From the Editor
T'is the season for being in transit. Our familiarity with airports, car seats, buses and train stations increases this time of year as we make our way from one holiday engagement to the next. I happen to enjoy waiting in the airport. Once one comes to terms with the prodding at the hands of the TSA, the likelihood of delay, bland overpriced food options and the fruitless jockeying for position by fellow travelers, the airport can be a good place to get some thinking done. Airports are an in between place—neither here nor there—where we go to be jettisoned through space to our next destination. They are hubs, points in a perpetual middle, where we can see—in the red LED faces of scrolling signs—connections to places around the globe. When we’re at the airport, we’re at the airport, our behaviors rhythmic and repetitive as we await flight.1 Since airports facilitate travel, we have to be present within them, and maybe it is this concrete sense of presence coupled with the veneer of calm cool neutrality that they’re the perfect place for observation and thought.2
This notion of a hub, or point in space that is a host for all others, immediately conjures the spell of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino in my brain. Reminded of Borges' The Aleph by a wonderful exhibition and publication at the Goethe-Institut New York (see, We would provide complete darkness in this issues ...mbg Recommends). I returned to the short story upon arriving home.3 Borges describes a ‘small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable lightness…The Aleph was probably two or three centimeters in diameter, but universal space was contained inside it, with no diminution in size,’ he says. ‘Each thing (the glass surface of a mirror, let us say) was infinite things, because I could clearly see it from every point in the cosmos.’ For Borges, the stories protagonist, The Aleph is an object that contains the whole of the world—spanning both time and space– revealing to him ‘the inconceivable universe.’ A poetic, albeit impossible and anxiety inducing thing, that speaks to our desire to distill the world’s knowledge and plurality into digestible instances and conceivable objects.4
While I would never argue that art objects show us the ‘inconceivable universe,’ they are nonetheless hubs of a certain kind. They are points of coming and going, of boundaries and expanses; thoughts, memories and experiences.5 In some sense they are places we can choose to go that, when meaningful, propel us towards another destination—be it an idea, a book, exhibition or conversation. Art objects are, in this sense, facilitators for travel.6 Might the same be said for publications such as this, whose texts and images connect readers to sources of conversation and knowledge? My opinion on this matter is certainly biased but remains a resounding ‘YES.’
As we travel towards 2012, it’s important to remember the tremendous value of hubs, art objects and publications, that simultaneously act as places for us to think, and by virtue of their content, points of departure. They ask little in return for their generosity, but cannot do it without you. As we close out the year I am indebted to ...mbg’s many contributors during my short time as editor. Their voices are the backbone of ...mbg, and their endeavors for this publication have made for many a fantastic read and gladly sent me off to the library or an exhibition on numerous occasions, an exciting and rewarding process that I anxiously look forward to continuing. As one of our valued readers, it is my hope that they have offered you the same thrilling experience, and that you’ll consider supporting us as we begin to lay the groundwork for our future in the coming weeks. Please consider making an end of the year donation to ...might be good by clicking the ‘Donate Now!’ button below the Table of Contents. We’d love to hear your feedback anytime by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list if you haven’t already. Finally, we’ll be taking a few weeks off for the holidays, but will return to our bi-weekly schedule starting January 13, 2012 with more exciting artists projects and thoughtful writing from Texas and beyond. Happy Holidays, see you in the future!
Eric Zimmerman is an artist and Editor of ...might be good.
1. The power of skillfully handled repetition is the undercurrent in writer and curator Sarah Demeuse’s review of 1395 Days Of Red at MACBA in Barcelona.
2. See writer and curator Leora Morinis’s text on The Observers by Jackie Goss for an insightful look into the act of observation and its relationship to comprehending the objects within the world.
3. Borges, Jorge Luis. ‘The Aleph.’ Collected Fictions. Trans. Andrew Hurley. New York: Penguin Putnam ltd., 1998.
4. Artist and writer Mike Osborne’s review of The Anxiety of Photography at AMOA Arthouse finds evidence of that plurality within photographic practice and the desire to order it in curatorial practice.
5. Mark Bradford’s frustration with, and exploration of, boundaries and divisions within art making and the critical dialogue surrounding his work is the subject of SMU Professor, artist and writer Noah Simblist’s wide-ranging and thoughtful Long-Read.
6. This issue’s Project Space features curator Leslie Moody Castro and artist Armando Miguélez’s exploration of location, distribution and travel through the project Aqui Ahora. Be sure to follow the counterpart to this great project @mbgETC [http://twitter.com/mbgetc] for the remainder of December.