Outsider Textiles: A Conversation with Shanell Papp

This interview is a part of Issue #2: Breath. You can get your own physical copy of the zine through our store or Patreon.

In our last issue, Birth, we featured a single piece of Shanell Papp’s distinctive artwork. We would have liked to show more, and initially planned for an in-depth look at her talent for textiles. It’s a medium she explores and warps in surprising ways, with an intense attention to detail. The physicality of her output makes her focus on anatomy and the macabre more direct. For this zine, we spoke to Shanell about some of her intentions and drives.…   [continue reading]

Almost Normal: Why I Love Lowbrow Art

This piece was written by Warren “WEE” Elliott for Issue #2: Breath. You can purchase a physical copy through our store or Patreon.

Lowbrow art is a raw, frequently unpolished graphic style that grew out of the underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod scenes. Often it focuses on sex, drugs, and anything that might be considered taboo. Its aim is to violate social norms and slap polite society in the face with the dirty and calloused hand of reality. It’s rough, it’s real, and I love it!

I grew up in a working class family, in a working class neighborhood, in a very conservative Christian community — Lynchburg, Virginia to be exact. …   [continue reading]

Jenna Brown Interview: A Hat in Time, Illustration and Zines

This interview is a feature from our second printed zine, Issue #2: Breath.

For early access to our upcoming game music podcast, The Sound Test, click here to check out our Patreon!

Following its release last year, A Hat in Time has been embraced by players and critics alike. Lauded as a love letter to the fading genre of 3D platformers, it’s a welcome slice of nostalgia. While that would be enough to ensure the game success, its developers have filled every corner with their own innovations. Because of this, A Hat in Time was among the most memorable titles of 2017.…   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News #3

You can pre-order a physical copy of Issue #2: Breath here!

The next three weeks represent our final push before we publish Issue #2: Breath. Benjamin and I have been doing all we can in the background to make this zine special. We’ve worked hard to give our excellent submissions the formats they deserve, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

However, we originally planned for a 2nd of April release date. Due to a number of circumstances, there will likely be a fortnight’s delay. The issue will still print in April, but we need the extra days in order to perfect the product. …   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News #2

You can find some more background on Issue #2: Breath here!

Since posts have definitely been slower here this year, I feel it’s only fair that we show why. We stated our heavier concentration on Issue #2: Breath in this previous post. But, with so much going on in the background, it’s about time we gave an update.

Several contributions have already come in, and received full page formats from Benjamin and I. Neither of us can believe the quality of submissions this time around, and we’ve tried to live up to that with our designs. Last week, we worked on a three-page spread exploring the art of Katrine Claassens.…   [continue reading]

Written in Stone, When All Stones Erode

Often, we think of an artwork as absolute. Picasso’s work, for example, is simply Picasso’s work — unchanged over time. We’re aware that a digital JPEG of a painting will lose all of its tangible resonance, such as its finer brushstrokes. Yet, we still consider it to be a fair representation of an essential absolute. Those with a passing interest in art may even have some peripheral sense that a long life would naturally degrade the brilliance of a piece. But, outside of the exclusive world of art criticism and appreciation, it’s rare for us to consider the ways that an individual expression can evolve.…   [continue reading]

The Work of Art in the Age of Microsoft Paint

This article is a re-formatted extract from Issue #1: Birth, which you can read more about here.

As Microsoft throws Paint into the digital wasteland with the rest of the internet’s abandonware, it’s hard not to get nostalgic about the simple graphical editor that influenced the “shit is good” aesthetic of the early 2000s internet. Its influence on internet culture is huge, with obvious examples being rage comics, stoner comics, and any image macro with awkwardly superimposed text and graphics.

Digital art that looked like shit started out as a necessity, yet slowly became a preference. Even today’s memes hark back to the days where the best material was thrown together on Paint in a matter of minutes.…   [continue reading]

Blood on the Goban: Exploring the Myths of an Ancient Art

This article is a re-formatted extract from Issue #1: Birth, which you can read more about here.

Go, in its impenetrable elegance, is quite possibly the oldest board game that still sees widespread play. A product of ancient China, its popularity in East Asia far surpasses that of chess. In comparison, I’ve heard Go’s complexity equated with that of a war; opposing the self-contained battles fought on a chessboard. Though exaggerated, there’s some truth to that analogy, which has helped Go to maintain its appeal for over twenty-five centuries. In fact, it was once considered a founding art of the Chinese aristocracy.…   [continue reading]

Issue #1: Birth: A Final Announcement and Update

Several months ago, we announced our first physical zine. Since that announcement, Benjamin and I have been working hard to make Issue #1: Birth a reality. On the same day as this post’s publication, we’ve made our final order for the complete batch of debut issues. Once we’ve received them, we’ll send out individual copies to our subscribers. With its release just a few days away, this post will take a look at each of the zine’s talented contributors. In addition, I’ll detail a few of the difficulties we’ve encountered in the process, and how they’ve helped us to develop.…   [continue reading]

Caedmon: Creating Creativity (Maurizio Fusillo Interview)

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with Maurizio Fusillo, the creator of Caedmon, available here.

At Secret Cave, we’ve always had an obsession with the output of artificial intelligence. Across a variety of fascinating bots and other projects, it’s been shown that their artwork is more than worthy of scrutiny. Since the birth of the internet, and the entropic prevalence of technology over the past century, the capabilities of such bots has improved at a vast rate. It’s allowed certain older ideas, about the creation of art without emotion, to be explored in the depth they deserve.…   [continue reading]