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May 2001, 16 posts, 584 lines


... a few days out of sync, since email at blight and spaces was wedged (thanks to 15,400 emails sent out by chgo art dot net via a modem in the last two days)

... but i thought i would drop in my 2 cents anyway

On Sat, 28 Apr 2001, bulka wrote:

- half of the 35 Other Group e-mails during April were announcements and self promotions. The other few were notes on MTV. I have never seen MTV, and can't locate their ads (which seems to be the topic for April).

- I dont mind self promotions, but it seems to me that while the chit-chat and argument e-mails are composed in sandals and blue jeans, for an exhibition announcement people don their double-knits and high heels to start typing. Except Pedro, who only starts when his blood-caffeine level approaches cardiac arrest mode and his fingertips glow in the dark.

Most show announcement looks like invitations to a church service. They are lame, uninteresting, too detailed, or unreadable. Especially, IMHO, they are so predictable formal as to be off-putting.

They all read something like "Come .. to bla bla (breathless sentences in many adjectives - at least 4 paragraphs, in formal art-critical jargon, or so obfuscated as to be unreadable, here) (endless list of names double spaced, here) (one less than the required number of spacial and temporalcoordinates needed to find this event, here) (interspersed with many blank lines, hash marks, asteriks, and hooks)

Subscribe to and learn something from their copy editors. They do something like, but internationally -- although you prolly dont wanna hear about openings in Reykjavik or Rotterdam.

Their e-mails always start with a clever opening paragraph. A recent one for a show in Reykjavik (yes): "Opening his first exhibition in Iceland, Odd Nerdrum ask his critics to forgive him, since he now considers that he was sailing under a false flag when he described himself as an artist."

It seems to me that anyone who has the energy to organize an exhibition should in the least have something exciting (if not clever) to say about it in an announcement. I would prefer that to all the lame shit that's been spattering my mailbox.

- And Pedro _has_ an account at Chgo Art dot Net. So why send a show announcement to 12 (ok, 58, we learned) people when you can send to 2200 people? Or send to Butler instead.

- (A related note, chimed by I-forget-who): If you are fearfull of entering the city to find a liquor store to pick up a Reader before the stack disappears, try [] - which extracts the 'openings' and 'receptions' from the Reader's on-line listings.



Does anyone have a handle on apartment shows for this weekend, or has this become a passing trend?



In reference to the flurry of Chicago Art articles last week (yes, all two of them) in the papers, would eveyone please take the word "Kegger" out of their vocabulary.

Congrats on the coverage though, to all who got it.



Following is a letter from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, regarding Artist Live/Work Space. Please read, and forward to others who are interested.

May 24, 2001

Dear Chicago Artist:

The City's Zoning Reform Commission is holding public workshops dedicated to revising Chicago's Zoning Code -- for the first time since 1957. This is an important opportunity for Chicago artists -- and heres why.

As you know, many artists create their artwork where they live. Sometimes this is because it is too expensive to maintain two properties, sometimes it is because of childcare responsibilities, or to avoid unnecessary commutes, sometimes it is simply to provide spontaneous access to their work.

Currently, artist live/work space (ALWS) is not a recognized use in Chicago's Zoning Code. The only recognition is for "Home Occupations," which is too limiting for artists because: 1) the work use must be accessory and secondary to the residential use; and 2) no more than 10% of a home, or 15% of an apartment/loft, or 300 square feet total can be for work use. In addition, it is currently prohibited to live in areas zoned for manufacturing use -- often the most appropriate spaces for art production. And, as you may know, many artists who live in commercial areas do so without the protection of residential leases or the lower interest rates of residential mortgages.

Creating an ALWS definition that is tailored to fit all zoning categories (Residential, Business, Commercial, and Manufacturing) will allow artists to live and work legally, in spaces appropriate to their needs. An ALWS definition will also be a tool for creating financial incentives to make ALWS an affordable option for individual building owners and renters. These incentives could potentially include tax incentives, special grants, fee waivers, and more.

Without an ALWS definition, Chicago artists will continue to live and work without access to the safeguards and supports available to other businesses, and artist spaces will continue to be vulnerable to displacement due to upscale development and rising property taxes.

With an ALWS definition, individual buildings can be zoned for artists, and financial incentives can be created specifically for them, as long as they remain affordable and targeted to artists.

Now is the time to ask the Zoning Reform Commission to create a zoning designation for "Artist Live/Work Space." Please consider attending one or all of the following three meetings to speak in favor of Artist Live/Work Space. Each meeting will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, Room 5SW. The two-hour sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m., with check-in opening at 8:30 a.m.

The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, May 30, 2001, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Central Business District

Bounded by Division, Halsted, the Lake and the Stevenson Expressway, this is the only workshop dedicated to a specific area one which includes the Loop, South Loop, parts of Pilsen, the West Loop, and River North.

Wednesday, June 13, 2001, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Residential & Housing

This workshop will evaluate zoning related to housing and Chicagos residential areas.

Wednesday, June 20, 2001, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Neighborhood Commercial, Retail & Industrial

This workshop will evaluate the impact of zoning on neighborhood development, including how to strengthen existing neighborhood districts. It will also evaluate methods of preserving existing industrial areas and stimulating further growth, while protecting the character of surrounding neighborhoods.

Chicagos artists --performing, exhibiting, teaching, creating and experimenting are vital to the health and well-being of a world-class city. ALWS zoning is an important tool to enable artists to spend more time on art, and less time securing affordable, legal and safe spaces to live and work. If you would like more information, please call Barbara Koenen, Project Manager of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, at (312) 744-7649, or email her at ba- at The ALWS effort will only be successful with the demonstrated support of Chicagos artists and art community. I encourage you and your colleagues to support this important effort. Please pass the word.

- Lois Weisberg
- Commissioner
- Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
- 78 E. Randolph Street
- Chicago, IL 60602


Not clear:

(1) Who is sponsering this definition, that is, where did it originate? ("When a person speaks, ask, 'Who pays his salary?'" --saying attributed to one of the eight sages of ancient Greece, CA 800 BC.)

(2) What are the main considerations for the Zoning Commission to be holding public hearings? Is it to consider ALWS only, or are other definitions and changes at stake?

(3) Do we - as artists - need to go to these meetings to _propose_ a ALWS Ordinance definition? Or is there one already on the Commision's agenda, and we are being urged to show up to give support?

(4) If there is a definition for a proposed ALWS category, what exactly does it say? Shouldn't we be aware of the language, sponsorship, and implications?



Another level of bureauacracy, another distraction for artists who should be thinking of better things.

A call to mass action for a cause that may benefit a few who would rather study mortage rates than work in the studio, or who are moving enough product to imagine they need a factory. If one can't make art on the kitchen table, or in the second bedroom, or in some semi-legal loft situation, maybe the energy would be better spent in real-estate speculation.

Or maybe I'm just too romantic.



On Thu, 24 May 2001, bulka wrote:

I need a factory, but you ought to ask, what, exactly, is the cause?

What is the Zoning Commission status for the thousands who "work from home" with their internet connections? I must know a dozen sys admins who work out of their kitchen, and make shitloads more than any artist doing this. The work where they live, write off space and house expenses on their federal income tax forms, and dont care what the zoning is. And what about the thousands of councelors, psychologist, and similar services, whose total investment is a livingroom couch, an answering machine, and a desk full of papers? Are we going to also have C-LWS and P-LWS classifications, and SysAdmin-LWS?

And whatever happened to the "licenses" we were supposed to get (one or two years ago) from the city if we met with "clients" at home? Is this just another ploy to collect addresses for inspectors to visit?

/j -- "I need a factory too, when I make it big, too."


I think more artists should be thinking about real estate and other "distractions." fuck romanticism -- look after yourselves because no one else will. of course, i don't know if i'd be able to buy a house with a 5 digit student loan debt... as for the content of such zoning is wise to be skeptical, and it may be true that certain deals are already made before the public is let in on the process -- however, if you don't participate in some way, you'll never have any say and you'll just remain sitting at home drawing and grumbling to yourself and whomever will listen to your diatribes on beaurocratic charades and the loss of aesthetic pursuits blah blah blah. there seem to be two issues here: 1. creating new zoning laws that allow artists to legally live in currently commercial/industrial zoned buildings and 2. creating insentives (probably in the form of tax deductions) for landlords who rent to artists.

The second issue I find to be more problematic than the first -- i would prefer some type of rent control law that doesn't prefer artists above other low-income people in the city. However, I'm not that knowledgable about those types of laws --- anyone here who is? Also, the idea of creating an "artist district" -- well, it's just trite for me to even go over this -- just remember our "artsy" neighborhood we love so well. This is part of the plan for Pilsen -- last time I heard they were trying to find a building in Pilsen to designate as an artist live/work building -- sounds like a breeding ground for more of the same...(i bite my tongue) ......and the Pods are heralding themselves as the creators of some artist paradise. a strange cult with slumlords as leaders.....

oops - there goes one of those diatribes again. thanks for listening.



If anyone recalls, about a year ago I sent out mass email about a building that I was trying to rent. There was 6,000 sq ft set aside for studio spaces, that we were going to rent out at fifty cents a sq foot.

Now that was a deal and a half, and I only received around ten replys from interested partys. It is true that no one is going to look out for anyone else, really, but when someone does people don't give a shit either.

We have said it before, don't look to the machine for help.


On Thu, 24 May 2001, Keri L. Butler wrote:

Diatribes keep us awake and aware. I have seen these arts paradises happen all too many times, like since 20 years back. They all seem to fail also.

When will they learn you cant squeeze money from art-turnips? Oh well.



ON the contrary, I think all big benefits and black tie shindigs should be called "keggers" too.

-Steve Anderson

PS: Liz and I are having our wedding kegger this weekend and will be out of town for 2 weeks....


Guys I just checked my computer at work and the virus was on it. CHECK YOUR COMPUTERS!!!!!!! kv


Dear Friends, Please read. This is a serious VIRUS alert. Since I have emailed you in the last couple of month I invite you to read the following text carefully. Please note that, against all odds, I had the virus program exactly where it was mentioned it would be...

I am sorry to inform you of this... I have just been informed of a new virus that is being passed around and after a check of my computer I did find the file and have since deleted it. You are receiving this email from me because your address is on my email contact list. Please take a minute to run this check on your computer. The Virus software cannot detect it. It will not become active until June 1, 2001.

ON JUNE 1, 2001, it will become active and it will be too late to fix your computer. This virus will wipe out all files and folders on the hard drive. This virus travels thru E-mail and migrates to the 'C:\windows\command' folder. To find it and get rid of it, do the following:
-Go to the "START" button.
-Go to "FIND" or "SEARCH"
-Make sure the find box is searching the "C:" drive.
-Begin search.
-If it finds it, highlight it.
-Go to 'File' and delete it.
-Close the find Dialog box
-Open the Recycle Bin
-Find the file and delete it from the Recycle bin
-You should be safe.

The bad part is: You need to contact everyone you have sent ANY E-mail to in the past few months. Two computers at Midlands Tech. have been found with this virus on it. DO NOT RELY ON YOUR ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE. McAFEE NOR NORTON CAN DETECT IT BECAUSE IT DOES NOT BECOME A VIRUS UNTIL JUNE 1ST.

IT WILL BE TOO LATE THEN. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT OPEN THE FILE!!! The information contained in this e-mail may be privileged, confidential, and protected from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete all copies.

-Ambrosino Gallery
-769 NE 125th Street
-North Miami, FL 33161
-T (305) 891.55.77
-F (305) 891.55.27


In fact this virus alert is a hoax. Emails flew around the UIC listserv yesterday. The file that you are supposed to search for is in fact a part of the windows command files. Don't delete the file and ignore any other references to this virus. If you don't beleive this message, check the symantec website, which according to UIC computer associates list this virus as a hoax.

-Lorelei Stewart


yeah ....totally a hoax.... I am a fool...I apologize.


On Thu, 31 May 2001, Kristen Van Deventer wrote: "Guys I just checked my computer at work and the virus was on it. CHECK YOUR COMPUTERS!!!!!!! kv Do it today.....It is active tomorrow! [..etc..]"

This is great. A meta virus email, immediately followed by a denial. That's 200,000 emails, instead of 100,000 emails. Also assumes that _everyone_ is running Windows (97 percent correct).

The good news (send this to everone on yr email address list) is...


So Adam, why do you keep posting trash to Other Group, after the discussion of a month ago?

-/jno On Thu, 31 May 2001, Adam Mikos wrote: