Re: Tanked

From: david tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Aug 23 2006 - 12:45:48 PDT


I know nothing of you, Susan or The Tank other than what I read on Frameworks.

>I disagree if your point is to accept that the programmers at the Tank
>just made
>an "aww shucks, we goofed" sort of mistake.

I did not mean to belittle the problems you may have had. However,
not knowing anyone involved, I did want to make the point that bad
experiences not only come from people being venal jerks, but because
people over-commit, make over-optimistic promises etc. I do not mean
to excuse these things -- even volunteers have responsibilities --
but they do strike me as being on a different moral order than
out-and-out exploitation. Again, I have no idea what the specific
case was with the Tank when you had the problem there.

As an outsider, I must say that there's a whiff of self-absorbtion in
your call to re-focus the discussion, which is about Susan's
screening series, back onto a problem you had with different people
putting up a differnt program at the same venue. You seem to be
offering the thesis that 'anyone who would associate with the Tank in
any way is corrupt.' Since you have only provided your own individual
case as evidence, such a global condemnation seems extreme. And if
the Tank does "stiff the artists and curators who work hard for them"
would that not put Susan in the ranks of the potential stiffees, and
thus should she not get support instead of grief?


I agree that anyone who issues a call for work requiring an entry fee
should include in the call a brief explanation of why the fee is
being charged and where the money goes to. Maybe a small learning
moment can come out of this otherwise dark thread.

I do not believe Susan claimed her life was hard at all. She merely
stated the fact that she is an unpaid volunteer. _I_ was the person
who said that programming a new work screening series in NYC without
adequate funding is hard. I certainly didn't claim that thusly
Susan's whole life was hard. I do think we ought to show some respect
to people who take on hard things.

It is hardly 'crap' to analyse the material conditions necessary to
do screenings of different types in different locations. That fact
that you have booked shows out of your own pocket and/or by checking
out prints from Donnel doesn't mean you've 'been there', unless you
issued an open call for work and watched all the entries, be they
perfect, passable or pathetic.

Moreover, I get very tired of the Frameworks attitude, "well I've
done such and such and so you should be able to as well." We all have
different talents, different resources. So maybe you are more heroic
than somebody else. It's bad form to dump on other volunteers because
they don't put in as much as you do, if that's the case (of which we
have no evidence).

Since you don't know Susan from Adam, I wonder why you're rattling on
about irresponsible volunteers in the complete absence of any
compelling evidence that Susan has been irresponsible. In general
terms, I happen to agree with you: in the world of filmmaking once
you've made a commitment it should be sacrosanct whether you're
getting paid or not. If you engage with the artform you owe _it_ due
respect, not to mention the people you work with. But where's the
fire in this case?

No doubt there is a lot of pent up frustration among film people, and
for good reason, but this whole thread seems to be full of
indiscriminate and un-aimed release of angst. Could we actually take
some time and figure out who the REAL bad guys are, who truly and
thoroughly deserves some righteous anger directed their way? Or would
that only reveal our own impotence in that we have no means to touch
the true villians or even make ourselves heard by them. So as humans
tend to do, the shit just rolls downhill and we vent on whoever is
available and just happens to look cross-eyed or something at the
wrong moment.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.