Re: labels

From: Cari Machet (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jun 29 2006 - 16:00:02 PDT

On 6/29/06, Michael Betancourt < email suppressed> wrote:
> I think this is an important discussion for us to have.
> well in art school it was hammered into my brain that artwork viewing is
> > subjective
> >
> That would mean there's no criteria for making decisions.
> (Or that all criteria are meaningless, arbitrary. Perhaps they are, but we
> are still judged by them even if they are arbitrary.)

well it could mean that
if everyone of us was born in a vacuum
but that isn't reality
also it could mean that
if we were born to the world without historical/herstorical/prehistorical
but that's not reality either on accounta' evolution and cellular memory +
so i don't think it is possible for there to be meaninglessness
and i don't think it is arbitrary or chaotic
i don't believe/know chaos
i think it is the magic of artwork that the viewer sort of takes what it

 So, did everyone in your class always get graded an "A" no matter what they
> did?

there was a pass/fail/incomplete
basically if you did nothing u got an incomplete
and could make it up

If not, then there are criteria and your teachers lied to you. On the other
> hand, if they did do this, they did a disservice to their students going out
> into the world of galleries, festivals, etc. where their work is chosen or
> not by other people for reasons that are not disclosed, but whose reasons
> appear to be fairly consistent.
> I'd like to know what those criteria are.

some of my professors told me i would never make it as an artist
because my work was not linear
(my work is done in it's body in a circular fashion
- spiral cone)
in other words it isn't recognizable as one person
within a short time span but over the lifes' work it is recognizable as such

because specific motifs are revisited
there are other artists that work this way (robert morris +) but... few
so it makes it more difficult to "make it"
i don't think they were lying in the grading process
but admitting that art is subjective
and one person - professor or not - judging anothers' work
isn't necessarily helpful
- also i went to the art institute of chicago
an artist run school - so empathy was at play
but in general art school is limited as all edu

 within known comfort levels
> > (as in psychological models)
> > basing judgement of good/bad on
> > what we have experienced - what we know
> > leads often to an elitist nature
> >
> That's a jump. Without identifying these bases for judgement, we can't
> make a judgement about them at all. If anything this is a rush to judgement.

how is it a jump?
i think it is not a jump
that the same works get shown over and over
that the same types of work get shown over and over
ie what we have experienced
it leads to an elitist nature bcause those who follow say
in the flicker film tradition or someone makes loops
it is a known format
whereby someone like miranda july
may have a less easy time of it - less access
with her performances simply bcause of her formal qualities
and someone like su fredrick may have less of an easy time
bcause of her lesbian theme
i am not saying they cannot create an access point
more that it would be more difficult
bcause when they started the formal tradition was not in place

> I haven't said anything about white, blue orange or other color male,
> female, transgender, etc identity or otherwise.
> What makes you think this discussion is automatically about that?
> Do you think this is where all "values" come from?

i was talking about recent posts re: the onion city judges statement
re: how womens is all equals nows
not something you said

i think alot of values are based in what is known as the reptile brain
as we say base instincts - survival
i think very few things are absolutes
i think the white male identity is dominant
and infiltrates just about all of the worlds cultures
and i think it is running primarily on base instinctual drives
which can be very materialistic and egocentric
the identities form is extremely pervasive
i think alot of power is derived by playing on these human handicaps

 i wonder if any festivals let viewers vote?
> > (way too democratic i bet)
> >
> Some festivals do have an audience's choice award, so yes, some do.

i meant fully
the entire award process as democratic
like the peoples choice awards
but then would it matter
if all the voters were androids of the white male identity?
hmnn maybe it would open them up in some way of thinking for themselves
that it is possible - that it is desirable to do so
that 'authorities' were not utilized -
'for once' a more open system was

If we can't even identify the parameters of what these criteria are, then we
> cannot be making judgements about them, their appropriateness (or not), or
> even if they should change--because we _literally_ have no idea what we're
> talking about.

hmnn well i think i have been talking and identifying said
but perhaps you disagree
i think you identify something here
which is the premise that we 'can't know' something (or alot)
about our constructs and processies
that we can't analyse them
which is a diversion tactic
so that we don't try
bcause of what it may uncover cause then we would have to be
change and the unknown are scary for alot of people but
for me just staying in the known and stagnation are much more frightening

 Saying the "medium" (film/video) matters is great, but why does it matter?
> How does it effect the interpretation of the result, and (more important)
> what difference does that make for the judgement of the film's "value"?

everything matters
why - cause mattering is inherent in existing
that is my thought but -
ur talking about the formalism right?
yes well it is very interesting
with film some people say that it goes into their brain
when they are viewing it it goes inside their head
it sort of merges with their experience - infiltrates their interior
dialogue &/or space
but i don't have that experience
maybe because i was mostly a painter for years
i enter the film and walk around
it doesn't enter me
but i understand that process

i think alot of the power of film is that it is such a mimic of 'reality'
within and without our body & psyche
and that it holds alot of power within that mimicry
some people that are not exp. film people can get a bit bored w/ exp. film
because that overpowering mechanism of the experience is sometimes
put to question - negated - confronted
(like vito acconci talking to the viewer like a sex object)
anyway it penetrates less into our heads experientially
(not like a happy story or a drug)
it probes perhaps more body parts and soul parts than 'we' want probed
sometimes alot thru it's formalism
as in stan's work of painted films
they were representative of the patternization we experience
retinally when closing our eyes
placing us firmly in our body experience (which can be transcendent)
well not all of us wanna b in our body right now ok?
- know what i mean ? - it's not necessarily that comfortable for some at
some points -
i think the access point is far greater if the pathway has been previously
i think it is scary for new formal qualities to be asking for access
and they meet resistance
it's just like making a new path in the woods
easier to use an already well worn path

as far as the judgement of a particular films value
maya derens film meshes... as far as i am concerned is of less value than
on land
but mostly what i have experienced is curators repeatedly showing meshes...
the masses eat twinkies (and in so doing it could b said 'value' them)
i don't and i feel such food is de-valuing
not that meshes is twinkie-like but...
so value can b relative and mutable and not quantitative per say
or derived fr: a quantitative perspective
but what ur talking is i think the effect of film/video
within an artwork as opposed to say making a painting
to express certain ideas or perceptions - right?
i think on land expresses perfectly why/how/when films utilization can be
have u seen it?
i think it would be necessary to having a discussion about it

i think that all experiences of art viewing have likenesses and differences
some people pick up some tools in the toolbox others do not
so to say the criteria is completely and totally set is inaccurate
but to recap my ideas
the criteria is subjective but based in experience
(not just personal experience but the cultural identities history)
cultural formal qualities that are preset by previous work
done by the maker or other artists -
(not dealing with the unknown so readily)
maybe you could also answer ur question(s) - in ur way
what is it that you think?


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