background photo by Alice Liu

Open Letter to all: Plasma Readers/Contributors/Soon-to-be Contributors/Wonderful people of the internet – an Introduction to THE NEW Plasma Dolphin

PART 1 – welcome (back) to Plasma Dolphin!

So here we are again! If you’re new to this part of the web, welcome to Plasma Dolphin, and you’ve been around for a while, welcome back! We’ve been a bit quiet on these wavelengths lately, but we’re back in full force and have a lot of exciting newness to share.

Somehow, some way Plasma Dolphin is now eight issues and three years in the making. For the past eight issues and three years we (Emma and Sonja) and our collaborators/contributors have been working to release issues quarterly that play with theme, each have specific identities and encapsulate creations, compilations and explorations showcasing young people’s creative work. We’ve carried a certain tone throughout all of our issues, a tone of collage-based, colorful kitchiness and zine-influenced graphics and images. Now we’re transitioning into a place where we still want the essence of those things, but we are now aiming for a more polished, fluid, and coherent vibe. Plasma Dolphin isn’t necessarily growing up, just becoming a bit more put together.

PART 2 – the *new* Plasma Dolphin (+ Dark Matter Narwhal)

Our ninth issue is set to be released in the fall, and with this we’re at a point in Plasma Dolphin where we are growing, making changes and taking Plasma Dolphin in a bit of a new direction. We’re introducing you now to our Plasma Dolphin revamp so that you – our readers, contributors and potential contributors – can have a good idea of the process and philosophy of all the exciting changes coming up (and be a part of them!!!).

We have always discussed the idea of carving out a specific place for Plasma among the many great publications that exist out there. The main purpose of this revamp is to define ourselves and grow, for Plasma to enter the next stage into something we feel is more permanent, larger and full of newness.

The essence of the Plasma revamp comes in three main parts: – redesigning our website, – redesigning the way that we release issues – expanding to beyond being only an online website

You, dear readers and contributors, will see the redesign with the release of the ninth issue. As for the way we are releasing, instead of releasing one full issue all at once quarterly, we will be releasing the issue in four parts, one part per week for the full month that the issue comes out. These four parts will be separated and curated by us, the editors, and will each be a sub-theme, sub-category of the larger issue’s theme. We’ll also give the option to either read through the issue the way we’ve curated it or you can peruse the pieces at your own convenience.

The third aspect of the revamp is an expansion. In addition to four quarterly issues a year, we are also going to be releasing print addition zines that will paired with each of our issues and will be full of exclusive content that isn’t online. We’re really excited to have a pretty piece of Plasma that we can hold and love, and is full of the crazy loveliness of our contributors, taking on a more sewn together/mashed up/buzz packed/collaged-out feel than our online issues. This is another way we’re trying to give Plasma a uniqueness in the world of publications: our online publication maturing and evolving while the zine still holds on to the roots of the feel we established Plasma with. We’re titling these zines that will come out with each issue Dark Matter Narwhal, a parallel companion to Plasma Dolphin. (Formal shout-out to Leighton Zink and Michael Frazer, two of our friends who mockingly came up with this name in high school as a parody; thanks for the inspo boys!)

And the fun doesn’t end there! We’re also going to have merch coming the fall, which we will be updating about, so you can show your love for Plasma to the world via t-shirt, poster, tote bag etc. Plus, in our Plasma shop we are going to be carrying zines by contributors for all the world to get access to, so if you have a zine you’ve made hit us up and we will sell it for ya under the Plasma umbrella.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the newness! We’ll be posting about it lots so you can stay up to date, and if you want to really be in the loop, sign up for our BRAND NEW newsletter, which will include sneak peeks, exclusive content, updates and general specialness. Sign up here: PLASMA NEWSLETTER.

PART 3 – Issue No9 Theme: FLASH IN THE PAN

To give you a full idea of the concept of this issue we’ve dissected our idea of it into the three concepts below, a more detailed explanation that’s a bit less abstract, and our new version of a moodboard.


in relation to time • gut feeling, gut reaction • temporality, acknowledgment and ignorance of it • quickness, fleetingness // contrastingly, the sense of permanence when within the flash frivolity • acting without consequence, or without considering consequence • abandonment of intellectualization and introspection • bliss of existence • carelessness, effortlessness, the coolness of these

visual and conceptual idea of intensity • heat, pressure, combustion, explosion • vibrance, saturation, overexposure

These concepts might seem very abstract, but we hope they won’t when you really think about them. They shouldn’t feel untouchable and encoded; they should feel the most intense kind of accessible, like an emotion that is so vibrant that you have to translate it into something concrete.

Images to think of: the mystical/mythical version of summer that appears in split seconds. Bedrooms and the way bedrooms are decorated and how the decoration, the music, the ambiance infuses mood into a moment. Hanging out on balconies and places that seem just a little riskier – rooftops, sneaking into a bar or club, the rush of the venue, the situation. Walking down the street at night, streetlights like spotlights. The attention of new people at a party that link you to them for a second, the absolute peak of an anticipated moment. The juiciness of the sky, squeezing of hands. Quick new encounters, destiny versus chance, blinks, fast forwarding, jitters.

Think of all these things but also think of what you want to put into the world. What intensifies you? What writer, film, concept, song, moment, experience brings you out of yourself and into a new realm of living? Is there someone you want to interview, is there a person in your life that is so much themselves that they need to be shared? Art that conveys purest and truest and messiest forms, photography vibrantly documenting recklessness, loneliness, going out with a bang. Anything that makes you feel as though you’re heating up inside. The message of your piece could be aesthetic, it could be conservation of memory, it could also be political. An issue/topic that got a lot of press and then disappeared. This could relate to fads, to our current state of technological phenomena, instant fame, the coming together of society for a brief, strongly influential moment (in the media, on social media, in protest, in thought) after which it can seem like society dissipates into its countless fractured pieces again. Mainly what we’re looking for within the idea of FLASH IN THE PAN is to have an issue full of work that is brimming with the intensity of being in a moment for a short amount of time – no matter what moment or what that means to you.

play this song while you scroll through our moodboard

alternate song choices


by contributor Cassie Marcotty


bread makes you fat?! // if you haven’t, watch this film ASAP (taken from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)


by contributor Kyla Kavanagh


taken from Bottle Rocket (directed by Wes Anderson)


by contributor Cassie Marcotty


by Kyla Kavanagh


Must we document ourselves all the time? // taken from Mistress America (directed by Noah Baumbach)


Contact us soon about contributing! Send your pitches to!!!!