As we put this issue together the last days of 2003 swirled around us, with all the artifice and artifacts that this time of year seems to generate. The steamy-windowed café where we planned the final week of tasks was full of holiday greenery, all artificial. Part of our conversation revolved around the artifacts still to be purchased or made for friends and family. The reality of our intimate connections with artifacts and artifice seems heightened at this time of year. We buy and bake and celebrate, undeniably caught up in webs of things and crafts and greenery (artificial or otherwise).