terri Windling, 2003
"Though as an editor I've been gleefully border hopping ever since my first anthologies were published back in the early 1980s, as a writer I've been more conservative, sneaking up to the border slowly, slowly, and with many a backward glance."
finish line