Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fluxfest Chicago 2013

I am excited to celebrate Fluxfest in Chicago again this year.  There are a lot of fun events lined up including performance art, mail art, giveaways, film festival, installations and MORE!!!  I'm even taking a couple of exclusive giveaway projects, which will be made available only there and only at select events.

Decentralized Networker Congress
Joan Flasch Artist Book Library
School of the Chicago Art Institute
37 S. Wabash, 5th floor
reception: Thursday, Feb. 21, 4 - 7 PM

Performance Anxiety: Classic & Contemporary Scores
Dorchester Projects
6916 S. Dorchester
Friday, Feb. 22, 1 - 5 PM

Chicago Fluxus Day
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington
Sat., Feb. 23, 12 - 5 PM

The world as a town & Textile mail art shows
Indeterminacy reading of John Cage's work
6018 North
6018 N. Kenmore
Sun., Feb. 24, 12 - 5 PM

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rant on Judging One Another

When will we learn to stop judging each others' abilities, personalities or values based on criteria that have little or nothing at all to do with that or that we cannot fully understand because of the life experiences associated with them?

For example: it is truly unfortunate that those judged as lazy based on external criteria (age, ethnicity, race, size) can be among the most hard-working of us, because they are rarely ever given a "free ride" and instead are all too often put in situations where they have to prove otherwise due to having to overcome that stigma.  And yet others judged as lazy act the part because it is expected of them and so they never push themselves to prove otherwise, having questioned or limited what they think of their abilities from the start.

When confronted with such prejudices, it is natural to either go above and beyond acting opposite to them or to embrace them and become that which others perceive one to be.  It is really a kind of shitty cycle that feeds into itself and may even be used to further justify bigotry, hate and prejudice.

So I implore: if you ever find yourself wondering about someone's abilities, personality or values based on external criteria, give them the benefit of the doubt and don't stand in their way or make them work twice as hard to prove otherwise.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Importance of Collectors and Patrons on Legacy

I implore you to collect and patronize the arts.  Not just because your financial support is so very needed but because it is the collectors and patrons who help shape the face of the future.  So many artworks and artists are lost to time.  A lot of art ends up in estate & garage sales, thrift stores, antique malls and flea markets, destroyed, dumpstered, or reappropriated by other artists for raw materials.  It is those works that are collected and preserved that go on to become part of art history later.  We have been fortunate to recover some more neglected and forgotten history later on, but just imagine if more of it had been better preserved and celebrated before it was lost and later rediscovered?  The entire face of art history and even the current state of the arts and its influences could be dramatically different.

And it's not just the permanent collections of major institutions that play an important role in this.  Private patronage is important.  Many prestigious permanent collections in institutions have been borne from remarkable private collections, and every one of those private collections started somewhere, with some first acquisition...  So don't belittle yourself for not being able to establish a world-renowned museum or fund a major exhibition but recognize that your patronage & support has value at whatever level you can offer and that everyone starts someplace.  Follow your own path, plant the seed, foster it and let it bloom.

In Trends: Young Female Collectors Buy, Support Women's Art in the recent Women's Caucus for Art Artlines newsletter, Jaimianne Amicucci wrote of the importance of young, female collectors shaping art trends, noting that "With the influence of women collectors, it is only natural to see an increase in women's art becoming more of a demand."  Let's face it, money speaks.  Collectors and patrons hold a lot of influence over what is created, celebrated and shown at all because they are buying, and galleries and artists are often moved out of business savvy and necessity to pursue what is selling versus what is not.  So, if you want to see a movement fostered and to help promote certain kinds of work, your pocketbook has power!  Buy art and help to fund & promote institutions that help to foster that discourse.  As Amicucci goes on to state, "We can only hope it continues to diversify the spectrum of collectors to reflect a multifaceted art market in the future."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

That changes everything!

I recently had a conversation with a fellow artist who felt bad that she hadn't attended my LAST CHANCE! show.  At the time, she wasn't sure how she felt about it, especially since it acted out a fear that she and so many artists have of what could happen to their own art.  She had invited a friend of hers to come along and that friend declined because she didn't see the point and didn't want to condone the wanton destruction of art.  But now in hindsight they feel differently and kind of regret having not come, especially in response to learning of the legacy campaign, which elicited the phrase "that changes everything..."

But nothing has changed really.  I bring this up not to be argumentative, but in order to validate that they didn't feel it at the time and so the response not to attend was correct in that moment.  I hadn't known at the time that I was going to use the proceeds to fund the legacy campaign - I came to that decision later after the experience.  But even if I had known that, it shouldn't have created a sense of obligation or desire to condone or show support of something that is difficult, challenging, offputting or goes against what one embraces or believes in.  I commend them both for not coming and for responding as they felt at that time.

Hindsight may be 20/20 but we live in the present and have to credit ourselves for being in that moment, whatever it may be.  We can't predict the future, nor should we dwell on things that have passed.  What's done is done, it is what it is, and often the best response is to pick up the pieces and move on.  I say this as much as a reminder to myself as to offer up advice to anyone else reading it.  I need to be present in the present and mindful of the here and now.  My perfectionist attitude and insecurities don't serve me well, especially in hindsight.

So, next time I chastise myself for not knowing something in advance or for thinking, "that changes everything" I will try to reconsider and realize that whatever moment I was in, for better or for worse, it was what it was.  Rather than invalidating myself or questioning my actions at that time, I will try to give myself credit and realize that nothing is truly any different for all that everything has changed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Legacy and Marketing, Promo and Publicity

Another thing to consider when considering your legacy as an artist is what sort of record of shows and events you are involved in and how you are documenting that for posterity. Anymore nowadays it is crucial to get the word out regarding anything you're doing to draw people to attend. There are so many opportunities to connect, so many venues for social networking and so many great ways to promote events.

But are you are doing so in a way that will be preserved later on? Consider the longevity of your means of imparting that information. If you're doing the legwork anyway, consider also emailing it to one of the online art calendar record-keeping sites, like the Feminist Art Project or the Women's Caucus for Art calendar. Or keep an ongoing record with blog posts.

This is something I admittedly need to work on myself. The blogreel list to the side is updated constantly and my past posts are extensive and somewhat difficult to navigate, and I don't always post about shows I cannot attend in person. I do however keep an extensive personal record (as displayed in my LAST CHANCE! show) and can transcribe or pull up that information easily. So there are other ways to do this - it doesn't have to be on a public forum.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Art of the Week: Traces Left

Here are some photos of one of my new works, Traces Left, as shown in Leaving No Trace currently on display at Framations.  The creepy porcelain doll head was found compliments of my friend Cindy Royal and I lucked into the amazing bird cage stand at thrift.  And as a bonus Dressing for the Occasion post, I am pictured with the new work as displayed to give a sense of scale, wearing my Au Naturel altered dress at the opening last night.