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The FAKE/REAL issue of The Pluralist is an exciting one. Prompted by the necessities of COVID19, we’ve created a new digital platform on which to host the Pluralist. This will offer us more freedom in the type of content we feature and how we can publish it. Upcoming issues of The Pluralist will be released both digitally and in print as well, in the near future when feasible.

As RCA2020 opens we wanted to offer a platform for students to present work in progress, ideas, experiments and investigations throughout the issue. With graduations postponed, and shows taking place from our homes all around the world we wish everyone leaving the RCA well and hope for solidarity and strength from within and outside of the RCA community.

We were initially drawn to FAKE/REAL as a way to talk about art and (in)authenticity. However, as the COVID19 crisis unfolded around the world FAKE/REAL also took on many other elements as we found ourselves living through our Zoom screens, absorbing essential information digitally, and encountering disinformation reframed as truth.

As the Black Lives Matter movement has gathered refreshed momentum over recent weeks, it also feels important to remember that FAKE/REAL doesn’t just relate to aesthetic concerns. It also encompasses urgent concerns about lived experiences of the world and how they are represented by us or by others. From ‘fake news’ and ‘deep fakes’, to the act of gaslighting or forcibly denying the reality of oppression experienced by Black communities, what is ‘real’ and what is not is one of the major questions of our contemporary moment.

In this issue you can look forward to a video essay on fictitious bacterial clothing, a poetic meditation on Tiger King, fake diamonds, fake rocks, a horoscope column, a fabricated digital museum, and more. We hope you enjoy the issue.

Lucy + Harri