From the Editor

by Claire Ruud & Kate Watson

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      William Cannings
      Kink, 2008
      Steel and paint
      48 x 38 x 16 inches
      Courtesy the artist and Texas Biennial

      “The Texas art world.” In anticipation of the 2009 Texas Biennial, opening in Austin next weekend, we’ve been hearing this phrase bantered about. But what does it mean?

      Maybe the Texas Biennial actually brings a Texas art world into being. Outside of the Biennial’s boundaries, this world may not exist, or may exist quite differently. The production of the Texas Biennial, understood in this way, is a generative (rather than reflective) act that allows the curator and his team to conceptualize, and to a certain extent actualize, a Texas art community.

      In a very different format, the East Austin Studio Tour also gives us an opportunity to come together and examine the “big picture” of what is happening in our local art spaces and studios. Once a year, Austinites who never come to openings flood the east side and often walk away with a massively new perspective on the creative energy in our fair city. DIYers meet designers; comic book literati and professorly UT-types pump from the same keg for an entire weekend.

      Many of the same people organize both the Biennial and EAST, which makes sense—both projects are tirelessly ambitious and are rooted in an essentially democratic, open approach. In this issue, we hear about their vision and approach in two conversations: one with the Biennial’s Director Xochi Solis, and the other with Shea Little, Joseph Phillips and Jana Swec. We applaud the organizers for their ongoing efforts and are thrilled that these projects seem to be staying put in Austin for the foreseeable future.

      One of the best things about these events is the conversations they spark. In preparation for the Biennial, we’ve certainly been asking ourselves big questions. How do we conceptualize the art world/communities we’re involved in? What works for us about the Biennial? What doesn’t? If we were organizing a large scale art event in Austin, how would we structure it?

      Now we know you’re having these kinds of conversations, too, over raspberry infused vodka at Rio Rita or Lone Stars at the Longbranch. If you have thoughts you’d like to share, (we’d sure like you to share them—we want to foster this kind of public dialogue), please send them our way and we’ll publish your responses in our next issue.

      Claire Ruud is Editor of ...might be good and Associate Coordinator of testsite.

      Kate Watson is Coordinator of testsite and Associate Editor of ...might be good.

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