From the Editor

by Claire Ruud

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      Brian Lund
      A Very Real and Very Dark Time (Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, 1200+ Edit Cuts)2008
      Colored pencil and graphite on paper
      12 x 15 1/2 inches
      Photo by Cathy Carver
      Courtesy the artist

      At risk of beating a dead horse, I agree with Austin’s bloggers: the state of art criticism in Austin still leaves much to be desired. Inadequate dialogue is an age old problem for young art communities. I find it amusing that in 1952, Harold Rosenberg was similarly bemoaning the state of criticism surrounding the American Ab-Exes (as we know them today):

      So far, the silence of American literature on the new painting all but amounts to a scandal.
      (Harold Rosenberg, “American Action Painters,” Art News, December 1952)

      Not only a lack of smart criticism, but also an inchoate community and an underdeveloped infrastructure contribute to the frustration we’ve been hearing on Austin’s blogs recently. I have a couple of thoughts about steps we can take to develop the community of artists and critics we’ve already begun to build.

      First, we have to make sure we’re all participating in the same conversation so that we can build on one another rather than repeat one another. Here’s a list with links to the feeds of the core Austin-related art blogs to which you should be subscribed (if you aren’t already):

      For Information
      Seeing Things (Austin American Statesman)
      Austinist
      ‘Bout What I Sees

      For Reviews and Reflections
      Inside the Box (Blanton Museum)
      Capital A (Glasstire)
      ezimmerman
      …might be good

      If you love...
      Arthouse
      Women and Their Work

      Second, when you have thoughts (we all do) write me a letter, or write one to the editor of the Chronicle. And third, support our artists and art spaces by purchasing work when you can afford it. These types of small but productive steps can foster an environment of growth on a larger scale. Most of us can’t make galleries, residencies or collections appear out of nowhere, but we can create a city in which those who can will want to.

      This issue welcomes our new testsite Coordinator, Kate Watson, to the Fluent~Collaborative team. Kate is a writer, artist and the founder of the Austin Video Bee; as such, we sent her to check out The Program, the newest project of The Dallas Video Festival. In this issue she offers a reflection on the five week series of video art screenings and talks to curator Carolyn Sortor about the project.

      Also in this issue, I'm particularly excited about our Artist's Space with New York-based Brian Lund. His methodical drawings (like the one above) are gorgeous and conceptually intriguing. Writer Lyra Kilston elucidates Lund's process in her profile of the artist, explaining how a hit TV series like Sex and the City or a big-production musical like All that Jazz serves as his source material. There are many threads of investigation a critic might follow with Lund's work, not the least of which is its relationship to the canons of "Systems Art." However, given my interests, I would certainly explore the rich negotiation of gender and sexuality that appears in his work.

      As for the next issue of …might be good, look forward to reviews of Where Are We Going? Contemporary Artists Address Issues of the 21st Century at AMoA and Demetrius Oliver (former CORE resident) at D'Amelio Terras in New York. The issue will also include interviews with Austin-based artist team Theresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler and Pace Foundation Director Rick Moore.

      Claire Ruud is Editor of ...might be good.

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