stephen michael mcdowell,

Interview with Stephen Michael McDowell

stephen michael mcdowell,

After noticing a significant increase in output from Mammal, I decided to ask Stephen a few questions regarding the site, as well as a few other things.


1. what was the initial idea with mammal, and how has that idea changed with time? like, it seems as though you’re putting things out a lot more regularly now, whereas before it seemed like a monthly thing?

‘mammal ‘is the ‘parent entity’ of ‘habitat’, a publishing house and quarterly litmag i curate

the function of ‘mammal’ could be compared to any corporation with multiple ‘departments’ that produce content in formats other than what the company is primarily ‘known for’

the daily-updated mainpage functions like an entertainment magazine and is a ‘hub’ for work produced by all subdivisions and therefore tends to feature pieces with ‘multimedia’ content, but because of habitat’s initial popularity and my affinity for writing, literature, poetry, and editorial pieces are the page’s main focus

there are seven ‘regular contributors’ besides myself and they are all significantly cooler than me, i feel extremely grateful for them

in addition, around once a week there is a ‘guest contribution’ which is a piece made specifically for the site, typically by artists already affiliated with ‘mammal’ in some respect


2. are you working on anything of your own at the moment outside of mammal? would you like to talk about that/those things a little?

i’m currently writing a science fiction novel titled ‘planet’. it was initially supposed to come out december of this year but i’ve had difficulty working through the more emotional segments, so i’m focussing on ‘mammal’ currently while releasing small things

i have a short story collection of mostly unpublished pieces that i’m editing, it’s terrifying

i’m also working on a short film adaptation of a ‘sonic the hedgehog’ screenplay i wrote, as a response to ‘dumb running sonic’, a website compiling .gifs made by newgrounds and videogame animators depicting sonic looking insane/incompetent, in contrast to sega’s, unsuccessful, in my opinion, attempts to make him seem ‘cool’

i also am constantly working on ‘something’, though not every project becomes publicly available


3. You published a piece of work by Jack Serge. What is your opinion on what that person is doing (re: fb/ alg (spread) etc). How do you feel about anonymous internet pseudonyms and the implications they have on audience perceptions in relation to ‘authorship’ and art?

feel incapable of discerning an ‘umbrella opinion’ on the phenomena of anonymity or pseudonym besides that i enjoy content generated by some (frank hinton, i am alt lit, carles, the clamistons, kitty, marie calloway), and feel aversion to others

i guess people having the option to construct ‘a personal brand’ provides ‘alter-egos’ as an option and a way to psychologically ensure output is consistent and easy to access

i feel conflicted about my own pseudonym for various reasons, but i think my insecurity reflects something about my intent, in that i don’t believe in intent


4. 3 best things in alt lit ever/3 best things this yr/3 things youre looking forward to in 2013. anything you like.

i don’t believe in qualitative hierarchy, would probably just say things related to me and my friends’ work if i were being earnest and in an attempt to support them, but feel aversion…

going to just be ‘contrary’ as a cop-out:

‘3 best things in alt lit’
1. murdoch lamarche
2. beach sloth
3. andrea coates

‘3 best things this year’
1. my futon
2. my duvet
3. my pillow

‘3 things i’m looking forward to in 2013’
1. hopefully the next time i do sex
2. the inevitable disintegration of ‘mammal’, though unlikely, seems like that could be interesting if it ‘flops’ within a few months
3. the next time i get to hang out ‘IRL’with people i like besides my brain and this one girl inside my phone


Stephen is the author of Treees, and founder of Habitat.

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