These are fascinating times. It is a common vanity to believe that one’s generation is the most tumultuous, most evolving and most important. Perhaps it is true. Perhaps it is nothing more than historical narcissism. Nevertheless, there is an uncanny feeling that something profound is taking place at this very moment. When we outlined our intentions regarding this project, we framed the idea like this: “Massive changes are happening in all areas of our lives; technologies, cultures, businesses, laws, ecosystems and beliefs are all twisting and pulling at the fabric of our world.” We are still convinced this is accurate.
The magnitude of these rapid changes intrigued and discomforted me. After speaking to friends and colleagues it became clear that I was not the only one. I realised that the passage of time, the impetus of career and excesses of consumerism, had started making me numb; and like the pins and needles that climb into your toes when you’ve been still for too long, I felt compelled to shake it out. It was time for a new project: The Alpine Review.
Metaphors, while containing no new knowledge, can nevertheless help us think. In name, The Alpine Review provides a useful metaphor in a few ways. Firstly, it’s about perspective. Climbing the mountain for the inarticulable gratification of surveying the landscape and getting an overview. It seems overwhelming at the bottom, but when you’re standing at its peak, the path makes sense and the journey worthwhile. Secondly, it's about massive disruptions; like tectonic shifts, they are most apparent at the edges where the plates collide; changing landscapes, and making mountains. Lastly, with mountains come cliffs, caves and caverns, hidden valleys and unexpected crevices to explore and discover. This is how we see The Alpine Review.
Modernity rarely allows us the luxury and liberty of mindful reflection and I have been truly fortunate to spend a year doing just that: travelling, bouncing ideas off of people I admire, connecting with new projects, and actually taking the time to look, listen and question. What started as an exciting conversation with my co-editor has snowballed into a compendium of ideas and observations from people all around the world trying to make sense of things. I’m honoured to present to you issue no.1 of The Alpine Review.
— Louis-Jacques Darveau, fall 2012