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Barking vs. Biting: Getting shit done in 08


I have a city-wide resolution, or more accurately, a call to arms: we need a lot more big ideas in this city and we need to get more shit done.
A year ago there was excitement in the air:
spaces were popping up all over the place, galleries and museums
seemed to have people in them pretty regularly. Most shows had
Jane-and-Joe priced works, and people bought them. There was an
interest in art and the feeling that stuff was finally really happening
was in the air. How many of those idealistic young spaces closed down
last year? How many of those Janes and Joes still buy stuff? where are all the gallery goers lately?

I think they’re bored. We’re dangerously close to
being a boring town again!

still good art being shown, but things feel so goddamn safe and predictable! It’s
getting harder and harder to get excited about stuff. This year is an
important one for the Austin arts community. It’s do or die. There’s no
plateau to look forward to yet. We either figure out how to maintain the creative energy and
excitement of the previous two years or this whole thing will crash and

So what do we do? Since Austin doesn’t have the money that Houston, DFW
or even San Antonio has, I think the only solution is to form artist
collaboratives, find strength in numbers. We need to form loose
networks (since our city doesn’t have the homogeneity as say,
Providence or Baltimore or Portland) to support each other financially,
creatively and any other way we can. The current issue of Artlies has some great pointers on collaboratives and is well worth checking out.

like that there’s been discussion of this website among people in the
community lately, even if it’s negative. I can only speak for myself
and I’m certainly not calling any shots at all, but
here’s a challenge to everyone who’s unhappy with Glasstire:
hack it. And I don’t mean that in a criminal way. One of the great
things about the Internet is that it allows for dialogue and a certain
degree of interactivity. Take over the boards! Comment the hell out of
anything you don’t like! We’re not Clear Channel.

conclusion, let’s bite a little more and stop barking so much. Let’s
put our money (and our energy) where our mouth is. Let’s get shit done.
Let’s do it soon. And let’s do it right. 

I’ll leave you with a wish list, in the spirit of Eric Zimmerman, of concrete things I would like to see happen in 08:
– Less stupid street murals of bats and hippies.
– Public art projects that don’t make me want to throw up.  
– Less boring yuppies.
– A great bookstore for artists (Domy anyone?). 
– More professionalism from everyone. I’m tired of half-assed juvenile behavior.
– A dedicated nonprofit project space for Texas artists in Austin. Personally I think Arthouse should step up here. That second floor is just oozing with possibilities.
– More video art, good performance and large installations in Austin (see previous wish).

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6 Responses

  1. LionTigerBear

    Less cliquish, juvenile behavior indeed. Along with less jealousy and envy. And more money. Santa didn’t bring us enough cash flow for 2008.

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