Re: Tanked

From: Victoria Wolfe (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Aug 23 2006 - 09:43:25 PDT

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

In my earlier email, I omitted the adding-insult-to-injury-part of my
experience with the Tank.
At one point, not very long ago, the members of the Tank collective
posted on their website that
they have never had an issues money, something to the effect of coming
through with every
cent promised. This notice went on-line when they were begging the
public for financial support and
were getting the boot out of their original space. I'm sorry that I
don't have the exact wording - I was so
disgusted by the group, I was randomly checking their website to see if
they even existed anymore.
Their claim of fidelity to artists and financial credibility just
weren't true. As I understand things, one
of the main founding members got the original space somehow through his
father, though I'm not sure
of those details.

Good luck to all those who choose to support this venue. They stiff
the artists and curators who work
hard for them and then claim in print that their reputation is
pristine. I worked very hard on that show.
Stiffing the people and damaging them professionally is inexcusable.

On Wednesday, August 23, 2006, at 08:50 AM, David Tetzlaff wrote:

> Let's recap:
> A call for work is posted to the list, containing the info that an
> entry
> fee is required. The usual pile-on ensues, slamming the idea of entry
> fees. To be expected.
> Susan, who posted the call, replies to explain that she is a unpaid
> volunteer, and the fee is related to the costs of showing new work in
> Manhattan. Despite the fact this is a completely reasonable
> explanation,
> the pile-on continues.
> Frameworks is a small community of people interested in a marginalized
> artistic practice. The squabbling here resembles the sectarian disputes
> between the different revolutionary groups in Life of Brian, except
> it's
> not as funny.
> As I see it, if you make films, and are not an established 'name', you
> should be thankful that a programmer in Manhattan is willing to look at
> your stuff and maybe show it, by whatever means necessary. The
> assumption
> I would ask everyone here to re-examine is that your work has any
> intrinsic monetary value. This notion is simply not compatible with the
> way economics work within capitalism. The idea expressed earlier on the
> list that it seems bizarre to pay to get your work shown betrays an
> ideological mystification. Why is it bizarre? Because the general rule
> is
> "exhibtors rent prints to show them to audiences"? If you examine that
> closely, you'll see it's not true. It only applies to some kind of
> exhibitors, some kinds of work, and some kinds of audiences. I don't
> have
> the time or the economic expertise to explain exactly how exchange
> value
> is created for a moving image screening, but it's not inherent.
> I would venture to say that with the proliferation of all sorts of
> low-cost moving image equipment -- between home movies showings to
> friends
> and family and YouTube etc. -- the majority of movie-thing-viewing
> experiences now do not involve any sort of 'getting paid.' Experimental
> work may be miles ahead of this in aesthetic terms, but like it or not
> it's closer to home movies in economic terms.
> I know there are people who will exploit artists, and there are
> probably
> more people with good intentions who make promises they can't deliver
> on
> in the end, such as the sad story of the earlier show at The Tank. But
> mainly what I see in people who want to show stuff is heroic efforts by
> inidviduals that result in different economic situations depending on
> what
> kind of work is shown and where.
> Thus, for example, Jeanne is able to run what sounds like a wonderful
> free
> screening series in her neighborhood because she has access to free
> prints
> from the NYPL and a free venue in the public garden. It sounds like she
> puts in a lot of monetarily uncompensated labor in organizing the
> program,
> projecting it etc. Heroic. But are we to curse her because she does not
> have an open call, does not extend her labors to viewing untold
> numbers of
> submissions from new makers? I think not. But that cursing Susan
> because
> you have to pay rent on a venue in Tribeca makes about as much sense.
> Programmers who pay for work are those who are lucky enought to have
> some
> economic resources, be that in the form of grant money, or available
> rent-free space or whatever. Not everyone can get a grant. I would
> guess
> arts grants in New York are especially competitive. Volunteers cannot
> necessarily be expected to put in the extreme time commitment involved
> in
> hustling up grant money. Funding agencies are generally not interested
> in
> either programmmers or artists without an established 'track record'. I
> would also note that few programmers have a completely open-door
> policy.
> Even if the people they program are not 'stars' the programmer has
> probably become aware of the work through other screenings or personal
> networking.
> I can imagine that a lot of people could care less if their work is
> ever
> shown in Manhattan. There ARE screening venues that take new works and
> don't charge, and if you're content with the limits that come with
> that,
> fine. No reason to hassle Susan because her degree of difficulty (new
> work
> / volunteer / Manhattan) dictates artists have to chip in or the thing
> isn't going to happen. And for anyone who would like their work
> screened
> in Tribeca, why don't you try organizing a screening yourself instead
> of
> pissing on somebody else's method. Form a collective with a bunch of
> other
> artists, work out programming, get a suitable screening space, put out
> pub... oh yeah, that all would take TIME and MONEY and YOU'RE not
> getting
> paid...
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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