Thursday, August 14, 2008

nobody reads this blog to speak of, but....

more evidence that Atlanta needs one go-to site for art info is that various people have spoken with some bewilderment about how Hushpuppy Gallery seemed to disappear without so much as a whisper.

Well, it turns out that Hushpuppy had an opening on July 19 that was not promoted on the Allison Rentz art calendar creation, on the artnews listserv, on the blogs of Cinque Hicks or Jonathan Bouknight or Jeremy Abernathy or any of those other folks who go to everything alternative and report what is cool that one must absolutely go to.

and today I found by dint of long searching the info that Hushpuppy had an opening on July 19th and who knows how long that show ran? Pine magazine ran a story about the gallery and its imminent closing but most of us thought it was long gone.

http://pine-magazine.com/content.php?id=1376

So what does it take to get galleries to TELL US THAT THEY EXIST?????? I got on their e-mail list and got nothing at all from them about this July 19 shindig.

11 comments:

Ben Grad said...

I'm not sure how I heard about the Hushpuppy show, but I was there.

I could have sworn I saw either a post about it on thoughtmarker.blogspot.com, or maybe just picked up one of Hushpuppy's promotion cards.

Anonymous said...

While I'm trying to make a daily effort to keep on top of what's going on, artlanta needs more people to participate. It's really easy to just send an email to artnews1. posting [@] blogger .com --- it posts automatically.

Also, [!yeah!] Jerry & Ben, there is a snippet of your latest post on your blogs at the bottom of artlanta. [That is how I knew to read this post]

-a

Jeremy Abernathy said...

That's how I found it too. (Sometimes I use Artlanta as a cheat sheet.)

And I think Allison has added more blogs to the feed this week (Pecanne Log, Fresh Loaf, etc.), perhaps in response to this post?

littlejoke said...

okay, now I can explicate more clearly. those who have understood my previous posts (and it looks like nobody has) know that I complain that there are some of us who cannot remember to click through fourteen blogs each and every day (or even each and every week). and people do not post to artlanta no matter how often they are encouraged to do so.

so we still need a semi-edited source that will nudge (popular buzz word these days) folks to post their calendar listings, instead of assuming that "everyone" will get the word because their own circle of friends and bloggers have gotten it.

if only one of the indefatigable bloggers who follow EVERYTHING picked up on an event, that event was insufficiently publicized.

and unless the event is limited in terms of space, such as certain invitation-only events of which I am aware that are not elitist, just cramped, presumably as many people as possible ought to know that the event is happening.

I have, by the way, deliberately not publicized some events because the organizers said that the show would reach overflow level with no publicity whatsoever.

Perhaps Hushpuppy Gallery's show was likewise a "if you don't already know about it, you are not invited" event, but in that case they should have had the show open for at least a few days afterwards for the general public instead of keeping it a secret from the larger audience.

I got an e-mail from a friend who knew one of the artists personally and had had no idea that the show had happened. The secret was kept very well from those who don't read Pine magazine or the Hushpuppy blog or thoughtmarker on a frequent basis. I don't know where Hushpuppy put their promotion cards, but I went to Octane during that general time frame and there were none there, nor at Beep Beep to be the best of my knowledge, and that is more than ninety per cent of the Atlanta art audience does when it comes to searching out art events.

As I say, perhaps one wants to keep the uncool away from such scenes, but it would be good to keep the show up long enough to clue such folks in if they would like to see the artists' work anyway.

K9 said...

jerry it was great to see you at the folk fest. i never heard of any of these spaces. i may be just the kind of uncool accidental tourist littlejoke was talking about ... perhaps a space avoids the blanket invitation to preserve the hummus for more discerning patrons. grrrherhahaha. stop by my folk fest post sometime and see the randy tobias pot i bought at the show.

maxwell said...

i didnt hear about this show, and i walk past this place every day. its not but two blocks from my studio, and id be hard pressed to have ever seen or heard about a show here.

i never see anyone around the place, or anything outside.

all i see is the green felt hushpuppy gallery letters on the side of the building.

i think im even a friend of theirs on myspace, for whatever thats worth.

but each time i pass the building i always think to myself, "gee id like to go to a show here, im curious as to what it looks like on the INSIDE, and i need to meet these dudes so I can have a show etc etc."
oh well

Cinque said...

So why don't "we" (whoever that is) hear from Hushpuppy? I got theories. Bunches of 'em. A few possibilities:

1. To Hushpuppy, we simply don't exist.
Like many art subcultures in Atlanta, those within the subculture consider the dozen or so people immediately to their left and right to be the sum total and extent of who the "art community" is. This gets replayed over and over. Atlantans love their art ghettos, whether that ghetto is called Eyedrum, the High Museum, Swan Coach House, Hammonds House, or Hushpuppy. (Yes, I am aware of the explosive connotations of that word.) People prefer to stay in their lane. Anyone outside of the lane simply doesn't exist. Why should Hushpuppy inform people who don't exist that they're having a show?

2. They just don't care that much.
This is related to point 1. Close-knit subcultures have a way of closing ranks and becoming quite insular. Art openings are viewed more as family reunions than public events. They may know that somewhere out there, a larger art world exists, but as long as my 25 usual friends all showed up, who cares?

3. They don't inform, because they don't know they're supposed to.
I've talked to more than one art organization that simply didn't know they were supposed to send out things like press releases and announcements. They assumed that things got into the paper or online by some sort of magical omniscience on the part of journalists and bloggers. Can you blame them? Lacking any robust mentorship/ apprenticeship culture, where would they get this knowledge?

4. Those who need to know, do know.
This one's more about the rest of us, and our insistence on knowing everything that goes on. Who says we have any right to know what Hushpuppy is up to? I'm not sure what that desire is about, but maybe that's partly also where the neurosis resides.

Finally, I think we cannot underestimate an old Atlanta tradition: not telling too many people, because the wrong people might find out. Fill in the blank as to who the wrong people are. In any case, in order to keep them out, play it close to the chest, just tell a few friends, don't let too many people know. That goes waaaay back.

Why all the theories? After several months of waffling, I settled 5 or 6 weeks ago on an area of specialty at Georgia Tech: mapping creative ecologies. In other words, how do these weird little rifts and cul-de-sacs form in the creative ecology, particularly when it would seem to be to everyone's advantage not to form such things. Worth noting that our Atlanta experience is not unique—you see it elsewhere. But we don't live elsewhere. We live here.

troylloyd said...

(i am probably a wrong people!)

great comment Cinque!

i think yr theories are spot on & an accurate depiction of these "microclimates" -- i also think that Atlanta is not alone in this realm, altho of course there are exceptions --certain cities perhaps & particularly with socialized groups who're active in particular operations, hobbies or shared enthusiasms inwhich their activities have popular appeal.

i've been using the term "post-info" to indicate our current position in the cultural timeline;
ironically, the post-info web apparatus has been instrumental in bringing unknown peoples together, yet the current american social climate makes folks paranoid about being absorbed by the machine (then again, there are folks trying their damnednest to become absorbed, usually lookin' for loot),but the "underground" isn't really armed for battle -- it becomes a resistance technique to keep their little corner of the world hush-hush so they're not the next t-shirt at Target.

one positive thing about the post-info cultural exchange is the ability for an "underground" group to maintain their integrity, which i think wasn't really possible in the past (i.e.: the devolution of the Beats into popculture caricatures complete w/ exploitation films).

and yr right about the difficulty of trying to grasp exactly why the inclusive formations exist "when it would seem to be to everyone's advantage not to form such things"

which makes yr current area of investigation & research very appealing reading...do you have any essays or rough drafts posted online anywheres?

how long do you think you'll explore this particular ecology?

are you planning on publishing and/or being published somewhere the end results of yr findings & the development of yr theories?

thanx.

(sorry for all the heavy questioning...)

mike said...

If you didn't know about an opening at an under the radar gallery, then you probably aren't keeping up with ThoughtMarker. I promise you that is how Ben found out about the show because he called me and asked how to get there. Great comments all around and I like the idea of a central, semi-edited blog. Somebody make it happen.

eggtooth said...

artlanta blog mirrors or exposes apathy,and the apathy cannot be blamed on a lack of ability to inform. a unified blog would be like a boar with 14 tits. jerry's post needles blogger kids,when it should be needling artists.

who would it inform? who????

it goes back to the work itself.
the city,the scene imagined as an amorphous life of its own,produces (with fair regularity) and reabsorbs galleries with good intentions-and evidently,mediocre work.
the art environment is an undead stillborn inbred hybrid of schroedinger's cat and a phoenix. it lives in an undefinable way,which is its malleable strength as much as it is its achille's heel.there's no defining it to consistantly praise or critique it,other than by this fact alone. this is how work grabs moments of meaning,meaning that fades and cycles out of thought, much like last weeks copy of the ajc or loaf does around the house or in the car.this is also the same ambiguous wave info travels on,Regardless of its medium. the work suffers from this and must consciously be aware of it in how it shows itself.or how it is written about.
Of course,predominance of what i will call commercially themed galleries are much to blame in their Not Relevance, even tho money and association with an image and an idea of "art" makes them appear to be very much important-which is important because imagine a "many" who approach our art scene for a 1st time-seeing much of this.this feeling reeks and seeps as a bedding for those who approach the art scene.others cities have these types of galleries,but our cyclic situation cannot afford the space that others can for this. think flipping thru 14 blogs is unreasonable? on foot is even worse. .(
but again...WHO are we wanting to inform?..it isnt about JUST making it available to those who might be interested.)
Work that pursues the other kind of value,another kind of audience, thru other routes and supposed types of work,must do so with knives out. with the work. i believe the work will inform(if it ever happens in a way that matters). these galleries have an even bigger responsibility if that is their intent with showing art. otherwise it is just the family circle jerk reunion. these types risk being even more sanctimonious than commercial galleries,at least commercial galleries make no bones about or attempt to utilize as a point of validation an idea,a subtle or not so subtle suggestion by context,that Meaning is more important than a need to Sell.

the problem is not because of a lack of informing.or of clicks.
it's the work. informing needs to take place,of course. the blog idea would be fine,but...
ultimately,art has to do its job.and it isnt. it has to be aware of the environment it is entering. it's an issue relevant to now,in this city and really as much as any other. the internet's infinitely edged efficiency is also to blame,if blame is the word.speed and accessibility and its freedom of choice.
atlanta's art scene,in pockets,is playing to a perceived idea of itself. it's a cycle that creates and invalidates itself in one breath. because of expectations. because of how the work is perceived. this is braided into the informing issue,it's the sauce on the meat,or the roux...and it's bland dammit.
how to break the cycle?
do work that matters to NOW. to the environment.that will inform.anything else is sympathetic nerves.
and blog about what you see honestly. (im assuming some of you arent,whether or not you know it...)

allison said...

ok, help me out here.
i can see that it is time for an overhaul of artlanta.

please email me suggestions.

it's kind of embarrassing how much time i spend updating it every day.

it takes time and lots of reminders for something to catch on.

oh, well, artlanta is where i organize my potential excursions from my insular world. i'm pleased when ever some ones participates [even when i feel compelled to delete it] [anyone can delete stuff that they think is dumb, don't yah know].