Base URL: []

March 2001, 33 posts, 1343 lines


Anybody else with something to say about what's goin' on in New York? Or should we rewind some more nihilistic sophmore art student crap?


Adam - mostly I'm with you. Lack of funding isn't censorship, and government funding isn't a right.

But - we've got an adversarial form of government. The winner in a court case isn't neccessarily the one who is right, but the one with the best laywer; the politician who wins is seldom the best candidate, but the one with the best funding. The government, representing the people as a whole, should support things, like garbage disposal, water service and unprofitable cultural events, that benefit many but are imnpractical for individuals to do alone, but the reality is that everyone has to battle for whatever scraps they can get, and the winner is the best fighter, not the most worthy. And there are a lot more, and more powerful, Bears fans than there are artists or folks who appreciate art.

I say screw it. If the govenrment wants to fund only safe ammusements, let them. Show in a storefront, apartment, truck or overcoat. If an artist needs a grant to make the art, maybe the art doesn't need to be made. If it is not worth doing for free, it's probably not worth doing.



Well, lucky for us "W" wants to give us back some of our taxes.

I will agree with Adam and Bulka, when you both state that the government should not fund art that will damage the image of that grant. However, I don't think the government should be doing the "censorship". I feel the individual or the venue should be aware of the implications of funding such and such show.

The Brooklyn Museum knows damn well that these shows will not be well received by the mainstream. I just wonder if they purposely use the attention they will get by the Mayor and the media to boost their attendance records. (duh!)

I don't agree that artists or venues shouldn't look for funding to showcase art. I agree that on the grass roots level apartments, trench coats, and storefronts work great. Low cost and the do it yourself mentality works out to provide interesting work. However, on the larger scheme, that is virtually impossible. Overhead cost to operate large institutes can be quite high. Not everyone has huge endowments like the Terra Museum. (Which proves the point of the taste to money ratio.) Even if we don't live in Minneapolis, there are still places here to receive funding. Why not take advantage of the various private and government funds that are available to us? We can do it better than them, right? On the flip side an individual or space should not rely on this funding exclusively, less the rug is pulled out.

Bears? It not so much a question of the us funding the Bears stadium as much as why the Field Museum decided to withdraw their proposal from the state legislative. In doing so they basically paved the way for the stadium renovations. They also will put themselves in harms way. The addition will force them to close the only entrance that has road access. One may argue that the government will have to address this problem, i.e. people with disabilities act. Thus allow them to push through their own agenda's forward. Chess playing or peer pressure?



I was wondering if people really believe what Mr. Mikos wrote,"The first amendment is still the first amendment, but this isn't about the freedom of speech. No one is saying that the work cannot be made or seen. Just that the collective pool of money that taxes are should collectivly agree (somewhat) about its usage."

This appears to be a rather naive take on what democracy is and how it interacts with power. The assumption that the usage of tax money is somehow collectively agreed upon seems highly suspect. If such a project was actually in effect, if such collective agreements were actually being made, then I would be more than happy to agree with Adam. But considering this isn't the case whatsoever....why would anyone want to tow the "W" line?



I have to agree with Mr. Thompson. Adam, you're misguided when you say "No one is saying that the work cannot be made or seen." By attempting to pull funding from a prominant institution with a large audience, they are saying that the work can't be seen. It sends a message to all institutions - you show anything that any moderatly sized vocal segment of the population would disagree with and we'll attempt to pull your funding, so don't show anything that anyone might find offensive. Yes, fortunatly we have the option of doing-it-ourself but if we relgate all difficult or dissenting work to difficult and out of the way places, we limit the audience for that work.

Government funded arts institutions provide most people's art experiences. By limiting access to that pulpit we censor anything that, as Nato put it, doesn't tow the "w" line. It is bad enough that the media in this country puts out a homogenous message, we can at least stand up for our arts institutions.


Well, I'm just glad that art still can piss some people off, not that social aggravation should be it's focus. Who knew that anyone other than our initiated selves was really paying attention to or caring about what got put up in Museums these days? I guess the populist ideal is alive and kicking.

Yes, it's a free speech issue. No, decisions regarding government expenditures are not collectively made. Yes, the Brooklyn Museum can find other money and knows how to hit the sensationalist vein to boost ticket revenue. Everything is political...including money and art...especially money and art. We all know it and should not be surprised. We all play the game.

But do we really think Giuliani will be successful in erradicating all the arts from NYC or anywhere else for that matter? Will any right wing blowhard? Perhaps the Brooklyn brouhaha does provide fodder for Helms and his likes to promote their crusades of "decency". But even without this incident in their pockets, do you think their mission would be without ammunition? Do you think they could find no other line of attack? Do you think "they" do not know how to co-opt any liberal semantics (or antics) to a conservative end?

To think that the Brooklyn Museum or any other publically funded (or privately funded, for that matter), institution should be cowed because of the political ramifications (as has been suggested to me) is a bad idea. That would mean the attempts at censorship worked. I say keep it up. Keep putting up whatever show you want and complain and sue like hell when Giuliani's ego overflow's Gracie Mansion. And then ask him what he's done to respond to any recent reports of police brutality or shootings of immigrants.

Besides, we should be able to take a challenge to our values (or tax money), just as Giuliani should. And if something makes us mad, we should fight it.



If someone goes to an art institution and wants to see "offensive" work, more than likely they can find it, if that's your idea of great artwork.

This is no better than reality programs getting great ratings, but only because of their schlock content. "It's bullshit, but look at those ratings!".

From a curator who has built a reputation on these "shock" shows, are we any better off because of it? Is the general public so appreciative of this window into the "cutting edge", that is would be a disservice to cut them off?

In this vein, many people are horrified by Andres Serrano's work. Not just Piss Christ, but his KKK and morgue work as well. But somehow, his major touring shows go through city after city with hardly as much fanfare and huffing. How is this so? Jeff Koons can be far more shocking and just as accessible to the public.

What if, now that the press and feds are watching so closely, a show of something like Nan Goldins "Other Side", gets bogged down in this obscenity shit?

We all know that these photogrpahs are in no way intended to be obscene, but many of these photos would be called into question by people like Helms and Hatch. Now in this case, the public would actually be missing out on something that could be very powerful to them. This is quite unlike vaginas with with wings.

As most know by now, I love a little controversy. I enjoy pushing and pulling what is acceptable and what isn't. Public opinion be dammed. However, in our acceptance of this politcal (the one point of agreement between us) bulshit as a legitimate fight for artists rights, we are being duped.

I don't think the funding should be cut because of obsenity/whatever. I think this curator should be toned down by the artistic community itself. Work like the work in question can be made and shown without all this trouble, and be supported by the government. But this grandstanding, on ordinary work no less, is the wrong battle to fight. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Can you tell me that this last supper photo is that important? Or Offili's painting? These scandals raise profiles, but only if you believe that there is no such thing as bad press.



Frankly, my concern is not for the general public nor for their right or priviledge to see controversial, smutty, dirty, abject, or shit-stained art.

My concern is that some smug politician thinks he (or she) knows what is best for the general populace and what "The American People" should and want see. When a self-important doofus starts attempting to enforce a standard of "decency" or even a standard of what art is worth defending, fighting for, or applying democratic rights of free speech to, then I start to get a little upset.


Have you ever done a search for yourself? Things that you'd think would come up don't, but lots of unexpexted wierd things do. It's a lark.

I'm on a Barnes and Noble page, listed as "umstocked". Didn't know I'd written a book.



(Peicing together some arguements made over the week regarding Guiliani's latest fit.)

I don't agree with several of the recommendations made through the week.

I think they ignore the larger picture of art's function and responsibility. Everything from blaming the curator, recommending self-censorship, trying to tame down our museums to fit the mainstream's tastes - to collective citizen agreement on what our taxes fund! These are all hazardous to the arts. To presume that art, even art that disturbs, should survive in a hollow of an apartment show or on the street is to ignore the role of art in society.

I will agree that it is unfortunate when the art community has to defend the pieces of art that Guiliani finds disturbing - often causing us to elevate their importance in order to prove a point about art. (But, if it wouldn't have been Chris Offili's piece in Sensation - we could be defending the Chapman brothers or the 3-D bloody redepiction of Durer's etching from the Spanish-American war. We got off easy - because the people that find offense still shy away from sexuality.)

But it teaches us where our battlelines should be drawn. In the end, we're not defending this artist's right to get a grant. In most cases it's the museum that has received the grant - and it is that grant that allows museums to have free days - to up keep it's environment - to make it feasible for large audiences of people to view work - work that they oftentimes will not fully understand upon first sight. This "disturbance" is natural with art and some would argue it's duty.

There was a time and a place for "shock art" in our history - it had an important value for crashing the existing barriers that were iron walls for discourse on the body, women, homosexuality, Aids...But if you notice when counts for "shock art" these days is hardly so.

The term "shock" gets applied to works that run counter to the mainstreams issues on Christianity. And why - well, of course the people that understand greatest what the power of an image REALLY is is the Church - who commissioned Michealangelo's brush to depict the narrative of the bible on the ceiling of the Sistine for purposes of converting the illiterate. They use endless amounts of symbols in their worship to sustain the beleifs of their parishioners in the unseen.

Their symbols are sacred and they know how powerfully propogandic they are. And I think we should be mindful of this. But mind you, within that arguement is also the greatest arguement alive today for the value of art in the first place. So at the same time that they are our worst enemy - they exclaim our value as artistic image-makers in a society laden with endless worthless images. The first amendment defense is a short cut out of a lengthy battle.

And the people of the art's community that hide behind it in reality aren't sure where they really stand on this.

As for the politicians - there is no arguement that when Guiliani steps to the pulpit on these issues he is also positioning himself politically for purposes of acceptance. Ya, that sucks - but mostly because a responsible statement on art's importance can not be matched with equal publicity. But then again, I don't see anyone - not the president's our important art institutions, nor major Art Collectors, nor director's of major museums outside of the one being attacked = rushing to the cause.

That's our problem. We can NOT expect politicians, even the ones that habitually support the arts, to be expected to defend the value of a single piece of art. That is to deny that there is a disconnect between what art was and what art is today in the general perceptions of the public - and without someone to step them through it - they won't fight this battle.

Furthermore, we have to realize that government has also in the past been one of our greatest supporters. And that too served political purposes. (In the 1950's we as a country backed by the Presidencies of Nixon and Kennedy - extolled the virtue of the then newly emerging abstract-expressionism being produced in the United States as proof to our Cold War enemies that freedom of expression reigned within democracies.)

But the core of the truth about Guiliani's statements is to see really what arguement he's making. Often the appeal to the common man/woman is there to preserve a set of privledges already in place. Art should be defended voraciously and public funding nonetheless.

Bottom Line tunnel vision, mass marketing, and society's scrutiny of politicians have changed the face of where public forum re-emerges in society. Our changing times no longer allow politicians the type of anonymity necessary to raise important issues like the ones these art pieces do. Societal checks and balances commit their work and decisions to high levels of scrutiny. As a result, modern theorists credit artists with the essential role today of raising awareness and sensitivity to the issues contemporary politicians must sacrifice for their political survival.

I think it's to art's credit that it is still able to raise such emotions - particularly in these complex times. We shouldn't be afraid of this battle. And we definitely shouldn't recommend draconian solutions like the one's thrown out throughout this discussion. Much of those recommendations are reckless when you really realize how much the NEA does for the arts outside of the funding it provides. They set the tone for all of the foundation and private funding throughout the United States. Everytime the NEA backs down on funding - a huge ripple effect is sent throughout the general art-funding populus. EVERY time. And it's huge. Until the government no longer has this power, we as artists better bet your ass on defending the NEA - you have no idea what it does for us conceptually.

Defend art and art funding on the health and importance of challenging our beliefs. And start asking yourself what you believe art's value really is - that's where our strongest defense should come from and we have plenty of history to back it up.


forwarded message

I thought some of you might be interested in this, from this Week's Chronicle of Higher Eduation. The text and artwork are from the book Kerry James Marshall, by Kerry James Marshall, a painter, photographer, printmaker, and installation artist who is a professor of art at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The book is published by Harry N. Abrams Inc.

-end forward
-Margaret Margaret Dolinsky doli- at


What this really is about isn't the cost of the plate or the seat it's a matter of degrees of seperation. Their party and the recent interest by those gallerys and magazines that fiegn support for our causes change nothing. There still remains an old gaurd of money which establishes the priorities in this community. While they are interested in the objects generated in this battle for Chicagos aesthetic Future, those partys simply don't know what to make of us.

They have and we don't. We are Young they are old. We are the future while they are the cabal we intend to usurp. We after all have the models that other cities are utilizing now for running small spaces we have the talent that shows in them to greater affect then in their own spaces and we can do anything we want while they have to pay mortgages, babysitters, window washers, gallery assistants and desk helpers. 200 a seat for a place at an auction that Dominic Malone from the MCA will preside over, which if i may qoute, "will Show five of the best artists from each of the midwest states," including Illinois. Now how often is Mr. Malone bothered to break out his German styled architectual nightmare and wander into his own backyard and see whats actually happening in Chicago. These guys are Pathetic and thats with a capital "P".

The MCA just noticed that art happens here in Chicago. My question is which one of you jack asses told them? Cause now they are going to want to come to all of our spaces and make the artists drunk with success for a few years. Then when they are bored with that they will pull out like a sloppy lover and leave Chicago once more to it's own whiles without so much as a cigarette for a friend, until the next generation happens to take heart in the heart land.

200 a seat doesn't bother me the fact that we feel justified to be there when the battles still raging and theres so much more to do make sure Chicago continues to work before the old evils can get a hold of it, that bothers me. If this sounds like a diatribe for a holy war maybe it is. A sort of cleansing after the money soaked culture wars of the eighties. And lets face it all of us worked damn hard for a long time to bring this city this far. That in and of itself has been a biblical feat. I for one wouldn't want to pay to be there if I could. As for being an underdog, at least I sleep at night.


It's a Fund raiser.

After all our bellyaching about Chicago needing more of a press presence, let's not begrudge them their means of funding it. Other arts benefits are more like $250 for orgs with more than a local profile.

The preview is free--that can be more of a community scene.


I can't believe all of you ( new spaces) fell for the 100 bucks deal for ad space. Was that the best offer ? Jesus, a hundred bucks for a pathetic informative small print that no one would look at it...Is that respect?


I'm with you Jen. Money makes the world go around and me too!



Hey Pedro

If my "pathetic informative small print" brings in people that would have never set foot in my space, why not? In case you forgot, they give away thousands of free copies at ArtChicago as well as sending out 1500 free copies to international curators and such. Considering, I can spend up to $400 a show just on cards and mailing, this sounds like a bargain to me. I'm sure the artists that show at my space would agree.

If they lowered the price is that more respect. Since when does respect equal dollar signs. We all bust our ass for something that we believe in. We all have our own ways of reaching goals that we as individuals want to achieve.

It's not always us against them. Why does everyone try to limit themselves this way? By becoming inclusive, one is guilty of the very thing that all of us are "rebelling" against. I'm not bowing down to anyone. I'm utilizing a resource. My question to you is, if you don't believe in them, then why do you write for them??



hey everybody, see you at the "new" NAE party!!! What a deal at only $200.00 a seat!! Boy do they support the underdogs or what!


I do believe in the Examiner and I do believe in reaching out. But because I write for them I can be critical. But sometimes the approach does equals respect. How many more reviews you think your space will recieve when the New Examiner becomes bi-monthly. As it is now no gallery can recieve back to back reviews/ except their beloved Vedanta, Gallery 312 or Donald Young. It is only natural that our spaces will get buried in the New NAE. Money will be the primordial concern and that's something we don't have. It is important to be loud now and look out for our own well being before its too late. It is a hundred now but what about tomorrow.

Maybe my latino side is talking for me but I do believe in respect and in this case money has everything to do with it.

Let's just pray that the New Examiner can survive this new experiment because if they don't make it this time there will be no Examiner at all.

Take the money and run because I will do so too.



If I may add my two bits to this discussion, I would like to say.

1. Asking for $200 a plate is hardly unreasonable. I find it strange that people are having problems with a fundraiser for a non profit magazine. This obviously isn't some party poor people aren't invited to. It is a fund raiser to raise money. People with duckets are invited to kick down the dough. Duh! There are many complaints one could level against NAE, but I doubt this is one of them.

2. I am glad to see that people are getting a little hot in the pants over the potential selling out of the scene. It seems to me the largest concerns seems to be whether or not individuals will be included in the lot. It appears a little self serving to me and ultimately this attitude is dull. But if people are really interested in "keeping it real", I'm all with you. There are a number of ways to do that and I think maybe tampering with our own models might be far more productive.

3. I like that these discussions take place. I really think some issues need to get worked out in Chicago. While I do think facing the facts of keeping oneself alive while they make work is critical here, generally the discussions about art seem to be far more centered around self interested discussions of ad rates, press, etc. These are important discussions but when they become the only ones....hmmmmm... I smell a rat. It makes me think that people really have no clue why they are doing what they do at all.




I think Nato is right. Sorry about me being a pain. Its all good.

Pedro Velez


There are many interesting points to this whole discussion-and Pedro don't apologise-you brought up a valid issue about the ad rates-(and also about the amount of reviews a space can generate-art forum reviews from chicago used to be monthly, then every other, and now i think it is less, and they are not considering upping this quota, a second chicago based writer has been added to frieze, but again, how often is the question, and we really need someone covering contemporary art for artnet. case in point-the recent media coverage (art press) of a young l.a based sculptor was mind-blowing- every art mag-and why-dual coast shows in cities that are given more review space, and have more writers art writing. what has happend with this artist cannot happen this point in time anyway. but this is a huge conversation in and of itself) back to the NAE-

1. the price for that scale of ad i do not believe is much less than what we(deluxe) paid last may, without a "deal". unless the rates have gone up hugely in the past year.and it is a very very small ad-usually crowded with the other very very small ads. I do wonder who reads those definitely unsexy, poorly designed things(advertising=enticement)

2. most spaces are probably included on the map that will also be in the may issue. including-address, contact info, and the shows.a very generous thing of the examiner but its all related-you can't launch an upgraded zine without an upgraded need. but it does make the ads a bit superflous.

3. there are other formats for advertising during that crazy weekend, and they all work-no place is uncrowded during art fair weekend and that brings me to my next point

4. art fair is 5 days, that leaves alot of year left to work on. These are not necessarily reasons to dismiss the examiners offer though.

It is a good thing to be recognized and to have someone take the time out to explain the new format.And of course an opinion on whether this is a deal depends on the space and its outreach goals. (maybe the ads should be clippable coupons, that entice newcomers with 10% off upon presentation of it-that way it could be proven effective, with satisfied new customers to boot.(and i say this with only the smallest of smiles)

As for the price of a plate-this is not an us and them thing. Actually is any of this? Alot of the language being used in todays barrage really freaks me out. From rebellion to keeping it real to something that sounds like art/religion seperatism. I worry about this teenager/zealot thing. how about professional art practice? danielle/and i speak only for myself, not as voice for deluxe projects.


Props on point number 3.

It's a fscking magazine for chrissakes.

Do crazy shit and send out press releases and see what floats back your way. The magazines that "get" what your doing will cover it. Those that have other agendas - won't. We should be thankful really the system works like it does. The last thing anybody wants is an ignoramus writing an article about their work/artspace.

The Chicago art scene doesn't get shined because there's no raging art magazine in this town. Sure it can't hurt to have a great art zine, but if somethings cool and NAE decides to not cover it, it's really not worth getting one's panties in a wad over it. Somebody else will cover it and there you go -- it gets covered. Just go out and kick some ass. There's a glut of web sites/ magazines out there sniffing for the blood of "cool shit going on."

The art mag that will win in Chicago is the one that has the smarts to know what the hell is going on in this town/world and the journalistic prowess to capture it for readers with aligned interests to see. Those that don't are, thankfully, screwed. If NAE doesn't get it right, somebody else will - and perhaps they're hosting a 25 dollar a plate dinner right now.



A few thoughts

A big glossy bi-monthly Examiner might impress the easilly impressionable, but it will mean even staler reviews and, with fancy paper for pretty pictures, probably less comentary. Maybe Kathryn and Jan will get invited to better parties.

$200/plate dinners aren't meant for us, but for the Chicago Social folk who like their social lives to double as feel-good social-activism and be tax deductible as well. The theory is that some portion of that money wil trickle down though the magazine and do some good for the art community.

Whether it actually does depends on decisions of the editors and the board of directors.

The $100 ads bother me more. The magazine wants to look like it is on top of the scene, in touch with the art happening in little holes in Pilsen and Humbolt and wherever Deadtech is, but when have you ever seen an editor or board member in your space? Not only do they want you to supply them with the content to make them look good, but they expect you to pay for it.

Sure, The Examiner is technically a not-for-profit, and the writers are paid shit, but no one in the office works for free. Most of the people who run the little galleries and their artists do, and hold crappy jobs to pay for cards and receptions and rent. $100 isn't a lot of money, but could probalby be better allocated in a store-front gallery's budget. A NAE ad isn't going to bring throngs.

Thirty years ago the magazine made some waves as a low-tech, low-budget troublemaker. It has evolved into something very different, something read seriously only by academics in the midwest hinterlands. It was founded about the same time as the cooperative galleries - N.A.M.E., Randolph Street, ARC, Artemesia - who have also become lame or died. Now, the important galleries aren't co-ops, but independant efforts, and some have tried to cover the scene in the same way - Ten-by-Ten, Cakewalk, Gravy, C.A.C.A. Newsletter, FGA - and they are struggling (or dead) as much as the galleries.

Deadtech Rob and Dogmatic Michael have the right idea: "Do crazy shit and send out press releases and see what floats back your way." but do more - usurp the cabal. Get the shit out there and make the mags come to you.

Support the little rags. NAE and Snu Snodgrass and Jim Yood only have power if you give it to them - for example, who cares what Alan Artner says in the Trib anymore?



Thankyou Mr. Bulka.


Why do we have to ghetto(ize) the art scenes?



As Peter Parker well knows with great power comes great responsibility.

As for ghetto(ization) won't a physical manifestation of that in fact occur on that page of Advertisement. Isn't it true that certain spaces were invited to participate while others weren't. For one reason or another, some for good reasons but for posterity perhaps some bad reasons too. Wasn't that a matter of prejudicial reasoning and a little hippo-critical on all of our parts. My point is we are business's some of us are more effective than others and we have decisions to make regarding our futures. We came to a scene that was fractured and ghetto(ized) long before we arrived. We won't change alot of that, but some of it we can and each of our individual business stratigies addresses some of these issues. I for one show predominatley Chicago artists who typically might not get a chance in cleaner, more level, or whiter spaces. NFA, Deluxe, and You Guys have balanced your books drawing in outsiders who do strong work to show beside local talent of the same if not better quality. Law Office contributes their talents to Chicago as the P.T. Barnums of the emerging Art's. Fassbender and Kavi represent by showing outsiders and arranging exchanges with the international art community. Donald Young is becoming more interested in young artists and in the last year has devoted considerable time and money to show artists that have typically shown in spaces like ours. Ghetto = Chicago and I guess what

I'm getting at is that we are changing that. Not just one of us but all of us collectively. Believe me it rubs my nose in the dirt to acknowledge Fassbender and Donald Young but it's there.

As for new art examiner it is in my opinion a solid business decision to appear in this ad with my peers. The ad is useful for two monthes, The issue will be widely distrubuted and aside from appearing on the map which essentially becomes useless once expo leaves town the ad shows we are a permenant and strong group of gallerys. But it is just that, a business decision. It changes none of the reasons that this space is in existance, nor in my opinion does it jeopridize the quality of the artists work I show or the reasons I chose them.

These discussions are most insiteful and I trust they will continue.

The more contact we have with one another the better off we are. With a little luck maybe we can do enough good for our artists, ourselves and the city we work in to have a lasting international presence. Maybe if we are lucky we won't become Shadows in the way that ARC and Artemesia have or decide to leave the way that the Uncomfortable Spaces did. I am confident though that our fate does not rest in the design, distrubition problems of the New Art Examiner. It is after all just another resource and tool at our disposal. Just as we are resouces at their disposal. If we don't make the most of it they certainly will.


What is up with this slamming of the New Art Examiner?

A) Pedro, Diego, Adam Mikos...what battle are you fighting? Bulka I've listened to you over the months. You're an anarchist that can't get a good point up without a conspiracy theory wrapped around it. How old are you guys?

2) This is a not for profit. The board works hard to make ends meet voluntarily.And mind you the salaries for the hard working NAE staff seem equally as voluntary. This event raises precious funds. $200 may be too much for some, but the money is needed- and the people that can support with that much are given a great evening and a lot of sincere gratitude. The Preview party on Weds. is FREE and the board is working hard to make this an exciting event as well. All of the support for this, from the art work donated to the curators and boards efforts and time are from a spirit of support for a dialogue that without an increased national/international presence is stuck within the confines of your endless insular rantings and ravings.

3) As for the board/staff not attending unestablished galleries. You wouldn't know a board member if I came up and bit you on your ass. As for not attending any of those smaller spaces and store-front venues. How would you know.. I don't beleive we've met. I'm 29. I'm a recent student. And my money isn't old, but your "fight the system. fight the man" arguement is. And TIRED at that.

4) $100 ad rate is affordable for some. Determine for yourself if it's worth it. It has nothing behind it but a sincere interest in making this magazine inclusive and affordable. The New Art Examiner has always offered such incentives.

5) Lastly, where's the love dude? How many national/ international art magazines come from the Midwest? This One. We're working to make is formidable, improving in every way we can. This takes time, it doesn't take offense. If you have recommendations - be constructive about them.

And quit your childish whining.

Maybe attitudes like yours have more to do with why Chicago often fails to get noticed - I wouldn't subscribe to your voices if it came with a jelly donut! And I would HATE for it to represent me or this city's art community. I have never met anyone in the art's community of Chicago or staff/board/supporters of THIS magazine like you guys that can only feel taller from down on their knees. Get up and get to work boys.


Ms. Durbin, the points you make may be valid and useful. I shall take them to heart. I feel as though I have addressed many of them in the reply to this topic/group on Friday the 23rd which you seem to have carefully not considered. I do however take exception to your points on not knowing board members etc,. Not because I do or would know one, but because given the friendly community oriented environment that is common in most of the alternative spaces I would think it appropriate and well mannered that they would take the time to introduce themselves and identify themselves as such if they were in our spaces.

This is not a matter of conspiracy I'm certain. It is however a matter of bad manners, and bad manners hurt. We are after all supposed to be working towards the same ends.

I seem to part with Mr. Bulka in my thinking that anything the New Art Examiner does to represent the concerns of Chicago's early career artists and curators is good for the city. Whether or not this particular change is good won't bear fruit for some time. We will see.

But if they continue to cover the small spaces, put some of their wieght into making certain that places like the MCA and the Art Institute pay attention to whats happening locally and in general affect change in the way that established curators, collectors and policy makers view Chicago's own natural resources then they will have done good. I think this is their intent but a little fire under the ass goes a long way. It's intent is not malicious as I am aware that resources are thin across the board.

Strong rhetoric can have a lasting impact, as I am certain you will agree. But only if properly placed with just the right spin and leverage will it have the desired affect. So I would like to point out that I wrote in my initial response to this group/topic, that as far the auction goes, it is not my concern. I have a gallery to run with my meagre funds and am fully aware of the auction's function as a fund raiser. I can't contribute to it and as such I should not concern myself with it. This was much embellished upon in the intial note but it is their for god and man to see.

I think that if you would take the time to reread it you may be surprised to discover that I also said that as a group our energies could be better spent paying more attention to ourselves and our own positions and policies within Chicago. As a curtesy to you I have reprinted the response from last Friday, that you might understand my position is one of patience typically, provocation sometimes but never one of apathy.

Thankyou for your concerns, But let me hasten to add that name calling is rude and unnecessary. If you would like Mr. Bulka's, Mr. Velez's or my attention in the future may I suggest that you not reduce yourself to such shameful lows as those which we are purportedly capable of. Furthermore it is unbecoming in a proper discussion to further ones argumant by comparing your opponant to jelly doughnut.



I would like to congratulate the scores of othergroup members for practicing restraint in the face of an offensive email which was posted a few days ago.

Just before the aforementioned slander occured, I feel that we were really getting somewhere in relation to how we can communicate between ourselves. Squabbling aside, the general MO for most of us is the same.

Circumstances may vary, but the context is largely fixed; for now. One question though, are we going to let people like J Durbin and her fellow board members, of whatever art starship they might be on, throw the lowest blows and try to insult us using the same tactics they accuse us of using? I would like to point out that the very forum in which this occured was organized, set up, and implemented by the very same people that are erroneously deemed lazy.

As the publisher of an independant art magazine, which recently finished its third year in production, I understand fundraisers and buttered bread.

If the NAE is attempting to raise funds, would they rather have one hundred people paying fifty bucks or twenty five people paying two hundred a head?

I think I know the answer, but I'm sure it depends on what they are actually trying to accomplish.

Thank you all for participating, I hope we continue




I'm not sure if you understand the difference in scale between some of these projects. The New Art Examiner's budget is probably 1/4 to 1/2 a million dollars. Whereas Cakewalk's budget, and I suppose Gravy's, is less than 2 thousand.

Sure, we smaller mags (and galleries for that matter) can fulfill our fundraising needs with a kegger, or low-priced ads, or whatever--keeping it egalitarian and low to the ground. But these projects certainly don't provide anyone with a salary, and we can only do so much with the resources we have.

I think the question we need to ask is: How can we turn our extracurricular activities into a career? How can I make a living off of my Art? How well can

I do my art if I'm only doing it on the weekend because I work a job 40-50 hours a week? It seems like there's several models for marketing and distributing culture, from rock music to bronze sculpture to magazines, but if you follow the wrong model, you might just be out of business. Why don't they teach economics in art school?

-Steve Anderson Cakewalk


Hey, everyone has been antagonistic.

The question is whether and why there is deep-seated ill-will between some of the "smaller" and some of the "larger" organizations (size, and even budget, are not really the determining factors--access or influence may be more at stake).

More importantly, the question is whether we see this antagonism as productive for the art and artists in the city. Fewer random potshots leave more room for the critical argument that is really valuable, that leads to action without undermining trust among people who, in the end, have very similar objectives.


Just wanted to add a simple fact to this mix that the site of the NAE benefit determines the physical capacity of guests (I know that Arena is huge, but we can't pack 'em in like a general opening and there are codes and restrictions...). We'd love to invite a million people at $50 a ticket, but reality forces the issue that we can only accommodate a smaller number and our budget requires we maximize the results -- and we have offered 2 tiers of ticket prices in the past when space was not limited.

However, this is why we insisted that our wonderful sponsors get on board to host a FREE preview party for all those interest on Wednesday April 25th with cocktails, live DJs and a sample of the performances by CollaborAction as well as a preview to the 40 artworks generously donated from a cross-section of artists from the Midwest! There are many ways to run a benefit, but the common goal is to raise funds at whatever level. We've recognized that many are excluded by the ticket price, but we are trying to be inclusive and we hope that you'll at least come check it out.

- Monique Meloche
- nae board vp


I think its fine that people get pissed. I personally think email has a funny way of not translating irony and humor very well. (I feel so misunderstood) Uhhmmm, any way, I wanted to pick up on some of the points Jennifer Zuckerman brought up.

What are some of our interests? It would be very great to hear a discussion of this. I think by sharing some ideas on this topic, we can start formulating productive strategies to achieving these ends. For me, personally, I love the lack of attention Chicago gets. If Art Forum fails to write about Chicago, that's fine by me. What a crappy magazine anyway. I don't have a lot of love for the "international art scene" as I find much of it riddled with conceptualism minus the concepts. I am partial to a local vibe and people sharing ideas that move past formalist and scenesterish concerns. Ideas that are nurtured and interesting to Chicago.

As for the big institutions and the small institutions. I think it is perfectly reasonable to desire some access and representation by the bigger institutions in the city. I think the institutions would benefit as well.

The Art Institute has been pretty good about this, but the MCA could definitely spice it up a little. Not simply by bringing in local talent, but by attempting innovative exhibition strategies and design.

Cultivating one's one soil is a proper method for gardening and is one of the basic tenents of arts administration.

As for the small spaces, I think Chicago has an incredibly vibrant and quirky independent art scene. At times, I might grumble that there is still a lot of second city envy, but ultimately, it is really dynamic and interesting.