Well I'm done with development on this for the time being. I'll work on bugs as they show up, and keep enhancements for the next phase (whenever that will be). And I still have some major concerns with the slowness of image-loading. Nevertheless, I'm relieved to get back to the studio to do some real work. BTW, You might want to look at the image upload process this time - it's simplified a lot - no need to check for image dimensions anymore, so it should be just a point-and-shoot exercise to create your exhibition. Just make sure the images are 150K or less. Whether the site gets used by other artists remains to be seen. I hope to be using it myself for those works soon-to-be!
i find myself feeling very constrained by being surrounded by people all the time who constantly tell me that my 'pictures' are nice but what am i REALLY going to do with my life... i enjoy being in the company of people who are artistic, i am lucky in that i know a lot of musicians and it inspires and encourages me to spend time with them talking about life and passion and expression... i don't know many painters however and i have been getting the feeling that a lot of visual artists are territorial and protective of their work... i am quite solitary in my work, but i think there is room for community outside of that, for sharing experiances and information...
I agree that artist communities are difficult to maintain within current insane conditions. We work more than ever but can never get enough done. We breathe ominous disaster and nothing makes sense because it is so completely meta-stratified. The ‘art world’ has become so removed from majority reality that mainstream exhibitions don’t speak so much to me. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I personally sense an underlying desperation (because the artist population is burgeoning/übercompetitive), one that I thoroughly understand in my experiences in NY/Brooklyn.
The paradox: I believe global culture needs as many artists as possible to deal with the struggles in which we all find ourselves- to document our respective situations, and to unite in the human predicament towards actively changing the culture that drives us into isolated, market-driven competitive survival stress.
Witnessing Gregg Bordowitz’s lecture ‘On the Passions’ (Artists Space, NY, NY, 3/28/06) was a phenomenon. I believe that he accomplished a heroic act, reaching across mediums and articulating the philosophic and creative catalysts that will inspire the movement for which our world is aching – the movement that will allow us to survive the dismal circumstances of contemporary progression’s addiction to the ‘digital pharmaceutical complex’.
Bordowitz asked us the tough questions, including: How does one work from a point of depression and despair and not be overwhelmed by it? How can one live a life of contentment that is both ethical and pleasurable? How can one be a creative force outside the mediocre offerings of capitalism?
Using Hume's 'A Treatise of Human Nature' as a framework, Mr. Bordowitz articulated how art can change the world through participating in the dependent hierarchy of: Information - Sensing -Meaning - Signification. If we induce a flow that goes both ways in the heirarchy, we can create culture, rather than just letting a hyper-real commodified culture happen to us.
My question for the community: What is the role of art in an apocalyptic culture? While my pre-generation had primarily to fear communism and the atomic bomb, now we all have a buffet of forces to fear as mass annihilators: viral pandemic and inaccessible health care, polarized religious conflict and ultranationalist evangelical regimes that focus on repetitive condemnation, global warming and climate change, natural disasters, peak oil and energy crisis, economic and social collapse, probable celestial and/or magnetic field event, the ongoing threat of nuclear holocaust with the addition of new states acquiring nuclear technology to defend themselves from being exploited, and other possible shift events such as the discovery of sparticles via CERN’s new super collider, LISA satellite interdimensional communications, and/or Ancient prophecy of the nearing Mayan end time.
Dear Wren, I understand your motivation and also your exitement about what you’ve heard from that Mr. Bordowitz. But art is nothing that helps solve that problems you’ve mentioned nor any other one. Thinking art can make this world a better place is just hybris. It has never and will never. An artist makes art for he has to do it. It’s that simple. In history they have been the fools that decorated the rich and mighty’s places and that is still the same today. So art, exept the works of a few guys who make it into the big business, is made mainly for the artist’ own mental sanity and that of some people who like his art. Remember: 95 % of all artist hardly sell anything. So what will be their influence? Art is a very great and wonderful gift but no tool to solve global problems or problems at all let alone to change the world.
Hanjo, so you don't believe in working together with others towards anything? Teaching? All is futile to you? I'm just trying to understand, because I would kill myself if I didn't feel some minute purpose to affect the world. Your paintings are very big and human. If I saw them in person, I would emotionally respond to them. In such, you'd be affecting me- and I believe the reactions of the people that do experience them, in turn subtly affect the world. Maybe we misunderstand each other in degrees of literality, but I think you (and I) contribute to culture just by making work (whether it is primarily for our own sanity or anything else) and showing it to other humans. anyway, perhaps to philosophical for many, but otherwise, what's the point?
Dear Wrenn, I really appreciate your attitude which I can fully understand as said before. And of course I am suffering from all the issues you mentioned the same way as you do. I spent many years of my life to fight against them and still do in the attempt to make this world a better place and I really do not think that doing so is futile. The only thing I wanted to tell you was that one has to choose an effictive way to make a contribution to this fight. For me that is to join or at least support organisations that deal with these issues as for example greenpeace or amnesty international or any other group that is seriously involved. When I was working as a sculptor in my younger years I had a lot to do with memorials and things like that to help never to forget what has happened in Germany during the Nazi regime and I put my heart and soul in it as best as I could. And fighting the other problems you mentioned I spent some days in jail for trying to stop the erection of a nuclear plant. This so far to let you know that I fully agree with you and that I understand your position very well. But doing all that things I learned that art isn’t just the right tool for that. Those people that cause the trouble are not at all interested in art. Only maybe as hypocrites. They do everything and do not care how to stop anybody who tries to stop them. That’s why one needs the right tools to confront them. With art you can only reach single persons. Persons that are sensitive already and are suffering like you do. Therefore I am very thankfull for the comment you have made on my art and how it affects you. So I hope that this can clear some misinterpretations. With kind regards
I found myself in an unusual place (for me) a couple of weeks ago - a trappist monastary. I was invited by a knowledgeable person to sample the trappist beer which, he said was reputed to be amongst the world's best. While seated I asked him if it was true the monks take a vow of silence and therefore hardly ever talk? Not quite true he replied - apparantly their rule of thumb is that if someone has to speak, the room (or environment) should be left all the richer for what was spoken, meaning that they don't talk unless they have something profound and enriching to say. Pretty cool, eh? Actually I'm not quite sure as to the veracity of his statement as he is Irish, and we Irish do prefer a good story over the actual truth (which often is less interesting). Anyway, that brings me to this forum. Personally, I don't mind it not being used very often as long as what is there is interesting to read (ergo it doesn't even have to be truthful!). Of course, that doesn't mean we should behave like monks, but it probably will mean that we will only ever have a small handful of contributors. And to those few contributors I say - go ahead an use the forum for your own means. Throw in a leading question to an argument that concerns you, and see if you get any useful response. By concentrating on the particular, you may end up touching the universal - which means relevant to most, if not all of the rest of us. I've enjoyed most of the contributions so far - it's true, they are few - but still it's better than reading many boring entries I suppose. Notwithstanding, I interpret your question as an invitation to make more frequent use of the forum. I'll certainly try to do that, in the hope that others will be willing to do the same.
By the way, my host was truthful about one thing - those trappists sure make one of the best beers!
Dear JP, I think Trappist beer has got to be right up there with the very very best. I always enjoy my stays in Brugges although I have to admit I try to find a hotel not too far from the oldest pub in town because the beer goes down so easy, but its sometimes hard to stand back up. I also had a Czech beer when I was recently in Berlin called Krasovice. Nice amber color, and rich full bodied taste.......! Taste is after all very imortant to the artist............cheers.....!
my husband started making home beer two years ago . .. . it started off as an experiment and ended up as a beer factory.
about the talking in africa they say: god gave us two ears, two eyes and only one mouth . . . therefore we should listen and see twice as much as we talk . . . . but i asked myself how can people get to know each other ???? i guess it's a matter of trusting one another . . . . je pense :::
hello, my name is jhoana ronceria, I am colombian and I have worked with people affected for the violencie. I would like proyects about the therapy artistic or art and community. My english is not good, somebody understand me?
The reason I am writing under this topic of the forum is that I read Hillel's last message to the Trapani list, and it gave me a lot to think about. It is true that very little is being actually said between artists on line, and not only on this site. What occured to me is that we all adapt a "politically correct" attitude. Instead of asking questions about work that seems impressive, or present a specific idea of ours and ask for opinions, even criticise work we may disagree with, our comments (when we make any) remain simply "polite". Art history has shown that some of the most interesting work has been produced after constructive rivalry. Why are we so afraid to come forward with specific opinions about what we consider worthwhile or less? When one decides to become member of a community should do it in order to make and receive critisism. That is what one needs to get one's brain going. At least I would like to be asked to support my work in order to convince somebody who may not think it is good. This way I may come up with things I hadn't thought of before and improve.
1. Site rarely used. 2. Comments generally uninteresting. 3. Appearance / Reality duality. 4. "Excited Artists!" 5. No more exploratory development on my part. 6. Criticism and invocation to action.
Oddly enough, I had planned to reply, like you, using the site forum (as opposed to the mailing list) - as the points he raises are more fundamental to communication between artists (as you point out) and deserve to be treated in a sphere wider than just the Trapani project. I would have chosen the "Artprocess.com - Directions" forum as I figured it concerned a critique of the site, but as you've introduced it on "The Art Community" forum (it makes absolutely no difference), I'll happily take up your good example, and add my 2 cents here.
As I'm not the most spontaneous of writers, I probably would have mulled over how I should reply to Hillel - and perhaps because of laziness not even gotten around to putting my intentions into practice. However your message has stimulated me to add also my own response, so many thanks for taking the initiative.
I wasn't going to take the line of 'Criticism Between Artists' - and how online we seem to treat each other with kid gloves, where in fact the real fun is in the cut and thrust of defending your corner (always with good humour), and attacking an adversary (in a spirit of respect) to see if an outcome of worth can be reached, and maybe even opening of a door or two of understanding.
Firstly, I intended to praise Mr. Kagan for his perceptiveness. He was the first to understand the artist-to-artist concept of the site, and is the first to stand up and criticise in a positive manner where the site and it's members are lacking in the realization of that goal. He has proven to me to be several steps ahead in formulating ideas that I either haven't clearly understood yet, or am in an early stage of understanding. And so I know by now that when he speaks, it's heads-up time.
And so then I'd like to go through my list:
1. The site is rarely used. In a way, I'm grateful for this as I want to provide instead for the phlegmatic, cynical and (thankfully) arrogant, seen-it-all-but-still-working type of artist (of any age group) who's not so easily motivated to another useless activity without real returns, but is willing to invest in time and energy when the prospect concerns sharing experience with peers and advising eager hopefuls who are taking on the impossible challenges of being an artist today.
2. Yes, the witheringly evident "I love your work" comment is impossible to respond to, other than with the even more so "Thanks!" reply. Now that's an communication exchange that has little to recommend it. I'm sure the artist would have preferred a gently barbed provocation so s/he is given the opportunity to boldly state the motivation for the work, rather than the twee "Em.. that's nice of you" retort. Let's hope we can cultivate a more vigorous exchange of good-humoured and spicy artists' opinions as we become more familiar with one another!
3. The dreaded appearance / reality conundrum. What to say? Well, I'm *very* happy to say that the visual quality of the site content i.e. YOUR ARTWORKS is much higher than I even hoped for when I started out. We don't have any problems there. What is problematic, as already mentioned, is our insistance that the site is about artists to artists communicating.... it's not really true, is it? Nevertheless, all we have to do is stop half-an-hour to take a look through the "Random Selection" of artworks on the site, and attempt to write a true comment when an artwork inspires, interests, or bores us, to begin the practice of artists really communicating with fellow artists. In some way, the bold few have to begin this process of stimulation. It takes courage, but you'll see there'll be plenty of support for all sides of an argument in the end.
4. The reference to "excited artists" I find a little dubious. By now, most of you will look to a show as a drag - it takes you away from your work, costs money, you have to be creative with the logistics of transport, also maybe find cheap accomodation, dealing with the press, framing, invites etc. etc. And then after the selling which never compensates for the soul you've given to the effort, in the end, you realize you've completed a cycle, a whole body of work, and then go into a depresson because you don't know how to start the next series! Now who's excited about that?
5. A need for an ongoing dialogue facility. I'm all for this, but after putting a lot of my time into coding solutions for communication (however ineffective they may be), I feel the answer at this stage is less technological, and more one of simply encouraging participation - which is the best way to return a little to the community for the 'no-commitments asked' experience of showing your artworks online. I'm ready for suggestions for improvement to the site but would need convincing to go down the the path of programming for months with little to gain for it in the end. Rather, for example, I think this forum could do with more use and gradual improvement. It doesn't have to end up a marketplace - I believe that it's more important to have less quantity but more quality. Up to now there's been little of either - so let's try using it, in the spirit of improving and developing it together?
6. I think Hillel is criticising us as a group with the idea of encouraging better participation to improve the quality of our verbal interventions. He's right that if we'd don't take up the challenge, the site will die because it will become insignificant. There are many other art sites much more flashy and slick than Art Process, that deal with online sales, gathering clients and to interest hopeful dealers. I hope you are all members already of such sites, and am convinced they provide a much greater service than we do here in that regard. What we want to do here instead, is provide the fabric for being in the presence of other artists as much as we can. The goal of Art Process is simply that - artist to artist, exchanging an experience of form, colour, and meaning.
So I'd like to say yes we have no choice other than to take up Hillel's challenge, and Maria's affirmation of that challenge, to provide more commitment in our verbal interventions if we are really honest in a desire to build together an online presence that is "By Artists, For Artists". And then maybe we'll even be able to convince the press one day too!
Well, I think Hillel is a bit to strict. I can understand his intention very well, and in some things I agree with him. But one should be careful not to get into the trap of illusion while trying to demask an illusion. Or in other words, most of his comment is very close to wishful thinking. It’s nice to have a dream, no doubt, but it’s better to have a proper analysis. If they are not in the film business or at the theatre artists are no team workers and not used of communicating everything they do. You may like it or not, that’s a fact. And very often they for themselves have no clear idea of what they are doing. And not to forget, the language of art is not made out of words. And not everyone has the ability to easily put in words what he’s contemplating on. To make all this a bit more complicated, the desired dialogue has to be done in a foreign language for most of us. All these things are not making it very easy to just start prating.
On the other hand artprocess is the only site I know where at least something like a fruitful discussion is taking place even when it is sporadic. Visit „Commented Artworks“ or „Authoritative Voices“ and you’ll find quite another quality of comments like „I love your work“ and „Oh thank you“.
And what shall I do with a comment just for the sake of a comment? It’s only natural that I like some artwork better than another or some artwork I do not like at all. But do I have to comment everything? I mean every artist (as gruesome his or her artwork may be) has his meanings and reasons and thoughts and experiences etc. and more often than not I am not wiser than he or she. And what’s so wrong with being correct? We are not used to sit in meetings discussing some issues of the company as hard as possible. No we slave away in the dark feeding our poor children called artwork and we are proud when at least they do not look so bad. So one has to be careful and polite and act with empathy. That’s no wrong attitude as long as it is not mere hypocrisy.
Nevertheless it’s true what Maria says that criticism „is what one needs to get one's brain going“. So for example I have difficulties to state what I want to do but I’m pretty much sure what I don’t want to do. So all my premises are statements against something ... NO reclining nudes, NO erotic signals, NO sitting in the flesh etc etc. But that is a criticism in my brain to find out what I want to alter. There is no need to criticise others who still do reclining nudes or paint erotic stuff or use a sitter in the flesh.
Thankyou Maria, J.P and Hanjo. Firstly congratulations are in order for myself as I'm finally using a computer where I can see and respond to this forum. Thanks J.P. for your detailed and thoughtful response to my slightly drunken comments on the Trapani e-mail facility. All I was trying to say, just to reiterate was that the best publicity for the Trapani show is Art Process itself. I don't think I'm being strict in asking the participants to help make the site as interesting as possible through their contribution of comments or other. And Hanjo I'm not talking about negative comments for the sake of controversy and I take well all the points you've made above. Obviously no civil person goes out of their way to hurt someone just for the sake of it (unless you happen to be on Saatchi's site) but there are ways to have civilized discourse without getting dirty. We know that because we've done it. Half an hour now and again to review work and make comment if so inspired is all it takes make a contribution that helps us all. All in all you've all clarified some issues for myself and I intend to be more active on this forum now that I view it as an ongoing discussion. Many thanks.
so this is the first time I do reply to your comments! I hope I understood correctly, what the aim of this art site is - as for me there´s no interest for another site used for simple exhibition or selling pictures - which very seldom works, by the way. so I find it very interesting to communicate with other artist, but there has to be a "theme" for every artist and that may last some time (e.g. see myself!) I decided to participate on artprocess after talking to my friend antonio at trapani and it needed some time for my first comment - so maybe it´s the same for the other artists. I´ll try to start also making comments on the other artist works - so you´ll see! meamwhile best regards from austria - michael
Well, I perfectly agree with Hanjo when he says that the language of art is not made out of words. And of course things get even more complicated when one uses a foreign language to communicate . For example my use of the word criticism led to a misunderstanding. I suppose there must be a better word for what I intended, but criticism was the only handy one at the time I wrote my comment above. To make things clear, I will describe what I meant: I had been going through Hillel’s portfoglio when I run into that wonderful conversation he had with Hanjo started on certain circled brushstrokes used by the former (work title “Transit II”). Hanjo asked a question and further on Hillel asked Hanjo a question on what he thought of certain artists. The conversation was very enlighting and carried on with courtesy. That is exactly what I meant by “criticism” offered and received. I certainly do not mean that we should go around criticizing artists who choose to work in a way we wouldn’t, as it was very correctly put by Hanjo. Asking “why” this or that though, may be constructive for both sides. The points made in that conversation were points I would have liked to make but fortunately somebody else did, with much better use of English than mine. Now, I wish this kind of interaction took place more often. It is understood that sometimes it takes time. But, dear friends, allow me to be anxious, as I am thirsty for art talk…(where I live I don’t get much chance). Not all the time of course, because intelligent talking is not goods of mass consumption. It needs time and it’s results sometimes need even more time to be elaborated.
To J.P.: would please stop being apologetic? If you take a look this is still the best site around as far as the artist for artist thing is concerned.
Maria the kind of discourse you are looking for is a rare thing and it makes no difference where you live. Sure there are places where you can meet up with fellow artists but the talk usually tends toward the business of art, gallery gossip and the politics of writing successful grant applications and proposals etc. Perhaps because those topics are of no particular interest to me and the few people I can discuss art with having dissipated to even fewer (being burned out, alcoholic or dead) this site has become important for me and obviously yourself and quite a few others. It gives us a place to connect and removes us briefly from our isolation which is also necessary to produce work.
It does however take commitment, to sit down and write your thoughts (as opposed to face to face dialogue well lubricated with alcohol) is difficult and takes time. The effort in time J.P. took to make his comments above staggers me and he has my profound respect not only for starting this whole thing but for staying with it. He seems to think it's worth it and so do I. The results of his labour appear to be providing nouriishment to many different artists in various and surprising ways.
You mentioned language (problematic for many visual artists under the best of circumstances) and the fact that the site is mainly in English), mainly for me. It was something I never thought about at first and when I never seemed to get any response from comments, even ones I had purposely framed as questions, I cynically put it down to artists' apathy. Assuming that an artist's statemennt was in English it never occurred to me that perhaps they couldn't speak it and had gotten help setting up their profiles. The language problems were resolved on "artprocess interest" through the combined efforts of a few admirable souls but this site is of course a different story. So Michael who has now joined the conversation, I thank you for your thoughts and can only imagine what an effort it isi for all of you whose fiirst language is not English especially those of you from Ireland.
All in all, despite the difficulties and sometime misunderstandings, I think we all benefiit in one way or another from this experience.
dear hille, I think you`re wright about the difficulties of langauage, but I am very hapy that there´s some response. I could try to communicate in Italian too, but my Italian is a bit poor for spontaneous conversation. I am really curious in this trapani project, because I love this town and its particularly aim of culture; it would not be easy to find a collection like DIART in a small town in europe!! I´m looking forward to meet you all - and keep intouch through this odd medium called internet!! best regards michael
Michael, I look forward to meeting you and my fellow artists in Trapani. You know your name is Michael Oberlik I hope, I sought out your profile and portfolio so I could put a face to your comments here. Very solid work but more about that some other time. Right now (and this should probably be noted in the "Bugs" topic of the forum pages but I happen to be here right now) We go by first names on this site, very friendly but "artists A-Z" of course refers to the last name so I had a hell of job finding Michael, however I did and there's two of you. I figure you're not the one from the U.S. so that's why I say I hope you're Michael Oberlik. I think artists should always go by their last names, Degas, Cezanne, Pollock, etc. etc. except of course Hanjo who like other stars like Cher and Prince only needs one name. So howsaboutit webmaster? Is this a bug or what?
Let's say it was an unfortunate design choice... hopefully rectified now with your help Mr. Kagan. I've compromised by keeping the "friendly" author's firstname, but there's a link now to take you to the author's profile. Many thanks for your observations and taking the time to write it down.
I should also add my gratitude to everyone else who's written in suggestions for improving the site - not all of them were easy fixes like this one - but they have been noted for a future reworking of Art Process.
[And apologies to Michael and Hillel for hijacking their posting with this one a little out-of-context.]
Dear J.P I would like to add mine. Yes, first names are very nice and friendly but it makes it hard to track people. What about putting a link on the names as they appear so that one can be directed straight to people's profiles? Thanks again for all the work you are dedicating to this.
When I met Maria the other week at her studio-log she said something about application of paint like that she found out a new method of doing it. But for it’s not possible to ask on studio-log what she meant with this remark I still wonder what funny things she has found out. Does it mean that she now uses her fingers instead of brushes? Or Spatulas? Or does she do it like Mr. Pollock? No no no you can forget about that. Thanks heaven that would not work with Maria. Or is she going to nail the paint onto the canvas or does she use tape? Ever since I cannot think of anything else.
Well, but this is not the reason I’m writing here. It has been sooo silence for weeks or even month that I thought there must be something wrong with my ears. And indeed people had to repeat what they said to me very often and the words I used over the day were mostly „I beg your pardon“ and „what did you say“? So finally I got a hearing aid, one for each ear (very very expensive oh oh). Okay, so when I left the shop where I got them I was shocked about how loud the world actually was. Such an incredible noise. Well but now I’m sitting here in front of my computer hacking this in to test the new equipment. Maybe, so I do hope, maybe I can hear some faint murmuring at least. Maybe I even can understand some words. I mean these hearing aids are absolutely state of the arts ... I swear (or can see it on the bill) so there must be something to detect with them. But to be honest until now I haven’t been successful, not at all. Okay, I know that many people have lots of problems at the moment, financial, psychological, artistic etc. etc. and they might not be in the right mood of talking so much, with me included, but I thought that maybe at least I could make out some faint groaning or wailing ...
On the other hand, could it be possible that this website got transmogrified into some mole world? And everyone is silently digging through the place sniffing at this, nibbling at that, but pssssst no word not even a tone. Just shuffling through the dark tunnels blind and mute ... not such a nice idea isn’t it?
Or what would be worse in times where enlightment bashing seems to come more and more into fashion and people turn to questionable sects instead or even the traditional churches. Perhaps this site turned into a monastery without letting me know. A Trappist cloister where it’s absolutely forbidden by punishment of eternal burning in hell to say anything. So I really do hope that we are not trapped in what one could call the Trappist order of St Artprocess.
My friends, I think it is not that we haven’t been hanging out with each other lately. We haven’t been hanging out at all for the last months. What is funny is that Hanjo, Karen, Hillel and myself have been going through some tough times all at the same time(!). Maybe except Hillel, who has been braver than the rest of us for much longer a time. However, speaking for myself, this place is still my favorite bar in town.
There is a matter that has been bothering me though and I have been meaning to talk about it with you. And it is closely connected to Hanjo’s question mark about what on earth could this new way of applying paint could be, as much as to Karen’s wondering how come all this non commenting when interesting new work shows up. Right now I just took a minute to check on AP before I get to work, so there is not much time to tell you my thoughts. I promise a detailed account of them though asap.
There ... there ... I heard something ... right now. Psssst ... listen ... listen ... can you hear it? Whow, it works ... it really works ... I can hear Maria talking ... it’s amazing! Do you hear her, too? My, that’s great! So it was a very good idea to get those hearing aids. I have to tell my doctor immediately ...