From the Editor
by Wendy Vogel
Fall is here, and with it comes a new chapter in the history of …might be good. For weeks now, I’ve been thinking about the best way to introduce myself to you as your new editor. It hasn’t been an easy task.
I take up the mantle from a line of witty, critical, fierce and fearless female predecessors at the editorial helm, to which I am proud to add my name. From Regine Basha, who co-founded Fluent~Collaborative with the ever-inspiring Laurence Miller, to Caitlin Haskell, Risa Puleo, and Claire Ruud, whom I had the pleasure to work with and learn from, I have a daunting legacy to take on. These women and their collaborators and colleagues at Fluent (too numerous to mention here) have helped form a critical community in which I have been an eager participant since my arrival in Texas. I am so grateful for the productive conversations I’ve had so far about this journal and contemporary art, and I look forward to pushing the dialogue further. I am also extremely fortunate to be joined by Emily Ng in the production of this journal, who has been a great interlocutor as I have been preparing this and future issues.
For my first letter from the editor, I wanted to choose an avatar -- one that would express the sensibility of this journal, yet distinguish my personal vision. As a Gemini, I am prone to Twinlike vicissitudes when it comes to staking a definitive claim on my identity; as someone who has been schooled in deconstructionist and feminist post-binary thinking, it becomes all that much harder to offer a distillation of myself. But I chose a masthead image that I think suits me well. In red, my signature color, the horse equally reflects playfulness, strength, and a little bit of wanderlust. It is from a sign on Highway 71, at roughly the midway point between Houston and Austin -- respectively, the cities where I live and where this journal is based. I’ll be burning a lot of rubber on 71 and beyond as I bring this bimonthly publication to you. Instead of thinking of the open road as a hardship or necessity to get me from A to B, though, I think of it as a place that facilitates meditation, speculation and mercurial thinking: characteristics that have and will distinguish this journal.
You’ll notice that the layout of …might be good has not changed much cosmetically as I’ve hit the ground running, but has nonetheless undergone shifts in the editorial vision and in each of its sections. I consider this publication and its online presence as much as a platform as a magazine, a place where artists, critics and curators can have the opportunity to try out experimental formats and share ideas. The consideration of new practices, in Austin and beyond, also forms the through-lines of this week’s issue.
For the interview section, I sat down with Jade Walker at the new Visual Art Center at the University of Texas to discuss the center’s programming, her vision for the future, and thoughts about Austin’s profile as an art town. The result is an exciting conversation, one of many that will take place about the new art constellation in Austin this fall. Look out for Allison Myers’s article on Champion Contemporary in our next issue, and our issue devoted to Arthouse’s reopening in late October.
The reviews and interviews section continue to feature critical commentary on exhibitions and other art events. In this week’s issue, questions of burgeoning maturity, feigned naïveté and critical approaches in are broached both by Dan Boehl, covering Okay Mountain’s new video Water, Water at the Austin Museum of Art, and Wendy Atwell’s coverage of Kelly O’Connor’s installation at Sala Diaz in San Antonio. From Houston, Michael Bise considers how Peat Duggins’s well-crafted work at Art Palace rides the line between Romantic idealism of nature and something more sinister.
For this issue and for future ones, the Artist’s Space will be turned over as a space to develop projects that may be more transitory, serial or even diaristic in approach. To kick off this section, I invited Domy Books’ Russell Etchen to share his musings on his week in Austin. An Austinite via Houston with a beat on what’s happening in everything from comics to music to art, he’s given us a taste of what we missed during our long hiatus.
And finally, …might be good recommends returns with an increasingly important presence in this and future issues. This section will feature contributions about events happening outside of Texas, either by our regular writers or about events that may be of interest for our readers, as a way of informing our community about a larger dialogue. For this issue, I invited Christina Linden from Oakland to write. Her contribution about Mary Walling Blackburn’s Radical Citizenship project at Angel Island in San Francisco critically illuminates an aspect of the artist’s practice that departs from the Anhoek school lesson plans currently on view in Just Because 10.4: Accidental Pornographies at our sister project, testsite. We hope that …might be good can continue to function as a platform where such crossover and conversation can happen.
Wendy Vogel is Editor of ...might be good.