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comments back up

Post #571 • July 4, 2005, 11:13 AM • 27 Comments

Instincts are telling me to re-open comments, and so I am. I'm still considering registration but in the meantime, things are as they were, excepting a few revisions to the guidelines to make them more explicit:

Advance the conversation. Think of the comments as a conversation with other real people - not a message board, not an argument, not an unfettered venue for random impulses. The conversations sieze up when people use multiple handles, multiple identities, poor English, long or editorialized pseudonyms, or generally monkey around with the comments instead of using them for discussion. If your entire thought is an eleven-word insult, save it. Your ability to write eloquently in the face of rising disagreement makes you a valued contributor.
Assume community. Even the most opposed factions in the art world still agree that art is important. Begin with that basis and respect other commenters accordingly. Abusive remarks, taunts, boorish language, and the written equivalent of behavior that would get you punched out in a bar jeopardizes your status in this forum. In contrast, your ability to escalate civility in the face of rising disagreement makes you a valued contributor.

The Make Franklin happy guideline has this addition:

I am doing this for fun. If it stops being fun and becomes too much of a problem, I hit the off switch and comments shut down either for individuals or everyone.

So, comment away. I've missed you.

Update 11:44am: Hang on, something's not working.

Update 12:03pm: Timestamps are screwed up. This may take some effort.

Update 12:21pm: That wasn't so bad. Now the form isn't working.

Update 5:26pm: Whew.




July 5, 2005, 12:26 AM




July 4, 2005, 5:43 PM

Testing. How's that timestamp?



July 4, 2005, 6:17 PM

Okay, I think we're operational.



July 4, 2005, 6:33 PM

Happy 4th!



July 4, 2005, 6:49 PM

It is regrettable that legitimate users of this blog, including the many who seldom comment, have been deprived of it for a week due to the dysfunctional behavior of one person. Unfortunately, such a person typically insists upon imposing on others, which is an integral part of the dysfunction. As it happens, numerous people have been put out, while the responsible party, a malicious sniper type with no investment in the blog, has had the dubious satisfaction of disrupting it and potentially compromising its future function. It is, of course, quite unfair. Welcome to humanity, such as it is.

Nevertheless, it's good to have things up and running again. Carry on.



July 5, 2005, 12:09 AM

I have a new, nasty commenter problem that I have to deal with now as well. I find it to be frustrating and also somewhat embarrassing—as you say, we're only doing this for fun, and it seems absurd to issue lengthy harangues and warnings and what-not to get rid of a troll.



July 5, 2005, 3:11 AM

I am glad you have come back Franklin. I don't have intention to deliver praises just to make you happy but I want to say that your blog is important for the artists and art audience in general. The variety of views on art trends, posted personal preferances, comments on art news and art history, all those things combined are important in communicating what art is about. The major contributors to this blog are art knowledgeable people and most of them are artists. I have learnt a lot from them for the last 3 months since I have started to visit this place. The discussions are frequently critical of contemporary trends and their artists so you shouldn't be surprised that make enemies among those who go along with current art establishment and their numbing art talk. Some of them may have high hopes to become next Dammien Hirst and trashes such dreams in discussions here. This blog is irritating thorn on the way to fame, money and celebrity life. I guess, it was the case of this unfortunate individual from couple days ago who wanted to take revenge on you and readers like me for trashing his/her dreams and become half baked social scientist / comtemporary artist. This is what they still teach in Art Departments, isn't? I wouldn't be surprise if this "dimwit" as you described him/her politely come back again and I don't know what should I advice you to limit such intrusions. But before you decide to close think about hundreds of us, art lovers like you are, who are maybe passive in contribution to your blog but enjoy to read it.



July 5, 2005, 7:55 AM

Jack, thus it ever was, I'm afraid. Thanks for participating.

Kriston, another frequent commenter suggested that I let things go for too long. It used to be that people who were behaving unsatisfactorily would go away if you abused them a bit, but eventually an exception appeared. The new policy will be to give them one warning, and then start deleting their posts without discussion, and the first step is optional. As Jack pointed out, their goals are attention and disruption. It's absurd to have to go through all this, I agree, but on the other hand, the trolling is a testimonial to the quality of your contribution to the blogosphere and the breadth of your readership, which make your site worth trolling in the first place.

Mike, thank you. I assure you that I closed comments only when we got to the point where I was deleting comments as fast as the troll was adding them and I wanted to go to bed. It's true - I challenge a lot of commonly held values. If someone wanted to make a cogent case for those values, Hirst's greatness, say, or the harmlessness of unabashed careerism, I would entertain their comments here and listen. But at least part of the problem among the irritated is that they can't make such a case. When you don't challenge your own beliefs adequately it can be upsetting when other people do it for you. In any case, I did think of you, and I promise never to close comments lightly. Thanks again.



July 5, 2005, 9:43 AM

I don't think I have seen Mike contributing here before, and it would be great to see him do so. Knowing that there are people like him out there motivates me to comment regularly, as does the suspicion that the "loyal opposition" reads us too, people who, as Franklin says. don't seem to have the inclination or the ability to join the discussion but at least are curious about another point of view.

So, Franklin, does this mean that the registration idea is in abeyance for a while?



July 5, 2005, 11:35 AM

Hey - glad to see this is up again. i stumbled upon this site over the wkend. enjoyed reading past dialogue. i am trying to find a semblence of an arts community in sofla. there are so many pockets of art trying to be art here, and i am optimistic that things will be on the up and up soon. where oh where are the curators?

I am a transplanted new yorker (aren't we all), 39 yr old, married white female, mom of a 2 year old, artist (non-figurative, thank you very much) (multi-media), who has been desperately seeking good (ok, I will settle for semi-good) art since I moved to sofla 5 yrs ago. there seems to be a lot of mimicry of what was happening 10 years ago up north, really bad video art, and general mishmosh of old lady pastel artists vs student art trying to be something more.

Part of who i am so far: BFA from school of visual arts, nyc, and AA from art institute of pittsburgh (not hi-brow enuf for me either, that's why i went to sva afterwards, but hey - i learned a trade that keeps me employed). My work and subsequent shows were very well-received and I would like to continue it here, but have not felt the verve or sense of community. I will add that I like the concept of winwood and what it is becoming, but hey - the work I have seem is barely amateurish. Galleries & location were very happening, but the art was not well curated and not well selected. my humble opinion, eh? What, in anyone's opinion, are the MAIN scenes in the tri-county area? I have seen so much BS I am still trying to keep hope alive.



July 5, 2005, 12:10 PM

Oldpro, registration is in abeyance until I finish creating it, at which point I'll see how things are going.

Mek, Wynwood is where it's at right now, for better or worse.



July 5, 2005, 12:11 PM

You have summed it up pretty well, Mek.

Real "arts communities", as you probably know, usually are urban, within a farly small area and consist of artists competing, cooperating and talking about some common artistic interest. "Synergy" is how the process is often characterized. Focus and intensity of interest are usually much more important than size.

In my experience such communities are not created officially, from the top down, but grow helter-skelter. I haven't sensed anything like this in Miami, anything that qualifies as a real group turned in on a common narrow interest or theme, but some of our other bloggers may be able to help you. There certianly are plenty of "scenes", if that's what you want. Start with the Art Basel circus, for example.

Our blog is hardly an art community as described above but it does have a consistent character and welcomes any kind of lively and intelligent comment. Please keep contributing.


rene g

July 5, 2005, 12:21 PM

mek, is the work you've seen all really just barely amateurish? where have you been looking? honesty, its not all bad is it?

franklin, glad your back up...dont let the "dimwits" get the best of you...people shouldnt take opinions so personaly anyways, whether your hard on them or not,

dimwit, if its personal keep it that way email the man, dont make the rest of us suffer for your own insecurities.



July 5, 2005, 12:46 PM

thanks for the response. yes have seen art basel circus. or shopping mall. not looking for scene per se, just something happening that is fairly progressive. seen a lot of mimicry. and old lady paintings. i will be one myself shortly if i don't stop whining. (an old lady painting). hope others chime in with opinions as to where to see the most intelligent, well crafted (hard to define here) (good use of material/s) art that lies within a particular context in tandem with a progressive school of thought. The money is here, the buyers are here, the posers are here, but a very small portion of the museum and gallery seekers seem to be educated on what is "good" vs what is "bad" (again, very hard to characterize). i have found that the museums have directors, which put together the shows, but not curators. the gallery owners show their own stuff and that of their friends. Anyway, people seem to be craving culture so art happenings seem to be the new thing to do. (aside from the empirical seminole hard rock casino) (how post modern is that? - seminole, hard rock, and casino). however, no one seems to know what the art that is shown is about, or care to. it is purely decorative within the confines of a social event. any comments?



July 5, 2005, 1:12 PM

Well, MEK, if you've been here 5 years and you've been actively looking around, as I assume you have, I doubt there's much we can point you to that you're not aware of already, except perhaps certain low-profile artists not part of the official circuit whose work you may or may not like. If you get around enough, you probably know them as well. The fact is that the Miami art scene is definitely not what it's cracked up to be according to its official boosters and their congregation. Basel has had an adverse effect, since it has led to an abnormal intense focus on one week out of the year, centered on alien transients, with most locals pretty much putting all their eggs in the Basel basket; the rest of the year is a very long anticlimax. The museum situation is highly suboptimal, and the big-shot collectors seem too busy with their own private venues and agendas to improve that. In other words, what you already know is about the size of it around here.



July 5, 2005, 1:37 PM

bummer. ok so lets start something. some sort of collective.

i met the curator of the three rivers arts festival in pittsburgh (a great festival if anyone has ever been) (notable pittsburgh artist - tim kaulen) while i was on vacation in new orleans. she has been a curator all over the US at various museums. she shares my sentiment about sofla. not that i don't have enuf on my plate already, but it would be oh so uplifting to find like minded folk who are educated about art and want to share their views (such as this fabulous site franklin has graciously set up). (kudos) essence, if we can put thought to reason, and reason to action, perhaps we can start some sort of something visible. who here are educators, artists, critics, etc? just wondering..




July 5, 2005, 2:05 PM

Mek, it is good to have an activist on board, not just old fart complainers like me. If you are looking for excellent craft (lotsa luck!) and have perceived that most museums here don't even do their own shows, and all the other accurate observations you have made. you are off to a great start. Keep on commenting and something will cook up.

Do you have a URL with your work on it?



July 5, 2005, 2:32 PM

no - i do have a graphic design business with a url but it for clients only really.

i plan to get a site going with my work in short order. have been a mom intensely for the first 2 years of my daughter's life so far, and am now starting to back off little. plan to bridge what i was doing before, art-wise, with concepts and materials i have been gathering currently. putting it all up on a site is a logical step.

will check back in in a few days to see whats happening. thanks again for the site franklin.




July 5, 2005, 5:23 PM

MEK, I'm sure there's room for the sort of thing you refer to; it certainly wouldn't hurt, even if it didn't set the world on fire. However, I wouldn't expect much input from entrenched establishment types, who more or less control the scene as it now exists. They're OK with the status quo, because it's their status quo and suits their purposes. In the art world (not just in Miami), what really matters is not being right or being good, but rather being with it. Just get with the program--that's the motto, acknowledged or not.



July 5, 2005, 6:34 PM

With a 2-year-old you are definitely going to have your hands full, Mek, but I look forward to see what you put up. Keep us posted.



July 6, 2005, 1:42 AM

To which galleries in Wynwood did you go? Have you gone to the Design District? They have different gallery nights even though they are very close to each other. Have you gone to any of the Moore Space shows? Or taken advantage of the e-flux video rentals there? Have you gone to the Miami Art Museum in Downtown Miami? *Plug: MAM is recruiting docents, by the way, in case anyone would like to become one! Just call and ask for the education department . . . * Have you gone to Miami Art Central in South Miami? The current MAC show (videos) is really good, and they have a summer art camp for kids (yours is too young yet), as well as two different film series upcoming, and a music series. How about the CCE (Spanish Cultural Center) in Coral Gables? They usually have great shows.



July 7, 2005, 7:23 PM

been to most of what you have mentioned above. was less than thrilled with most of what i have seen intermittently. sorry! my apologies for offending as was not my intention. just a little more than frustrated with what is shown in general. after schleping all over the tri-county area, with high hopes, only to see a lot of mediocrity, and even after grilling gallery owners and museum employees about particular shows, and still sensing a lack of mindfulness and purpose, i trudge back home. sigh. sorry to be so fatalistic and arrogant. i am still optimiistic, believe it or not. again sorry if i have come acroos as offensive to the greater artblog group.

no i am not interested in being a docent if that was what you were implying. i am no longer young and impressionable either, ha!

has anyone been to the coral springs museum of art?? what the H is going on there anyway. scary.



July 7, 2005, 8:36 PM

MEK, you have not offended the "greater Artblog group," whatever that may be. If you hang around here long enough, you'll realize many of us share your frustration with the local art scene. This is definitely not a stronghold of the Miami art establishment.



July 8, 2005, 9:52 AM

I'm certainly not offended. I'm just curious.

Most of the Artblog posse has no compunctions against naming the objects of thier disappointment, by the way, in case you are holding back from naming places out of an instinct to be charitable.

Which have you not been to then?

The information about docents was for you and also for anyone reading, mek. For me, docenting is a wonderful way to maintain a deeply thoughtful and consistent relationship with art. I had thought that it might be a good way for you to feel a better sense of community, if you were interested.

Could you please explain what you meant when you said that you were no longer young and impressionable? I didn't understand the context. Did you say it in relation to your dissatisfaction with our local arts scene, or in relation to docenting? If the latter case, I have to say that I may be the youngest docent, and I am about a year younger than you. And as for impressionable, I have only encountered docents who are sincere and and "mindful" concerning their attitude toward art.

Additionally, I think that "grilling" gallery owners and museum employees may not the best way to find what you seem to be consistently unable to find. No need to apologize to any of us for fatalism and arrogance; such traits are usually most injurous to those posessing them.



July 8, 2005, 10:06 AM

Kathleen said "No need to apologize to any of us for fatalism and arrogance; such traits are usually most injurous to those posessing them."

But those of us who are arrogant and fatalistic also reap most of the rewards of these traits. Arrogance, in particular, is vital for anyone who wants to make art. Without it, you are just another cog in another wheel somewhere, laboring in favor of the same old same old.



July 8, 2005, 11:02 AM

And fatalism helps endure the shit you get for it.



July 9, 2005, 2:54 PM

Well, flatboy, I think self-confidence is essential. But arrogance? I think it's a handicap. But maybe you would consider me a cog.

Humility allows one to take advantage of the unexpected opportunity, the unanticipated turn in the direction of one's work, a novel collaboration, exchange.

And OP, fatalism tends to be self-defeating. It's an anticipation of failure. It also seems to help perpetuate the tortured artist myth. I know you were being witty, really.

Well, this cog has to get herself in gear and get cracking on some artwork!



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