Friday, January 26, 2018

Speculate to Invocate


Since running the world’s most successful crowdfund for a money burning magazine, Burning Issue has undergone a period of self-reflection. The Editorial board was challenged by a radical faction of money burners, the self-styled Burner’s Revolutionary Congress (BRC). They demanded that the magazine reaffirm its commitment to the theology of Total Burn. Burning Issue unequivocally declares Total Burn to be the founding principle of its mission statement. The BRC also sought assurances that Burning Issue would continue to focus exclusively on its core audience and ensure that money burning propaganda protocols around public discourse are enforced at all times. Burning Issue confirms that we talk only to money burners (and other destroyers of currency) and that public engagement is limited to ‘approved’ propaganda only. Furthermore, Burning Issue wishes to make it clear that we respect and recognize the feelings of the money burning community we serve. Henceforth we will represent money burning and speak to our community with a new, more strident voice.

All of this happened, of course, entirely in my imagination. This might tempt you to believe its not ‘real’. I would caution against that. Like money itself, money burning connects our minds to material reality in a mysterious way. Back in 2016, I imagined there was a ‘community’ of money burners in need of a magazine. There wasn’t. For eight of my eleven years burning money, I knew of only three other money burners - and two of them were in the KLF. But I produced the first edition of Burning Issue, anyway. Now, eighteen months later, we’re creating the SUPER DELUXE version of the first edition and we have about fifty people contributing to the magazine. Counting those who’ve attended the Ritual Mass Burns aswell, the community of money burners now stands at around 230 people. Or, ten times 23 people as the BRC would prefer us to say.

But remarkable and welcome as this growth is to me, in hard-nosed commercial logic even 230 people is far too small an audience to warrant producing a glossy 128-page print magazine. That sort of audience justifies a social media page at best, not what we’re creating.

So why create it, then? Why spend two years of my life working on it?

The answer lies within the imaginary mission statement. Burning Issue is a ‘real’ magical action. It is an invocation to Total Burn; the Eschaton awaiting immanentization. Total Burn is that end-of-time state when the ritual sacrifice of currency destruction is to humankind, as water to a fish.

[The urge to make sacrifice pervades humankind. Making ritualized sacrifice of what is most intimately ours, and of greatest value to us, fulfills this silent desire. Money burning is a ‘no harm’ sacrifice. It mitigates both violent expressions of the sacrificial urge and violence itself. We dismiss ritual sacrifice as pertaining to only ‘primitive’ cultures at our peril. Money burning allows the power and mystery of ritual sacrifice to inform our C21st lives.]

At times I forget all this. There are artistic and commercial aspects to the project and it’s easy to allow oneself to get wrapped up in them. But underneath it all, prior to it even being a ‘project’, the magazine was something I created for magical purposes. This magic must always be the guiding principle.


The SUPER DELUXE edition is both the final iteration of the first edition and its culmination in terms of the magazine’s aesthetic. I hope it will be the magazine that’s been in my head for two years. The idea has always been to make it to look like the product of a commercial world, like Condé Nast created it as a means to extract profit from money burning. With the talent of the fifty contributors, we’re finally in a position to make a magazine that is a perfect imitation of those produced by major publishers. But it will be antimatter disguised as matter.

According to reason the magazine should not exist. It does not compute within logic of capital. It is an impossibility. And yet here we stand on the cusp of it. Burning Issue’s digital presence and the two earlier editions are merely incursions. The SUPER DELUXE edition is an invasion. A total assault on reality. It appears as an object born of the commercial world and yet it’s devoted to the destruction of what is held most sacred by that world. Assimilating the impossible requires us to open our third eye. The reader must leave the cocoon of capitalism, of ‘economic’ thinking, of cause and effect, of IF/THEN rationality and enter the world of sacrifice and ritual. In short, like money burning itself, Burning Issue reimagines and re-configures our understanding of and relationship to money; the central totem upon which the world turns.

What I’d like you to do is help me bring two thousand copies of the SUPER DELUXE edition from imagination to reality.

In the first crowdfund we did things the ‘correct’ way. We sorted out some cool perks. We did professional videos. We did a preview showcasing a few of the brilliant articles. We wanted to raise £5K. We made £400. So even though it was the world’s most successful crowdfund for a money burning magazine, there was still a bit of a shortfall.

We’re now running a ‘top up’ crowdfund for that £4600. But we’re not going to do it the ‘correct’ way. Instead, we’re going full magic. And we want you to be a participant in this magical action. We want you to ‘speculate to invocate’.


Here’s the idea.

‘Magically speaking’ the first crowdfund took the wrong approach. We appealed to your good side. We tried to convince you that what we were doing was worthy of your support. The takeover by the BRC reminded us that Burning Issue shouldn’t worry about any of that. It should just offer money burners (and other destroyers of currency) a cracking good deal. The top-up crowdfund should appeal to the darkness in you - the self-interested, greedy and acquisitive aspect of your being. By tapping into that side of ourselves we expand the illogic of the magazine and so make the invocation more powerful. The light it brings will be brighter because it comes from darkness.

Our ‘top up’ crowdfund then is offering five copies of the magazine for £23 plus a small contribution to postage. We’ll need to pre-sell 200 of these lots of five (i.e. one thousand magazines) in order to fund production.

Five mags for £23.

Each magazine will contain an artwork that will identify it as being from the original production run of 2000. So, in the unlikely event we do produce more, your magazines will have ‘first edition’ status. ‘Speculate to invocate’ and your five magazines will cost you less than a fiver each. The cover price of the magazine will be £12. So you can immediately rejoice. On purchasing just one lot of five, you will instantly book a profit of £37. And that’s before the price skyrockets. How much will the original SUPER DELUXE edition of world’s first magazine for money burners be worth in five years? Or in 23 years? The last five of the initial 28-page iteration from July 2016 sold on Ebay for £20 each.

The ‘speculate to invocate’ offer is strictly limited to the first 1000 magazines. Once the 200 lots are sold this offer will end. And of course, YOU MUST BE A MONEY BURNER* (OR OTHER DESTROYER OF CURRENCY) to take advantage of this offer. If we fail sell the entire 200 lots, all contributions will be returned.



* in an atemporal sense.

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