Monday, January 29, 2007

Isn't it a built in assumption?

Was catching up on some blog reading last night - read a few of Edward_ Winkleman's posts, including this one, on (paraphrasing) artists' egos.

I couldn't wade through all of the comments, there was too much snarkiness and sniping and big art-y words to keep me interested. So maybe this was already stated in the comments, but I prefer to keep my comments here.

He was basically talking about whether or not successful artists think they are great artists. I find this an interesting question, since in my opinion all artists must think they are great artists. I certainly do. If you are a person willing to spend the time, money and energy creating art beyond, say grad school, then clearly you must think your art is worth seeing, and therefore at some level of greatness.

Any artist who is modest about their work is either lying , being disingenuous or just not thinking clearly about their position. I'm pretty sure a lot of the 'loser-ism' that artists wrap themselves in (those who chose to), is just part of a costume - putting on the artist persona.

I know there are many times where I look at my art and think - "wow! that is so f-ing awesome!" -- I've put up shows that made me weep because I thought they were so good. (Now, maybe it still didn't entirely meet my high expectations, but I still thought they were great).

How many artists walk into galleries and more often think "my art is better than this" than "this is the greatest artwork i have ever seen." Admittedly, I have seen (and written about) some pretty great shows, but I generally think of my art as being on par with that other great art.

I just find it hard to believe that one would desire to thrust mediocrity on the public eye. Its just not true.

Friday, January 26, 2007

temporary website in place

I just built a temporary website for Sea Change - it's at - right now it's propagating itself across the world wide web. Let me know if/when you can see it and if you have any feedback (particularly if there is information you would like to see up there that isn't yet).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

is it more fun to go up the hill than down?

So, with the head cold set in good and well - stuffy head, burning eyes, that whole experience of walking around in a dream? - it gives me time to think. And catch up a little on blogging - if somewhat incoherently.

I've been thinking about just how much work it is to produce a public art work (in case you didn't know, i am in the midst of doing that right now), especially one that is, well, ephemeral and fleeting. Here's the rough overview:
  • get grants: that means researching, writing, editing, compiling, mailing etc. and not just one or two - more like a dozen at least
  • get approval: so the grants give you some backbone at least, but then you have to get approval from parks, developers, DOT and community boards. you have to write letters, and emails, send packets, attend small meetings, attend big meetings
  • get sponsors: try to get people to give you things for free. and because.
  • get press: write a press kit (thats a whole other thing), research contacts, send releases and kits to contacts, contact contacts, follow up with contacts, pester people
  • get partners: to do things you can't do (teach workshops, plan events), to get their support (park conservancies, neighborhood groups), to get promotion
I'm sure there is stuff I am forgetting but thats the gist of it. All to lay down the fleeting blue chalk line.

But here's the rub. I actually like it. Clearly there is something wrong with my head, it would certainly be much easier to create work in a studio and then air it out in the gallery without all this other rigamarole. And don't get me wrong, I still love doing studio work (in fact, right about now I just plain miss it). But there is something oddly appealing about all this work prior to the project. And here's what I have realized: it's a pattern.

Yup. I also like cross country mountain biking better than downhil. I like backcountry snowboarding. I like kayaking (okay that doesn't really fit the story, but I still like it). Truth is, I like the hard work, it makes the reward that much sweeter.

But do me a favor. Come out and say hello when I am drawing the chalk line. It will make it even sweeter still.

Yes, that top image is Tuckerman's, and yes I have ridden it and loved it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

seriously? no? seriously?

I know I promised some tips for writing grants to come soon, but things keep happening with the Sea Change project, including a potential name change. I will let you know the details when it gets more fully worked out.
This week g-pup and I were supposed to be flying over to Edinburgh to see some family, but I got hit with that awful cold/flu thing that has been flying around. So there is no way I am getting on a plane with any kind of sinus sickness. (I've done it twice before, it is really not a good idea). So instead I am home working on more of the project needs.
I continue to apply for funding, getting the Greenwall & Jerome Foundation applications together. I am rewriting the application to refocus on the performance aspect of me putting down the chalk line and talking to people one on one about climate change (since thats where the real power is right?) I am also contacting and scheduling meeting with the community boards through which I will be creating the project, its important to get them interested in the project and will help drive interest, understanding and permits.
Am I making any sense at all? My heads a little stuffy.
It all feels like it is moving both quickly and slowly at the same time. I have some really amazing support from all of the fantastic people at Solar One. I have also made some new friends along the way with whom I am trying to create some supportive relationships. I am really looking forward to making this project happen. It is going to be such a fantastic experience. Don't get me wrong - I don't expect it to be all sunshine and daisies (I can't think of the phrase). I know there will be long, hot, lonely days out there. I know there will be discussions with skeptics. I know there will be angry people. But I also hope to interest people who might not be thinking about climate change. Maybe I will influence someone to make a difference in their life, or a difference in many lives. I am really looking forward to meeting all the different people out in the different communities.
Anyway, this is mostly the ramblings of a sinus-y sick person with a stuffy head.

Monday, January 08, 2007

hope springs eternal

Yes, even I will admit that the 70+ weather on Saturday was, in its own absurd way, beautiful. But I couldn't help that it just kept making me mad.It makes me mad that we are seeing, feeling, acknowledging (by we I mean a bigger we than just you an I) climate change, and yet, we are doing so little about it! Mayor Bloomberg, despite his 2030 plan, is still hemming and hawing about congestion pricing (just enact it already!) and refuses to embrace pedestrians, bicycles and mass transit (that includes BRT) as the most important factors in urban planning.
We are experiencing truly bizarre weather around the world, and still the US government refuses to think long term about the auto industry (and standards) the building industry (and standards) and travel and commerce (and standards).
I am also mad that we have given climate change such a misnomer as 'global warming' that almost sounds, well, pleasant. I even overheard on a BBC report some clueless woman (feet on the street kind of thing) talking about how nice it will be for it to be warmer year round, "we all like warm weather" she opines. (I for one actually prefer colder weather). How insane is that? Can we please change the name to something more realistic? I don't know, something like "global ecological disaster" seems to cover it. And as a side note.

Besides that, I think 2007 is going to rock!

Coming soon, more art stuff - like how to write a winning grant proposal! :)