Wednesday, March 23, 2011

thoughts | dysfunctionality, public art agency and culture production

"Dysfunctional is the talent du jour" was the comment of a friend of mine to my list of professional frustrations.

I cannot complain in these times of cosmic disorder, considering what is going on the planet: earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, tornadoes, floods...But still there is so much which could be accomplished just with some logical reasoning and respect/consideration of others, which could truly improved the quality of life.

Being involved in cultural production for several years (often working on it over 10 hour a day, without being able to make a living) I have been involved in too many episodes of dysfunctionality, mainly coming from academia or so called "public art" agencies.

I am mentioning only the most recent episode, regarding for the Big Screen, a supposedly public display of video works. The web site encourages to submit work related to the month specific themes; for April the topics list included cheese, jazz, and diversity, not including poetry ---in fact, April is National Poetry Month. We queried about our interest in submitting our visually poetry project and we encouraged to do so. We submitted stills, and links to the low resolution video. We are asked to mail or drop off the high resolution video. With the understanding that the video was selected for broadcasting —the submitted material was more than sufficient to make a selection— I dropped off the full resolution video work at the Big Screen office. A week later after asking for broadcast schedule we receive a quick reply "Unfortunately we will not be showing your work at this time" with no explanation of the reasons. The other reply after my inquiry of the reasons for the work rejection was "we need to see 100% of a video before it is selected, this only makes sense as we are a public video screen and have to make sure that the videos being shown are appropriate."

Besides being upset for waste of time caused by this submission I am also concerned (and this is not my first experience in regard) of how public space for art Public Art is administered and managed. How are the curators/administrator selected? Making decision about public space comes with responsibility: a justification for rejecting work which has been highly priced is due.

However luckily we live in a time where the largest public art space of the world is available:
View and judge yourself how Venice of the Mind was appropriate for public viewing!