Friday, December 09, 2005

Some Provisional thoughts

Thanks Ben for setting this up. I am not sure where to begin. I guess the best place to start is to throw up some thoughts.

Its been great to see some positive response to the idea over at TAL and also interesting to watch the doubters turn up straight away. Interesting times. Its strange I never thought we would see ourselves trying to start something like this. Obviously we all feel committed to the idea of it working in the true sense of Open Source ie, no gatekeepers (moderation is a question though) - but I am wondering if a remedy to the guru/ cultish perception that might occur is to have some, or most of the content go into a pool anonymously. This would really dampen down the cult of personality side of things and give space for people to come and go as they please - but a list of real names could be displayed somewhere else as members if people chose to make that association, with email address's to facilitate real world projects if people thought that was appropriate. And large pre-existing projects may have authors names attached - say in the instance of Ian's wicki on Australian Art History etc I also have had a few brief chats with Andrew Frost about creating an archive somewhere on the web of artists documentation and catalogue writing.

For me one of the most exciting aspects of the idea is the opportunity to do things that would never be possible in an Art school environment within a University at the moment - such as say, engage in a series of long walks in the desert as a valid experience - - or do a difficult canyon in the wollemi or go to the caves on the nullabor. I know this sounds like an outdoors club or something, but why not ? I know one can do this anyway but framing some of these activities within this context might be really productive - the Otira project set up by Julain Stephenson and the Physics Room in Christchurch was a great example of this kind of thing. though the web design looks a bit faded.

Increasingly within University environments these days its very hard to organize these types of more open ended projects because they become tied up in red tape. However its not my personal intention to set up an replacement for the traditional setting (though for some it might be a valid replacement and for others this might be a strong motivation), others might be much more militant on this question.

I do think though that institutional logic in the tertiary sector, in its increasing compression has a daily tendency towards a limited way of thinking about things, is rooted often in scientific positivism, has lost its ability to analyze and critique its own power relationships. I don't want to dwell on this because at the end of the day for me this is about the process of Art.

I see another important potential of the OSAS as a storage house for points of view - links to resources and info on the web, an archive for Artists writing - a portal into the community - a way of re-injecting a bit of madness, a highly radicalized educational model as an artform. If through its open source nature it turned into the opposite - a highly conservative space, then I guess the answer is simple, I would simply go elsewhere with no regrets. The really alarming horizon I think for all of us is things like what is going on in Singapore with its biennial - fascistic forces cynically grabbing a stake in contemporary Art in order to appear to be open and mask their oppressive system. One of the reasons I seem to be a defender of Capital A art is precisely because of this contemporary syndrome of mask and camouflaged you know the score when people start telling you that this add for a chocolate bar is a great bit of Art etc when we know that Art is something vastly different to the desire to sell chocolate bars or go to Film school for that matter.

The space for a virtual gallery is totally doable.

I am reminded of Richard Greysons project the ideal work. What appears might involve a lot of fiction a lot that is unjustifiable and unaccountable. One of the things I like about web pages is that it only takes one hyperlinks to end up in a space that has a completely different perspective - if the whole thing is open to everybody, it will grow different branches with vastly different viewpoints. Some may be entirely pragmatic answers to a problem and others might be way out there on the margins. One of the things about ICOLS that is so enjoyable is the way you are free to put in content without satisfying but Bronia and Suzy also facilitate projects. ICOLS might be a nice adjunct to this particular adventure or a bridge into a kind of practice.

Some have talked about the idealistic nature of the project - indeed it is, but this is only a problem when you rigidly hold fast to a particular idealistic aim and feel disappointment when it doesn't turn out as expected - I am fully prepared for this thing to be a total farce, a drunken bit of madness, an embarrassment - or as I think it will be, a little bit of fresh air.




Blogger birdmonkey said...

Good to see the soca studio discussion turn into somthing.

10:14 pm  
Blogger birdmonkey said...

check sydneyladiesartistsclub.blogspot for another social/ art experiment in its early stages. what I like about this artists group project is that it is primarily focused on creating different was to share interests and work together which does not have artworks as the outcomes.

10:24 pm  

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