Monday, June 15, 2009

The intoxication of some sort of think tank, (with pizza, beer and mucking about optional)

So as one of the co-directors of Art Pop for the second year running, I am finding it both thrilling and inspiring to be challenged into re-conceiving the notions of what it means to be a curator, especially within a communal context.

Tonight we had our second *salon*, where many of the local artists we've chosen to work with this year came to discuss a fundamental and often overlooked element of the "group show", (which is very arguably what we're doing as we are actively attempting to provide an almost anti-group-show sentiment, and cultivate a more communal feel to things) that of the actual physical space itself and how the works will all fit into it.

One of the artists we're working with, Steven Topping, works in media not limited to the realms of sculpture/construction/ecology/socio-politics of space. Yeah. He showed his body of work to the folks who made it out in the thunderstorm tonight and, as always, blew my mind. He went from a bench that acts as a heater for an entire art gallery using 60 100 watt bulbs to discussing the mathematical concepts in Flatland.

I think everyone was pretty awe-struck, or perhaps I am just projecting. However, the presentation also served as a platform for discussing the artists' works and how they will all inhabit the venues together, separately. Steve is actually going to be constructing the structures for the folks to house their works in, which is in and of itself an artwork of creative response and aesthetic consideration on a macro level.

The discussions that arose out of technical and aesthetic concerns within each artwork and how they relate to each other, the space and the rest of the festival activities going on there, was buzzing with a life and cooperation that truly made my heart feel all achy. I found myself in a bit of an excited daze truth be told, although I did only have half a piece of pizza today and did that thing where you try to make yourself pass out a whole bunch. Riiight.....

Anyhow, I began to realize that this concept, or desire, to *build* a deeper sense of community for the show, is happening. There are still important elements to consider in the shaping of this, (one of them being to let go of the need to control or direct it too much) but it was pretty electric. I felt the singe on my fingertips and my hair still smells somewhat from the burn of it all.

Meanwhile, the cat is not interested in the coffee I left on the floor near some books, and the lull in my brain is wishing me silent, so I will comply. But oh how exciting the sound our voices make when they all clammer in various states of undress (ie enthusiasm) with others....


  1. That's awesome, I am stoked that the salons are working out the way you planned.

    also, I don't think cat's drink coffee. They only like tea, with milk.

  2. yeah Steve's presentation was great. much excitement ahead. yeah!