It is hard to believe that we published the first issue of ARAS Connections in 2006. This is our fifty-sixth issue over the past thirteen years and it is with great pride that we announce that ARAS Connections has been chosen the winner of the 2019 Gradiva Award in the category of Best Digital Media. As our wonderful long-time curator, Ami Ronnberg, announces below, we were both shocked and thrilled to learn of this award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP). It seems timely to give a bit of history and context for our publication and this award. At the outset, we wanted to create a journal that was not too academic but also was quite serious in intent and content. We wanted it to be accessible to both a professional and lay audience. Most importantly, we wanted to take risks with articles that reflect a grounding in symbolic imagery with a cross cultural and multi-disciplinary focus. We knew that we had a unique opportunity for creating a distinctive periodical in that the combination of the digital format of ARAS Connections and our National ARAS status as a nonprofit would allow us to publish images under the so-called fair use law which grants exemptions from copyright and other restrictions that can make the publication of images prohibitively expensive. In addition, the digital format bypasses the very expensive printing of images in a traditional print format.
Those advantages however do not in themselves make for a Gradiva Award. Allison Tuzo, our extraordinary creative director of ARAS Connections, not only understands digital media and internet connectivity, but she also has a keen eye for editing our articles in an aesthetic format that equals the overall high quality of the design of ARAS Online. Allison is both a wizard with the technology and she has a finely developed sense of how to put together complicated visual and written material in a straightforward and easy to navigate form.
Ami Ronnberg is a most experienced and accomplished editor, having shepherded the production of several major ARAS publications, including most recently The Book of Symbols, which has sold some 300,000 copies worldwide and has remained among Taschen' s bestsellers for almost a decade. She has worked closely with Linda Carter to select articles for ARAS Connections, beginning with the first Art and Psyche conference in 2008, which Linda initiated and has continued to be the heart and soul of. They were later joined by Diane Fremont, who is also another wonderful member of the Art and Psyche group, which has continued to organize conferences both nationally and internationally. These conferences have been a rich source of many of the articles that have appeared in ARAS Connections, including this edition’s paper on Hilma af Klint by Bettina Kaufmann and Kathrin Schaeppi. In addition, as our reputation has grown, more and more authors are approaching ARAS with excellent, unsolicited articles that are original and well researched such as Sylvester Wojtkowski’s article on Jung’s Red Book paintings in the context of early abstraction in modern art and Deborah Fausch’s extraordinary "Red: Amplifcation of a Color”. They take us on extraordinary journeys into the expansive universe of symbolic imagery. ARAS Connections won the 2019 Gradiva Award because of our contributors who believe in our mission, which fortunately we have never defined.