“The art world is and always has been a  complex system, a field of constellations and interrelations—some friendly to each other, some antagonistic… each of us acteurs decides where we position ourselves and in what direction we move…

Exhibitions are opportunities to test situations and combinations, and to explore thoughts. For me, they… carry the potential to construct architectures of discourse. From my perspective, exhibitions are equal to seminars; both produce a space for communication through artistic and intellectual means…

An exhibition is a zone of activity, a space for communication that one must produce; it is not a given. An exhibition has to clarify what questions are being raised and share this process with the audience…”

—Ute Meta Bauer, “Zones of Activity: From the Gallery to the Classroom,” from Learning Mind: Experience into Art, Mary Jane Jacobs and Jacquelynn Baas, eds. (2009)

Ute Meta Bauer on Exhibitions


[Robert Irwin] came to think of paintings as showing two faces, one as interpretable image and another as physical presence, and he saw the former as bleeding the intensity of the latter. To the extent that a canvas could be subsumed as a painting of something, it was no longer being confronted as an energy field in its own right. And what Irwin was increasingly after was this pure physicality.

…[Irwin noted:] “When you stop giving [the late line paintings] a literate or articulate read (the kind of read you give a Renaissance painting) and instead look at them perceptually, you find that your eye ends up suspended in mid-air, mid-space, or mid-stride: both time and space blend into a continuum. You lose your bearings for a moment. … The thing is you cease reading and you cease articulating and you fall into a state where nothing else is going on but the tactile, experimental process.

“…When I look at the world now, my posture is not one of focus but rather of attention.”

Lawrence Weschler, Robert Irwin / MATRIX 15 catalog essay, University Art Museum (now BAM/PFA), October 1, 1978 – December 31, 1978

Lawrence Weschler’s catalog essay for Robert Irwin’s MATRIX 15 project at BAM/PFA in 1978

Art & Development, Artists

“You could say that what is on display is failure, what has not been achieved,” [says] Liversidge.

Liversidge is that rare thing for an artist, a poet who proposes to “investigate coincidence” and “a composer” of other people’s actions. It is up to the recipient to determine to what extent they can embrace the project.

Karen Wright, “In The Studio: Peter Liversidge, artist,” The Independent, August 2, 2013

Peter Liversidge on failure and the role of viewers


But Crafter-Hours is also a way to give credit where credit is long overdue. Every art show relies on the labor of many people, including interns, staff, and fabricators. The work depends on far more than just the (usually singular) artist credited with its authorship. Crafter-Hours is one opportunity to trouble the convention of rendering that labor invisible.

—Lisi Raskin, with Roxanne D. Crocker, Kate Fox, Lydia Enriquez, Sean Gerstley, Misha Kahn, Kim Charles Kay, Brittany Mroczek, Lisi Raskin, Jon Rider, Katie Stout, Recuperative Tactics at Art in General through May 31.

Lisi Raskin addresses Invisible Labor through Crafter-Hours


“The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose.

…modern writing at its worst … consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug….

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.”

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (1946)

George Orwell on vagueness in writing

Art & Development

In case this was not already clear:

“I just don’t see room for experimentation. Creativity takes time and space and does not always bear financial fruit within a fiscal year. I find many artists to be very impatient, causing them to present work too quickly or get into agreements that are financially based and do nothing to push their work forward in formal, intellectual or conceptual ways. Past ideas just get regurgitated and we all learn nothing in the process.”

—as quoted by Christian L. Frock, “Priced Out: San Francisco’s Changing Values and Artist Exodus,” KQED Arts, April 3, 2014.

Lisa Dent, on why the market is at odds with art


“…the history of market success and the history of interesting ideas in art diverge more often than they connect. I grew up seeing an art world where that success immediately made your ideas suspect. You grew up seeing one where market failure meant a failure of idea as well. Each situation was fleeting and in the larger sense meaningless.”

Nayland Blake on defining your own success