Dear Young DFW Whippersnapper Artists

by Christina Rees July 27, 2012


The new normal should be anything but. Time to fuck shit up.


Dear Young DFW Whippersnapper Artists,

Whatever the last “up” economy may have taught you, in your teen years, about what art is, how it should look in an art fair booth or ad in Artforum, how it’s valued, how famous you can get, how dealers will snap you up, etc.? No. Congrats for paying attention and for knowing who Martin Creed is, by the way, but that kind of sophistication can only take you so far.

The new normal is that it’s all in your broke hands now. And there is no real economy for your art being made here in DFW. Almost none. Not enough to make a living. And there isn’t a mainstream press, like there is in NYC and London, to cover your career if you made a commercial leap anyway. And that’s okay. Because this kind of vacuum is when it’s time to fuck things up. This is a magic hour, a once-in-a-lifetime chance when you have nothing to lose, and the place that you’re in—your neighborhood, your city, your region—if you get busy, can get really interesting.

I’m picking on you lot because you aren’t painters (another breed entirely), and you aren’t makers of pretty things and decorative objects. Your brains are wired the right way to fuck shit up. And I’m not writing about Houston or Brooklyn or Silver Lake either. I’m writing about here.

But let’s illustrate this with an example.

Once upon a time, in the 1970s (I know, like, when your parents were young and skinny and did drugs and shit) in a place called Akron, Ohio, this thing happened. Just watch the short clip.

Akron. a college town in the middle of nowhere. These guys were your age when they started paying attention and got angry and started making art (that in their case took the form of something like music, performance and video). Being polite was not on the menu. MTV did not exist. There was no Internet. And there was no local press to make them famous.

Yet they are iconic. Akron is famous for one thing, really: Devo.

Luckily, their friends back then did document enough of it, and word spread, and they kept working on their own very strange vision of the world, and within a few years they were blowing people’s minds on national television.

Back to the here and now. Why is DFW so polite? I don’t want to call this place the Metroplex, but whatever. Golden Triangle. Whatever. Its politeness is due to what you think it is: religion, screwy politics, the conservative way money is made and spent. So few artists, gallerists, curators, collectors and museums here are taking any risk, whatsoever, that you start to forget what risk looks like. Certainly the people in charge of this stuff seem to have forgotten what it is, even if they were young and interesting like you once. (“How soon will you become the people that you hated?” asks Gerald Casale.)

Why are our youngest, clearest, hormone-and-energy laden brains—you—not going ballistic? Don’t you feel like caged animals? I’m a 42-year-old writer, and I do. But I don’t make art. I just show it.

It was the ‘70s when Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale started worrying about Americans getting dumber and uglier and more violent and lazy: de-evolution. But look at the world today. As Mothersbaugh says in that clip, from a recent interview: “The last eight years have been a really swift downhill ride.”

This applies to the art world, too. The museums, the galleries, the nature of collecting, the nature of philanthropy. It’s all fossilizing and closing ranks. Pretty soon even LA MoCA, an institution founded by and protected by artists for decades, will consist only of two powerful businessmen: Eli Broad and that megalomaniacal asswipe Jeffrey Deitch.

Downhill ride, indeed, for you artists. Make it fun and honest, at least.

Just get fucking weird. Tap into those things that most turned you on last year, the year before, when you were fifteen, eighteen. The stuff you were afraid to bring to light, lest your parents or siblings or neighbors or professors stomped on it. The more genuine and honest you are about it, the better shot you have at communicating something real and identifiable to the world. It’s the secret of great art. Real art, great art, is the geeks’ paradise.

Look outside the art world if you need more reference. Look at Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Look at Patton Oswalt, Louis C.K., and Ricky Gervais and Mike Judge. David Lynch, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling and freaking Alan Moore. Robert Crumb. The Flaming Lips, the Butthole Surfers. These people started with small, smart, impulses—subversive and impolite and odd as hell (and very, very personal) and ran with it. And wow. It worked. Subversive is not bad. Stop letting this polite environment keep you down. Collaborate, for courage, if you must (often helpful), or not. Up to you.

Sometimes rich people get wind of the good stuff, and want to own it. That’s what they do. They can’t make, so they buy it or pay to produce it. That doesn’t mean they get it, but take their money if they offer it. Plenty of people who can’t afford the work do get it, and will love you for being the shaman and truth tellers of the world. Just like everyone who knows anything loves Devo.





Christina Rees was an editor at The Met and D Magazine, a full-time art and music critic at the Dallas Observer, and has covered art and music for the Village Voice and other publications. She was the owner and director of Road Agent gallery in Dallas. Rees is now the Curator of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, TCU.


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cccnnnfff July 28, 2012 - 01:31

Beautifully written. Deeply inspiring. I’m laying in bed wanting to fuck something up.

Joshua von Ammon July 30, 2012 - 13:37

Funny, i’m laying in bed wanting to fuck something…Whats your number?

mark ruff July 31, 2012 - 01:26

It was dumb. Really. Nothing to see here folks. It’s pure cliche.

Joshua von Ammon August 2, 2012 - 18:22

_____ ======= ______
____ // ______ \\ _____
___ // _________ \\ ____

a mcdonald November 21, 2013 - 21:36

Bring in Pussy Riot art and Femen art and it`s a good article. The meaning is the use as Wittgenstein said. I notice the `Suspicious Utopias interview with Collings and Biggs` does include them in the comments, and Collings has also joined in.

chris kysor July 28, 2012 - 14:31

I like Road-Agent a lot and your writing and curating. Keep it up!

mark ruff July 28, 2012 - 17:23

Uh have you ever been to Denton? If there is anything original and not profit oriented to come out of DFW its from there.

jcl July 28, 2012 - 19:58

and believe in something! good/bad believed in hilariously weird rock shows and a Bitchin Party. hell, angstrom’s gravity -aside from some brilliant mash up curating of local and ny hotshit (looking) art was the Bitchin Party. Not that the core of an art experience necessarily has to be latent alcoholism, but go with what you know. throw some parties. Its what fuels everything everywhere else.

But please, young dallas artists – stop with the quasi formal art shows. CR is dead on – there is no market for you here. There is no press. The gallery was invented for them… a wunderkammer at best, a fancyass store at worst. So do whatever you want. ditch the formalities and the white walls. Do something illegal- do something youve never heard of somewhere youve never seen art- break something – do something noone else will think is art – go big or go home. Just don’t be boring. do it well and most of all, mean it. whatever you do, really really mean it. stop with the posing. and gallery cv faking it. you’ve got nothing to prove and nothing to lose.

(and for love of god, please stop making joke art – the 90s are over.)

Christina Rees July 29, 2012 - 08:34

Awesome reply.

mark ruff July 31, 2012 - 01:28

If the commenter aligns with your elementary thinking GO TO “awsome reply” if commenter disagrees with your elementary thinking GO TO “obviously you didn’t read my article”.

Michael Morris July 30, 2012 - 18:15

Jcl, could you clarify on what you mean by “quasi formal art shows”?

jcl August 4, 2012 - 20:52

Id like to suggest everyone interested in CVs create a new lines for independently organized projects – collaborative works – public happenings. now everyone in DFW shoot to have three lines in each of those categories by next year. done. no waiting for recognition or a green light or a grant or curator or gallery. Its ALL on YOU.

re:’quasi formal’ i just mean that an art show/happening/event/whatever doesnt need a gallery. in fact, if you are making art in a place with no market for your merch – you SHOULDNT be making anything that would suit a gallery.

It seems the challenge of the day is ‘how do we make smart, engaging, and interesting art that circumnavigates the failing marketplace?” there is no market for merch- so why make it? but that shouldnt be the end of your practice. Now if you just REALLY need to make your paintings – thats fine… go for it. but really what needs to be happening now is finding ways to get smart people together and DoingThinkingCelebrating together. and that seems to be the crux of cr’s post – stop doing the same ol’ thing and whining about how dallas sucks because theres no market, or no cool galleries to show your work, or no collectors who shop local.

its seems there are a lot of young artists, many with recent degrees, who are starving for lines on their cv’s or something that feels legitimizing to their practice – so you buy some clamp lights, paint some walls, send out the press releases and play gallery. DIY is totally awesome, im not trying to knock that down, but lets take it one step further and do the show that’s not just a copy of the show you wish you were doing in a ‘real’ gallery. do something that IS the thing you want to be doing. Dig?

Michael A. Morris August 6, 2012 - 03:25

Gotcha. Just wanted to be sure what you meant. I remember sensing this same formal attitude about what kinds of spaces had a kind of legitimation in people’s minds and being kind of grossed out by it. But there have been so many grittier things popping up recently, I thought you might be addressing the formal rigor of some of the shows. Certainly, there are a handful of the more active young artists whose work I’ve been pleasantly confounded by on several occasions, and they could easily tread the line between playfulness (I wondered about the “joke art” comments throughout the thread) and much more rigorous formal investigations, but in a very “fuck you” kind of way. So, all that to say, I get what you’re saying.

Michael Morris July 28, 2012 - 20:22

This is starting to happen, but there needs to be more. There will be soon. The hard part is keeping artists here, but that’s becoming less of an issue since the main places we (or I) would like to be are becoming increasingly impractical, and honestly, things here are looking better all the time. It’s starting to feel like the late nineties did when I was playing in a hardcore band: there’s no venues that will take us, so we’ll do this shit ourselves.

dokos July 28, 2012 - 20:41

Peep this information: While this has to do with specifically music, it nonetheless shows something significant and noteworthy, being that music and visuals are related in terms of starting a scene or having a scene. They feed each other. Akron is #10 and Denton is #1. You might want to at least give some thought about that place (Denton) just right at the tip of that golden triangle referred to as DFW. At least how it fits in with your interesting article here.

Charissa July 29, 2012 - 03:17

Kickin it from the gut! Go woman!

Christina Rees July 29, 2012 - 08:32

Mark Ruff, sweet child: Have you ever heard of Good/Bad? I cut my teeth on that shit.

Faythe Levine July 29, 2012 - 10:04

In my option this article should start: “Dear Young Whippersnapper Artists” omit the DFW, it’s national! There aren’t enough reminders in the art world about being honest to your vision, and there are never enough reminders in the world about fucking shit up.

Thank you from from Milwaukee, WI

Sojourner Truth July 29, 2012 - 13:38

You are winning the race Christina becoming more and more like Jerry Saltz everyday. Next can we expect you to take to Facebook, garnering accolades from your new adoring young fans? Or better call me a c**t 4 times because it’s easy? Grow and stop pushing your own special interest every once in a while.

Go ahead young Dallas fuck some shit up. Meanwhile, the thing that lasts and works, it’s harder and it isn’t about getting your moment in the sky or becoming the next YBA artist, it is about creating something bigger. I’ll wait. I can see now you need a minute.

Christina Rees July 29, 2012 - 20:03

…and, he’s back. Welcome.

Sojourner Truth July 30, 2012 - 11:08

*she’s. and it’s my first time commenting.

Your ego can’t handle the truth that continues hitting you in the face. Standing up and stating an unpopular opinion in your comments section is futile. Please continue your propaganda. Meanwhile, we will continue doing what works, that isn’t written about like a long line of strategic press releases, that is what makes Dallas different, and continue being ourselves – ignoring these desperate pleas for help.

mark ruff July 29, 2012 - 16:59

Of course, which is why I said what I said. The thing is is that you look to the past (AKRON) which is fine but do so and forget the present (DENTON). Denton does exist past whatever time one left. DALLAS is to profit oriented in the first place to create something rebellious and original.

Christina Rees July 29, 2012 - 20:04

Wow, it’s like you didn’t even read it. Huh. I suppose I should get used to it.

mark ruff July 31, 2012 - 01:01

Is that what you say to someone when they start making sense about something you wrote that you don’t agree with? PUUUUUHLLEEEEZE.

anon August 4, 2012 - 21:20

what IS happening in denton right now?

justin hunter allen July 29, 2012 - 19:06


b.s. July 29, 2012 - 19:56

dallas sucks. if you want to do something interesting, leave.

Michael Morris July 29, 2012 - 20:35

This is bullshit. There are interesting things happening, though there isn’t the critical mass of artists and venues as the coasts or larger cities. but things are looking up. If you want to see something interesting, make it happen. There’s nothing stopping you/us.

Tinor.Pavi July 29, 2012 - 23:40

Way to go, Christina! Both condescending AND needy. Get out there and win one for the Gipper, kids! You heard it from me!

Christina Rees July 30, 2012 - 10:28

…and he uses different “names” though they are all obviously the same person, because the voice is always exactly the same, and also happens to be the way he speaks. You know what, Richie? None of your arguments ever make any sense in the comments section, because your beef never has anything to do with the essay. Your beef with me is purely personal, and useless, and it shows.

Ted August 1, 2012 - 21:27

WOW are you paranoid! Sorry but there’s a LOT of other people in the world! And seriously, if you can’t tell the difference between one person’s individual writing style from that of another, you need sum ejumuhkayshun guuuurl! Or at least some >>> life experience <<< not that you'll get it by wearing those blinders…

Vicki Teague-Cooper July 30, 2012 - 01:00

YES! Well said. Much needed. Keep it up. Careerism has had a death-grip on the art world for too long. Doesn’t matter where you are.

john July 30, 2012 - 10:44

would land scape artists and portrait painters be included in this radical revolution CR is talking about ?

or is it just for gays and fetish punks ?

i would like to see some wild and crazy still lifes .

Titus O'Brien July 30, 2012 - 11:02

Yeah, ok, well, there is more than one way to change a culture. Anger and knee-jerk reaction without depth and a spiritual root is in the end just more noise, and we have plenty of that. The only chance our species has to survive (as for our civilization, so-called, it’s all over but the shoutin’) is to “devolve” to where we get off the consumer/aggression/egoic-triumph circuit, and do something more akin to what nearly every indigenous and pre-Conquest civilization, and true wise woman and man ever, have practiced intrinsically: connect to the Earth and cosmos and self-being with the radical depth and sufficient complexity it deserves and demands.

“Fucking shit up”? I don’t know. Isn’t it already self-evidently just totally fucked up? And who’s going to change just having the obvious shoved in their face, especially if they aren’t conscious of it already?

I think everyone would be better off helping the proverbial old lady across the street first, on your way to a wood/park/field for a run or walk, then sitting still and watching their breath for awhile next, then doing the dishes and/or laundry and arranging some flowers for your table you’ve hopefully grown in your porch garden, reading some Chogyam Trungpa or bell hooks or Patanjali or Agnes Martin or John Cage or something next, THEN and only then if there is some clear, precise, exacting manner in which to turn, slice through, or overturn something, then by all means, flip that shit. But just another angry rant or reactionary tantrum? There is a reason punk, and Devo, happened nearly 40 years ago. The kids have learned a thing or two.

The question is, what is true empowerment? When faced with the writing on the wall when I was 20, I turned to first to activism, then to my own mind, and I am hardly alone. I am convinced that we have to build a new society from the ground up. And it starts at home, and with your community. “Anger is an energy” (a quote I know CR loves) but beneath it is usually fear and GRIEF. Everyone is freakin the fuck OUT these days at some level. How can we truly creatively address an apocalypse? Because we can, and must, for that is what we’re in, yo.

Eli Walker July 30, 2012 - 13:04

I was having a conversation with a friend not too long ago and we came to an understanding on what differentiates our generation from the previous. We lament criticism that is limited to binary thinking as if our only option is do/do not, this/that. We can’t relate to that having grown up during quantum times where we fully embrace simultaneity, we want both; we do both at the same time.
As an example, we see no difference from putting up a show on the ‘white walls’ as we’ve done with Angstrom and in the same month go to a cave out in Waco to guerrilla-style an exhibition that only 5 of us hiked to (Blinking Girls). We were promptly shut down for not having permission and threatened to be arrested.
Point being, we do all these things- because we’re desperate, because we see no difference.
Yes, punk was 40 years ago before any of us were born. But do we really need a lesson on it? Give us credit that we have done our homework and sympathize with all historical movements. We research the past in order to not repeat it.

Titus O'Brien July 31, 2012 - 08:59

Every “generation” has gifts. Every generation has shadows. No generation has a lock on wisdom and non-dual thinking – that’s why so-called Buddhas, Sages, and Ancestors – and great Artists – sacrifice so much to develop some insight, live in and demonstrate some relative level of deeper connectedness, and pass it on. It’s not so easy as just being born “now” or “then.” It takes a little cultivation, practice, always. It’s not just “we’re just more groovy than you, daddy-o.” The hippies put on that posture. Then they had kids, cut their hair (mostly), learned to meditate and garden and start businesses. And so on. Eternal recurrence.

Titus O'Brien July 31, 2012 - 09:04

PS I like your paintings!

Marshall K. Harris July 30, 2012 - 11:12

A reflection and consideration of what needs to happen to Fuck Shit Up.

I lived in Cleveland when DEVO was being founded in Akron. At same time David Byrne and Chris Frantz were just out of RISDI forming “The Artistics” which was the beginnings of the Talking Heads. Mothersbaugh and Byrne had vision and the randyness to flow against the stream and create something that no one had considered before. But swimming against the stream is only part of the equation. Certain circumstances must exist to allow critical mass to gather and then as in the Movie 2010, “Something wonderful to happen.” Just fucking shit up isn’t enough. It’s important, but not a singularity. Where the “Fucking” is occurring is important. And if that is occurring in places where the determining factors don’t give a shit because nothing significant ever comes out of Akron or Rhode Island, then the effect can be quiet powerful.

In staying with the musical analogies.

DEVO was not created in TEXAS. ZZTop was. Willie Nelson was. DEVO happened in the liberal North East and the rust belt of Akron. No one gave a shit what was coming out of there but they also didn’t squash it if they didn’t understand it. And Devo didn’t see significant commercial success until their “Whip it” video premiered on this new media called MTV. They were in the right place doing the right thing and introduced to the popular masses through a radically new media which was inescapable and the sum of these circumstances generated critical mass.

If DEVO was founded in Austin in 1972 the band members would have been crucified as HOMO DEVO because the environment was not fertile or understanding of the De-evolution movement. Or they would have just faded into obscurity behind the countless other artists who are in the wrong place doing the right thing. The underground cool kids dug DEVO but it was not or would not be main stream until introduced through a different pipe line. MTV. The world of Bob Dobs sub-genius was so far underground it only existed in places that it could. WAY Underground.

I’ll agree with CR that we as artists need to be true to our work and create visionary stuff regardless of environment or where we live or where we exhibit. If we swim against the stream we must do so not singularly out of revolt but because it is just how we roll. But we must also be cognizant of the reality of our environments and where our work will be successful. Just Fucking Shit Up doesn’t necessarily mean it will be well received, understood or collected. You need to realize that some things can change and some can’t. The evolution of the art world here in our beloved metroplex and in this area of the country is very much like Darwin’s evolutionary principles – it takes a long long time and the environment is critical to that transformation. It is happening in some places. And some folks are pushing that envelope with every show I visit but until radical work is even marginally accepted and is economically sustainable it will just be us fucking shit up and gnashing our teeth and waling into the deep dark abyss. But if your intention is to just fuck shit up for the fun of it then by all means FSU.

Jenn Gooch July 30, 2012 - 11:16

The problem with Good/Bad is that we’re still talking about Good/Bad. I love those folks, but they’re getting older, and it happened while most younger artists were still going to alternative prom church parties.

Now the DFW art scene is dominated by DFW art schools, the largest of which, UNT, is a haven for makers of traditional modernist commercial drivel. There’s the obligatory minority here and there, but no one that’s going to rock the White Dude Couch Artist boat.

These school have risen in the scene for the same reason a lot of art schools have in the last decade – any artist with a little talent and no trust fund hopes that getting their MFA will secure them some financial freedom. And SURPRISE! economy implodes, there are little to no teaching positions (the working class artists’ trust fund) and you’re left with archaic skills to make things no one will buy.

The area school may on occasion attract unwitting professors who imbued their progeny with the critical thinking to examine, evaluate, and react in a meaningful and interesting way, but they are like shaman, spread thin and far to few. After they’ve built their resumé line they tend to run off to less lonely places (places where they don’t have to argue for why an art school in the 21 fucking century should have a video department).

This stranglehold the art school has had on the scene, where students are afraid to offend or, god forbid, make something non-commercial or show somewhere that isn’t in the DADA guide––this grip has been weakened by the economy. I think a lot of area artists are just too scared to call it.

“….this kind of vacuum is when it’s time to fuck things up.” You may not’ve learned how to do this during your modernist art education, DFW artists, but there is hope: start a business, turn your home into your studio, make shit your friends can afford, create events that people want to come to, live like a punk (not the Hot Topic kind), teach if you have to, work when you must, stop pretending that you’ll ever be rich and famous, save money, stop accruing debt, and MAKE WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

I’d argue that “…there is no real economy for your art….” Period. Anywhere. And damn if that isn’t liberating.

burt August 20, 2012 - 11:24

you hit the nail on the head….

Dick Higgins July 30, 2012 - 11:34

Dear Mrs. Rees: After cutting thru your condescending (and insulting) tone, we asked ourselves: What shit have you personally fucked up lately? Since we are mere children, babies really, we look to you for guidance. Please cite examples. Or, do you just sit behind the computer all day pulling the puppet strings of Dallas’ impressionable youth?

Christina Rees July 30, 2012 - 14:24

I did cite examples. That was the point of the piece. Reader.

mark ruff July 31, 2012 - 01:13

“What shit have you personally fucked up lately?” Talk about READER.

Sid Vicious July 30, 2012 - 12:22

When I was in the Sex Pistols, we used to talk about destroying stuff and anarchy, but it was just a futile pose contrived by Malcolm McLaren. Smells like you’re trying to do the same thing here. You want to come off smelling like a svengali rose, while the stupid unwashed masses riot and revolt, and your hands stay clean. Johnny Rotten said it best at our last show…”Ever feel you’re bein.g cheated?” As for Devo…wot a load of bollocks. They should be thankful that we kicked the door open years earlier for them. We bled for our audience, they went to university where it was safe and cozy. If you ask me, you should practice wot you preach missy. Signed, The Ghost of Sid Vicious

Christina Rees July 30, 2012 - 14:20

The quote was “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” btw.

Sid Vicious July 30, 2012 - 15:50

Wotever. “I’m not your Stepping Stone.”

Laray July 30, 2012 - 12:30

Cultured rabble-rouser Edward Said once remarked, “an intellectual is a responsible agitator.” I agree agitation is needed, but as Titus points out, agitation without clarity is of limited use. A “De-FSU” movement is an interesting proposal, and would imply an understanding of what exactly is in shambles and why (e.g. Potter’s “Name the System” speech).

If the message is to break out of the economic paradigm of westernized modalities of art success, then, yes.The sooner a program like that kicks off, the better.

Christina Rees July 30, 2012 - 14:19

“The sooner a program like that kicks off, the better.” A program? That’s usually the problem.

Marshall K. Harris July 30, 2012 - 15:50

Often when I read and listen to artists and intellectuals discuss our art world I get the impression that we are all just a little pissed off at how we see things. That is good because it makes us gristle within our skins and rattle around the world like ping pong balls within big tin boxes. But that has always been the world of the artsist, the creative, the academic. But in our current culture that holds reality TV shows in high regard and the extremes of race, religion, politics etc, I’m not surprised that Christina is pissed. She is very experienced and frustrated at the apparent void of culture that she is not accustomed to. No one really cares about art currently but the people who make it and a very few who choose to focus on it. That is why we have forums like this. No artists should take offense to observations. You can disagree but look for the truth in the statement before you dismiss it.
And in the the lets FSU frame of mind a song by the group KMFDM comes to mind. The following are the lyrics. It’s how I feel most of the time when I think about my chosen passion. But I do it anyway.


All we want is a headrush
All we want is to get out of our skin for a while
We have nothing to lose because we don’t have anything
Anything we want anyway…
We used to hate people
Now we just make fun of them
It’s more effective that way
We don’t live
We just scratch on day to day
With nothing but matchbooks and sarcasm in our pockets
And all we are waiting for is for something worth waiting for
Let’s admit America gets the celebrities we deserve
Let’s stop saying “Don’t quote me” because if no one quotes you
You probably haven’t said a thing worth saying
We need something to kill the pain of all that nothing inside
We all just want to die a little bit
We fear that pop-culture is the only culture we’re ever going to have
We want to stop reading magazines
Stop watching T.V.
Stop caring about Hollywood
But we’re addicted to the things we hate
We don’t run Washington and no one really does
Ask not what you can do for your country
Ask what your country did to you
The only reason you’re still alive is because someone
Has decided to let you live
We owe so much money we’re not broke we’re broken
We’re so poor we can’t even pay attention
So what do you want?
You want to be famous and rich and happy
But you’re terrified you have nothing to offer this world
Nothing to say and no way to say it
But you can say it in three languages
You are more than the sum of what you consume
Desire is not an occupation
You are alternately thrilled and desperate
Skyhigh and fucked
Let’s stop praying for someone to save us and start saving ourselves
Let’s stop this and start over
Let’s go out – let’s keep going
This is your life – this is your fucking life
We need something to kill the pain of all that nothing inside
Quit whining you haven’t done anything wrong because frankly
You haven’t done much of anything
Someone’s writing down your mistakes
Someone’s documenting your downfall

And now I must go create something that possibly only I can love.

Laray July 30, 2012 - 17:14

Agree. Meant program as in an event. Maybe even “De-programming” as programming.

joan July 30, 2012 - 13:20

Anything you have to say is overshadowed by your lack of manners in HOW you say it. You sound like street trash looking to f#@k. Get some class with your mouth and then I might listen.

Christina Rees July 30, 2012 - 14:17

Clearly you read it and care enough to comment. That’s what I call listening.

Kathy Webster July 30, 2012 - 13:41

Please come to the and x art space show opening Sept. 8 th featuring a video by young artist Nina Schwansee. And x is located near I 30 and Montgomery in Ft. Worth. The 8th is Gallery night and we will be open 1 to 9. Nina is fearless . Check it out. Kathy

Mike Scheel July 30, 2012 - 14:51

Are you trying to make a statement about the uniqueness of the art, the state of the art economy in DFW, or the need for more attitude in the community? You seem to be darting around these three points without really going into any of them too deeply. The point that was repeated was ‘fuck shit up’. I think it’s already there. I don’t see how mimicking the past can really fix the present. I for one was sick of having my past renovated and attempted to be sold back to me well before The Flintstones movie was a script. The past is over. Let the new kids find their way on their own making forging a new path. Please don’t encourage DEVO cover bands.

justin hunter allen July 31, 2012 - 10:31


Christina Rees July 30, 2012 - 14:59

You know, I think I’ll ban myself from commenting on comments. Starting now.

erika duque July 30, 2012 - 15:03

Christina is right and so far the only gallery that has been stepping out side of your white wall formal gallery and showing interesting work in Dallas is the Francis Oliver Gallery. We need more of these… with informal website and shows etc.

Sid Vicious July 30, 2012 - 17:35

Wrongo, mate…it sounds like she was directly addressing those little snot noses.

Sid Vicious July 30, 2012 - 17:51

Also, luv, it’s Oliver Francis Gallery. 😉

Michael Morris July 30, 2012 - 18:06

I wondered how OFG and other recent developments were factoring into this, as well as jcl’s comment about “quasi formal art shows”. Clarification is welcome.

Michael Morris July 30, 2012 - 15:08

Things are just starting to get interesting. Let’s not fizzle out too soon.


Chris Bramel July 30, 2012 - 18:27

This is fantastic. Why weren’t you teaching us this for senior seminar? Let’s fuck shit up. That might be the easiest message for me to understand.

mark ruff July 31, 2012 - 01:23

You don’t want wanna be punks teaching you anything but how to not be a wanna be punk.

Scott M. August 12, 2012 - 10:26

Hey Chris fancy seeing you here. We’re you recently in Florida? Art is not here stay away.

Kevin Rubén Jacobs July 30, 2012 - 21:43

little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses lit___tle snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses ( SID VICIOUS) __little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little____ snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses little snot noses … i like the way that sounds.

shut the front door, please.

it’s all we know how to do. other than what we do, we don’t care about possibilities. we do something. concrete. we do something. if it fails. it fails. but we don’t think of failing. we do things. we communicate. that’s the start of it. keep the ideas subdued or ever-present, but just think. or better yet. feel. feel.. negative (angry) or blissful, or impartial. it’s all good. We continuously create, but when necessary. is any time necessary>? whether people LIKE what we do, that’s up to them. keep it fun. keep it smart. fuck up the idea of something being fucked up. it’s not about destruction.

BUT if anything needs to be destroyed, it’s those goddamn little snot noses. they try and ruin everything…

mark ruff July 31, 2012 - 01:24

What is wrong with the DFW art scene, case in point.

Sid Vicious July 31, 2012 - 13:22

Come on mate…no need to get bent out of shape! When I was in the Sex Pistols it was an “honor” to be called snot nosed. We were a proud lot! If anything, you should take umbrage at Granny calling you whippersnappers. Also, get off her lawn you kids!

Casey July 31, 2012 - 13:37

“whippersnappers”. Such a pejorative term. It’s no wonder she is getting the responses she is getting. 1) You act like you have something to impart or teach (which most people feel this way anyways) but on top of that 2) then you come at it from a condescending angle. Someone should just stay away from trying to impart knowledge to anyone all together with that attitude. The art world is full of it. This was a knee jerk elementary article. Not much thought but a whole lot of piss. It’s okay mommas coming to clean it up anyways.

B. Diaz July 31, 2012 - 01:17

“There are no rules in the art world so long as you follow them.”

Fuck shit up. Agitate. Activate. Disrupt. Expose power structures and fuck with them. Show others how you did it. Break the rules. Break your own rules. Bring forth some discomfort for yourself and others. Inquire. Challenge ideas, beginning with your own. Be a skeptic, we are dying of belief already. Pay attention. Observe. Listen (For fucks sake listen). Converse. Too sterile? Bring in the ejections, excretions, and smear them on a wall (not only white walls or tangible ones). Offended? Tough, life is offensive. Deal with it (No, really, do something to deal with it; even small things). Art is not a church, enough with the worship and zealotry. Reminder: Expose power structures and fuck with them. Show others how you did it. Find the joints and place yourself in them. Maintain a social contract with the world. Collaborate and not only with “artists”. Get comfortable in the threshold, the in between, be a trickster. And when you’re not busy being an artist, you can make a painting or drawing or whatever it is you like doing.

Robert Boyd July 31, 2012 - 11:24

“There are no rules in the art world so long as you follow them.”

The Rules of Art by Pierre Bourdieu (

Art Rules: Pierre Bourdieu and the Visual Arts by Michael Grenfell and Cheryl Hardy (

B. Diaz July 31, 2012 - 23:10

Will read. Gracias.

christ July 31, 2012 - 02:57

I was inspired by this in a weird way. It’s really mostly praise for Devo, who rather suck now. I did fuck shit up tonight for arts sake as a result. But art is really only “good” in someone’s opinion, and it’s really only “ground-breaking” or “seminal” when some art writer or critic writes that, people who cannot even draw a stick figure. Still puzzling to me. I’ve always said if you aren’t an artist yourself, then you really don’t get it, so why write about something you have no hands on experience with, no talent with? ya know? Love you Chrissy!

christ July 31, 2012 - 03:23

Also, the Oliver Francis gallery or dick glue, or whatever it’s called this week, is a refreshing change from the pristine gallery bullshit. I like what’s happening there, but mostly it’s temporary fun and games by young artists making “joke art” (which was mentioned before), nothing anybody would hope to get any lasting notoriety over, just blog posts perhaps. Don’t get me wrong though, I make joke art, but I’m trying to make a living. I couldn’t give a shit about someone’s philosophical ramblings on my art (stuff I never thought of myself while making it, which is the case with many artists). It a strange dichotomy, similar to comparing shellfish to reptiles, which I created of course.

justin hunter allen July 31, 2012 - 10:25


Shane Tolbert July 31, 2012 - 10:45

Unapologetic fire starter. Call to arms! Feelin’ it.

josh chrisman July 31, 2012 - 13:30

Some of you Glasstire writers are pretty emotional. Thin skin is a creative person’s worst enemy. You don’t have to reply to every whiner who would rather read about themselves.

Casey July 31, 2012 - 21:33

Its the condescending and patronizing tone I am against. I could give 2 fhhuhks about seeing my name in the lights.

Ricardo Paniagua July 31, 2012 - 14:32

The thing about art is that it’s been around much longer than rock n’ roll.

Sid Vicious July 31, 2012 - 15:10

Oh, right mate. You’re that rastafarian bloke, yeah?

Ricardo Paniagua July 31, 2012 - 22:02

not in the least.

Ricardo Paniagua July 31, 2012 - 22:13

but yes, i am the guy you have mistaken for being rasta

Sid Vicious August 1, 2012 - 10:37

Ohhh, roit! You’re that lot that smears paint all over his overalls. A bit like Dexy’s Midnight Runners, with fake Culture Club dreads (since you’re not an actual practicing Rastafarian we can only assume this is part of a cleverly contrived costume or pose). Pop music really went down hill after I died, I’ll tell you that much. Wot wif the MTV an all that. But, I get your “look”. When Malcolm McLaren put the Sex Pistols together (Yes, just like the boy bands of today), he also gave us costumes to wear from his shop. Of course, the style of clothes he outfitted us with went along wif the whole public personae thing he was trying to get over on people. I’ve seen your work tho…it doesn’t go with your look, mate. All those straight lines an’ geometric shapes…you’d be better off with a smart haircut and a pinstripe suit. All neat like. Maybe you should get a crazy girlfriend like I did when I met Nancy Spungen. She was a crazy bird! It might help you sell more records, err, art. Cheers mate!

Ricardo Paniagua August 1, 2012 - 19:26

Errrrr. thanks for the air time! I agree. My work does not go with the pot smoking rasta persona some choose to see me as. I say. Most people in the olden days had dreads because the lack of hair products on the market. Anyways. My adventure in life is generally as an observer. A poderer. What I make is the result of curiosity. All that set aside. Cheers mate!

Ricardo Paniagua August 1, 2012 - 19:27


Sid Vicious August 2, 2012 - 14:55

Cool story bro…

God July 31, 2012 - 14:57

Dear Followers,

My Son is a dumbass.
Joke art is still totally cool.

Your God

Eyeballtheater July 31, 2012 - 15:55

Who wants to be Die Antwoord when they grow up?

christ July 31, 2012 - 20:03

Aww, I’m sorry dad. I knew this. It’s so Dallas!

Michael Morris August 1, 2012 - 00:14

Frankly, I’m bored with this comment thread. I’d like to explore an issue part of the article raises (also addressed here in this article on the LA Moca: ). CR and this article point out a prominent trend that is arguably part of this “downhill trend” not only in art, but in the entire public sector: everything has to be run like a business and the public funding for institutions from museums to universities to social security is being systematically dismantled. This is one cause among many that opportunities for artists are so scarce, as the article points out.

So, if we are to exhibit our own work at our own cost, form our own spaces, collaborations, and institutions (which I instinctively feel we should regardless of the economic situation), are we undermining the system (“fucking shit up”) or are we perpetuating this trend of eliminating what’s left of a public sector (since we’ll do it ourselves without pay, why reserve public money)? Should our fucking shit up take another form? What might this look like?

I’ll be honest, I’ve never given a thought to selling work, and most often only given fleeting thoughts to grants or awards (though I have applied for a fellowship here and there) because I support myself with teaching, but obviously this isn’t a sustainable model for the number of people getting out of art school.

Celia Eberle August 1, 2012 - 16:35

We are witnessing the collapse of major systems at all levels. Do any of us know how to stand on our own two feet in an earthquake? I think it’s too early for even the most quick and nimble to figure out where to stand. Those who manage to survive with some resources will be the ones with the power to do something. Till then, party on. It’s going to be a long night.

Eli Walker August 1, 2012 - 16:37

I agree with this thread getting tired. We haven’t seen a flame war like this since The State of the Arts review. The difference here is that OP started the conversation in a negative tone and the comment section seems to have a better grasp of the situation. Please, before you start opining for a change in the arts, take a look around. After all, isn’t this whole punk-rock posturing what gave rise to Jeffrey Dietch in the first place? One would think this call-to-arms opinion piece would put Rees in line with Dietch. A subterfuge of angst and spectacle that drowns out real introspection. The whippersnappers have learned not to fall for those tricks as a prerequisite.
But there’s another problem: who are you talking to, OP? Or more importantly, who are you not talking to? There are plenty of collectives in this city to explore that isn’t OFG. Our group (Homeland Security) moved to this city because we saw a very positive potential here. And we quickly found others: including OFG, there is Studio Don’t Fuck This Up, That That, Dick Higgins, IDMOCA- and there’s more and more coming up. So much, that we have been able to network ourselves in to a super-group called SCAB that has connected with other cities. This isn’t the “underground” either. We’ve met with Michael Corris, Art This Week, Observer, many gallerists, fellow artists and critics- even f/d luxe sought us out before Glasstire, and we invited Glasstire. We were told artists shouldn’t contact the publication directly, there’s a protocol for this type of thing.
Nate Hitchcock pulled a lot of strings and took a lot of risks to put on a show called Blinking Girls in a cave outside of Waco. Seriously, we almost got arrested out there. Only seven people showed up including his parents. The rub is, Blinking Girls was listed on this website as a “must see” show. Where was the follow up? How much activism do you support?
I’m sorry, I hate this urge I have to make a comment, but it’s this type of attitude that keeps Dallas in arrested development instead of moving forward with what it has. OP, your sentiment is worse than being hypocritical- it’s just plain lazy.

Ricardo Paniagua August 1, 2012 - 19:31

A lot of folks put on smart shows but people dont go because we are beings of habits and herds.

Gerry S. Pressing August 1, 2012 - 23:56

You shine bright with arrogance & have amazing name dropping skills! I like the fact that you think being sought out by F/D luxe has any significance. So full of energy & fresh out of school! Tell us what art is in our fair city! Teach us.

Kelly Klaasmeyer August 3, 2012 - 16:13

Hey Eli,
I’m really sorry if someone somehow gave you the impression that artists – or anyone – shouldn’t contact Glasstire directly. That is not correct. We love hearing from artists, they send us info about their shows all the time. The point of the site is to keep people informed about the visual arts in Texas – not to be some snotty gatekeeper. We can’t let people know what’s going on if no one contacts us. Information should be sent to [email protected] and my email is [email protected].


Sid Vicious August 1, 2012 - 10:59

Christina Rees = Dallas’ Malcolm McLaren?
From wikipedia: In the film The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle, McLaren claims to create the Sex Pistols and manipulate them to the top of the music business, using them as puppets to both further his own agenda (in his own words – “chaos”)…
Hmmm, sounds familiar, donnit? All I know is that when we (The Pistols) played in Dallas I hated it. Just a bunch of drunk cowboys and rednecks. Can’t imagine much has changed. -The Ghost of Sid Vicious

Charlie August 1, 2012 - 12:11

CR, I enjoyed reading this. It is the first article of yours I’ve read- quite passionate. I find it fascinating that the gentleman that has the personal problem with you can’t spell awesome and uses the wrong homonyms.

Kallie Jean August 2, 2012 - 03:28

I really like your article, Ms. Rees, and I trust that if you had the balls to write it, you have thick enough skin that Mr. Ruff’s (and similar) comments such as “It was dumb. Really. Nothing to see here folks. It’s pure cliche” will not penetrate it with their non-constructive, juvenile, sour-grapes approach to criticism. What an inarticulate bully! Any intelligent reader will know that one cannot encapsulate beliefs about an entire industry (art), generation, or Art (visual) in one brief article, but you present an excellent summary and gritty motivation. This reader thinks you hit a nice vein. This comment section, which I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I read, does three things for me: it makes me admire you as an honest writer who is clearly doing more-constructively speaking-than most of these terrible commenters; it makes me question the validity of free speech (mostly [only mostly] joking with that one); it enabled me to realize the problem is neither with the artists nor the curators, but it is with the viewers. If the viewers of great art are the people who commented on this article, certainly we are all doomed. I offer this advice to our much-younger artists: seek the quality viewers over the dumb masses. Also, I rather like your appropriate use of strong language. Nothing superfluous there. You used foul language to get your point across. I will do the same. Fuck you, Mark Ruff. And FUCK YEAH, Ms. Rees! FUCK. YEAH.

Marshall K. Harris August 2, 2012 - 23:21

Opinions are like arse holes. Everyone has one and most of them………..
There are ways to articulate a point of view and it doesn’t require belligerence or crass commentary to do so. Just sayin. When we stop calling names and throwing rocks maybe we will get somewhere. I personally am disappointed. But you kids carry on!

Steven Cochran August 3, 2012 - 15:55

Wow, This is troll city. First, I have to say that Christina Rees and I are not friends. In some ways, I feel that makes me a better judge of her article.
What I have always admired about Rees is her honest, heartfelt reactions to whatever subject she is talking about, right or wrong. This time, I think she is absolutely right and the kids would do well to listen to the crux of her message.

anon August 4, 2012 - 21:17

what the hell are you people talking about? the tone isnt ‘condescending’ at all. CR speaks here with a certain amount of authority, sure, but whats wrong with that.

Shes a smart woman who knows her shit. nothin more annoying than a bunch of white dudes getting defensive when a woman tells them whats up. deal with it. who cares if you dont like the ‘tone’ or even if you dont like her. cr is calling on you, the artists, to do something. Probably because she gives a shit and has been busting her ass for decades to build DFW into an exciting art scene and id be willing to bet has put more energy and personal risk up toward that end than 99% of the people reading this.

and dude, mark ruff, dick higgins, eli whatever the fuck – the last thing cr did to fuck shit up was write this post! duh. shes not an artist – its her job to call you out and shes doing her job just fine- are you doing yours?

al anon August 5, 2012 - 00:16

Note to self: Stop whining that the future depends on listening to your elders and then asking us to rebel. The problem is she seems to be ignoring the fact that there is already a whole lot of good stuff going on here. She needs to be praising that and not getting on her high horse and saying that the kids need to listen to Devo for inspiration. We need to listen to Crass and not some Whip it sellouts that made one good album before turin into a bunch of marketing whores. And I use the term whores in a gender neutral manner. So don’t start whining about it like a punk.

anon August 6, 2012 - 08:13

without a doubt CR is showing her age a bit by using devo as her point. and I also agree she could have even used local examples to do the same, but that doesnt make her wrong – it just makes her older. And though there is obviously always SOMETHING going on – there hasnt been the same kind of art/music energy in the golden triangle since the late 90s. these things eb and flow, go in cycles, maybe an elder who has seen it come and go is thinking to herself (along with the rest of us) – we’re late – its feeling about time to bring it back.

so yes – celebrate what were doing right. but dont sit on your laurels – time to whip it!

joan August 6, 2012 - 10:19

If this is what I have to do to get noticed in the art world, I don’t think I want to be a member of your CLUB…

Jeff August 7, 2012 - 06:24

CR sounds like she’d be much happier in Brooklyn….

Darryl Ratcliff August 7, 2012 - 13:03

Enjoyed the article. Here are some additional thoughts:
“It’s Too Damn Hot: Six Cool Ways To Rock The Dallas Arts Scene”

grassfedart August 7, 2012 - 17:14

Well said.

Douglas D. Martin August 9, 2012 - 13:42

I loved this article when it first came out. I had no idea the firestorm of comments until yesterday (I guess the only way to be notified of followups is if I comment as well). What a fun (and frequently disappointing) dialogue that followed. Who knew that Glasstire’s newsletter extended both to Heaven and Hell?

I’m old enough to know many of the Good/Bad Art Collective folk from my time at UNT. A Psych/Spanish major who made the unknowingly uninformed choice of going to Denton to get off the drugs of the 80’s, I made many friends from both the art scene and the music scene there. When I graduated in 1992 and came back to Dallas, I dedicated my free time to managing and booking bands and clubs for over 11 years through Musselhaüs Productions, co-founded with UNT music school alumni. Christina was very generous with providing press for our bands (The Mussels, the pAper chAse, Hi-Fi Drowning, Trailer Park, Fury III, et al) during her stint as music critic for the Dallas Observer and the Met, and for that, I thank her immensely. Already obsessed with Andy Warhol, Basquiat, and their contemporaries, I started volunteering with the DMA and started collecting art (though for a long time I thought I was just buying stuff until it started getting out of control). I learned about DIY back when my bands still had GeoCities and AngelFire webpages. Having never really making any money from the music scene (a side from booking shows for Run D.M.C. and Skynyrd, it was a lot of tax-deductible drinking), now I volunteer and am on committees and boards on over a dozen art-based organizations. I maintain a public Google Map of the local galleries ( so I can attend dozens of art openings and events a month and still buy art, even though it often ends up in piles in my house, under my couch or bed, behind bookshelves, or wherever.

What is made obvious in this passionate tirade is that our art scene is currently segmented:

You’ve got your old artists that did not go to art school that are either bitter or not, depending on their interpretation of their own status in the scene they are still passionate about being included in (yes, I sometimes take the time to Google the names of commenters I don’t recognize). You’ve got your old artists that went to art school here and maybe got their MFA’s. Of these, some of them stuck around to teach and some left Dallas and maybe returned disenfranchised by the uninviting art scenes of NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. You’ve got the new generation of art students (the whippersnappers) who are blessed with a seemingly unequaled set of passionate and educated teachers who either cut their teeth locally or brought their MFA’s or PhD’s here. There’re the (gutter)punks that think they can make art, the street artists, and the life-time art students who befriend these whippersnappers. Professionally, there’re the gallerists that somehow survived the passage of time selling their abstract glass and brass sculptures and 2-inch thick oil paintings and the gallerists who encourage challenging, often local contemporary artists. And then there’re the staff of the local art institutions, the independent curators, and the journalists and art critics–all of which most people don’t know. What remains are the collectors, the casual buyers, and the simple fans of art (and/or free wine). Maybe I missed some subgroup, but that seems to be the scene.

With maybe the exception of visits during the Art Fair, upper level staff and trustees of the art institutions and collectors rarely make it to see any emerging art shows. And, as I mentioned in my comments on The State of the Arts and on the “research results” of Creative Time, neither do the competing gallerists. This disconnect from the scene is important to note. Older teachers and writers may hang with whippersnappers and wax philosophically over drinks at Amsterdam or Meridian, but because of their institutional ties, they are afraid, as Jenn Gooch mentioned above, to criticize in print, and often they miss shows. Even though I take tons of pictures of the art I see and not of the people, I am aware of who is going out to see what.

Yes the whippersnappers and little snot noses talk a lot of sass here, but I do see a lot of individuals and collectives that are fucking shit up–a lot of it DIY style. While a lot of it is just shit (sometimes, if at all) polished by seemingly erudite justification, I still appreciate the effort. And that effort, coupled with a discussion of how we encourage the cohesion and collaboration of the remaining members of the scene, is what we should be talking about here.

Sebastien Boncy August 12, 2012 - 11:55

Christina, I don’t know from Devo, but you’re starting to sound like you have a YMCMB record coming out. I can appreciate that.

justin hunter allen August 12, 2012 - 12:18


justin hunter allen August 12, 2012 - 13:18

where’d the beef go?

Michael A. Morris August 14, 2012 - 00:43

I should let this thread die, but I have to say I miss the final “fuck you” that left a kind of punctuation on the whole thing. I think it was called for. There can and should be a useful antagonism between critics/curators and young artists, and this post provide something like that. By useful antagonism, I mean that the writer gives us a provocation to push against and create out of opposition. Isn’t that what we as artists live for? Helen Molesworth, when she curated the recent exhibition “This Will Have Been”, chose to curate the issues she identified in the art of the ’80s into what she called “problem ideas”. I love that term, and I think this is how we should choose to view instances like this when we have an opportunity to push back against a problem that has been raised or created.

I don’t write this necessarily in defense of this particular post, but against the kind of unproductive bullshit that has filled the response. I hope that more productive conversations have taken place offline, because god knows we didn’t get very far here, with a few exceptions.

rick August 18, 2012 - 02:30 Reply
Christina Rees August 18, 2012 - 08:57

I’ll break my own rule one last time.
You know what, you little fucks? You think everything you do is happening for the first time. Guess what. Your progenitors could wipe the floors with your ignorant, spoiled asses. If you don’t have natural intellectual curiosity, you’re dead in the art world. Most of you objectors are making terrible, pathetic work, and yet you think you’re entitled to what?
There’s the beef, you history-ignoring babies.

Justin Hunter Allen August 18, 2012 - 21:03


Eli Walker August 19, 2012 - 00:56

I’ll put this in four words (with a four-letter word)
think of it as Haiku.


Vicki Teague-Cooper August 18, 2012 - 12:37

Tell it girl! Natural intellectual curiosity is dwindling to the point of extinction. And the sad thing is, most don’t even know it is missing. Instead, Proud Ignorance is rampant, resulting in a thin mono-culture…scratch the surface and there’s nothing under there.

the joanna's dad August 19, 2012 - 11:56

we currently have an iPod on mars. (intellectual curiosity)

Scorn August 18, 2012 - 13:09

Fuck getting weird Dallas, get to WORK.

Weird is a tired pose, a game of Calvin-ball where art comes down to an endless round of he-said/she-said.

Dig into your craft, spend 100 hours on a piece of art instead of pissing out something ‘weird’ to overturn the system. That lazy bullshit is the system.

The punk revolutionaries of 40 years ago succeeded by addressing the shortcomings of what came before them. We cannot advance by miming their revolution a second time.

Great article CR, I agree that the lack of commercial opportunities is a golden time to break with the past and make something new, but I think ‘fucking shit up’ has been packaged up and neutered – time for a new way forward.

Michael A. Morris August 18, 2012 - 16:00

This emphasis on history is interesting. A warning:

“Do you, then, wish to waste all your best powers in this eternal and futile worship of the past, from which
you emerge fatally exhausted, shrunken, beaten down?
In truth I tell you that daily visits to museums, libraries, and academies (cemeteries of empty exertion,
Calvaries of crucified dreams, registries of aborted beginnings!) are, for artists, as damaging as the
prolonged supervision by parents of certain young people drunk with their talent and their ambitious wills.
When the future is barred to them, the admirable past may be a solace for the ills of the moribund, the
sickly, the prisoner… But we want no part of it, the past, we the young and strong Futurists!
So let them come, the gay incendiaries with charred fingers! Here they are! Here they are!… Come on! set
fire to the library shelves! Turn aside the canals to flood the museums!… Oh, the joy of seeing the glorious
old canvases bobbing adrift on those waters, discoloured and shredded!… Take up your pickaxes, your axes
and hammers and wreck, wreck the venerable cities, pitilessly!
The oldest of us is thirty: so we have at least a decade for finishing our work. When we are forty, other
younger and stronger men will probably throw us in the wastebasket like useless manuscripts – we want it
to happen!
They will come against us, our successors, will come from far away, from every quarter, dancing to the
winged cadence of their first songs, flexing the hooked claws of predators, sniffing doglike at the academy
doors the strong odor of our decaying minds, which will have already been promised to the literary
But we won’t be there… At last they’ll find us – one winter’s night – in open country, beneath a sad roof
drummed by a monotonous rain. They’ll see us crouched beside our trembling aeroplanes in the act of
warming our hands at the poor little blaze that our books of today will give out when they take fire from the
flight of our images.
They’ll storm around us, panting with scorn and anguish, and all of them, exasperated by our proud daring,
will hurtle to kill us, driven by a hatred the more implacable the more their hearts will be drunk with love
and admiration for us.
Injustice, strong and sane, will break out radiantly in their eyes.
Art, in fact, can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.”

Joshua von Ammon August 18, 2012 - 20:13


-=[ head up butt ]=-  2/01

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         \           /
           |   |   |
           |   |   |
           | –|– |
          _|   |   |_
   jgs   ( |___|___| )
          \___| |___/

Joshua von Ammon August 18, 2012 - 20:41

                 .-“””””” – .
          .’                     ‘.
       /        O      O      \
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      |                                     |   
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       \       ‘             ‘   /
          ‘.                        .’

aliceleorabriggs August 20, 2012 - 12:07

Getting back to the original article…it’s a conundrum as the point seems to be that having a ‘career’ in visual arts is a sellout of some kind. The author prods (young DFW artists in particular to)…and I quote ‘fuck shit up’. In doing so, it is implied that if a person is impolite enough, sufficiently irreverent, one may acquire an untainted ‘career’. Either way, ‘career’ appears to be the endgame.

Posturing of any sort is tiresome to me. Life is short. I believe in working. I am 58, live and work in Lubbock, Texas, so of course I am clearly not young, nor interesting. And certainly not to be taken seriously regarding these matters.

I really think the author means well, by the way, but the assertions presented are not anything new.

HJ BOTT August 22, 2012 - 03:01

All sounds like 1950-early 60’s bitching about the scene. Get a life. There is something called Art History. Couldn’t make it through all the whinny posts, Echolalia!!!!

JH August 24, 2012 - 15:48

Wow, this article really drew the goofballs out of the woodwork. The whole point she was making about Devo is that it is an example of something beautiful that came out of nothing, and she is encouraging us to do the same. Texas is full of rich people who can afford Art, but too many of them choose to fly to NY to buy Art. Why? There are several answers to that, but one is that the artists there aren’t spending their time being bitter and crapping all over anyone who dares to write about Art. Instead, they are participating in the Art scene and being productive. Another is that there is more media coverage of NY artists, which gives buyers a sense of reassurance that what they are buying is relevant. Some of you naysayers are quite verbose and opinionated. Perhaps you are too bitter to be artists, but you could at least grow a pair and help the rest of us out by becoming Art writers.

paul beck August 27, 2012 - 15:01

URGENT Extra needed to appear in The Lying Game TV shoot
this is where we are at today:
from Austin craigslist
today Mon. 8/27
Third Coast Extras is seeking a Male or female Extra ages 18-40 with a real punk mohawk hairstyle (not a faux hawk) and dyed mohawk is best, for a scene shooting today Monday, August 27th. You must have your entire day open. Call time is in the morning in downtown Austin. This is for The Lying Game TV Series on ABC Family Network. Pay is $75.

Submit a current photo and your contact phone number to us with the subject labeled “MOHAWK HAIR” ASAP. We’ll call you with the details if you fit what we need. Thanks!

Duke M. Horn August 27, 2012 - 16:29

Everyone is always seeking validation. Isn’t that the endgame? I’m sure there’s exceptions-precious few, BTW, CR is still right on the money after the smoke clears and points to glaring health issues in the art community almost too numerous to outline.

Adolfhitlersghost January 4, 2014 - 03:50

You know, zer vas no von who fucked der shit up like I did. Ve really, really fucked ze shit up, unt ven I zink back I really vish zat I hadn’t. Voops. You know, zometimes, ven ve are young unt ve do ze crazy zings it is becauze ve are zinking dat der ist no tomorrow. Unt zen you go to zleep unt tommorrow izt today unt you are viz ze gun in der mouth in an underground bunker beneath your demolished dream city. You know vat I mean? But I vaz an artizt myself unt you know how ze artizt’s are. You know, zometimez I zink to myzelf zat ze score zat ze critics unt der entertainment papers write izt all off. Maybe zer really izn’t anyzing zo zpecial about der Miley Cyrus. Maybe zer are lotz of really amazing people all around us who never really got ze luck to be ze Justin Beiber or der Paris Hilton. Maybe Lady Gaga didn’t invent Halloween. Maybe ze vorld is FULL of der interesting and vonderful people unt maybe our priorities are a little bit out of ze wack. Maybe fame ist not zo important unt maybe vat is important iz not being a famous person but juzt being a mensch. It izt gut for Christina to tell der children to be brave unt to encourage zem. Ztill, I zink zat a lot of ze art has gone undergound. Zer ist no market to support it zo vy should der children perform for us like zome kind of marionette? Bezides, vould you really appreciate zer vork anyvay? Maybe ve are all zo focused on ze stars all ze time unt ve miss zer forest for zer trees.

Iva July 5, 2015 - 22:22


– I enjoy formalizing work AND making a mess.
Don’t choose between fucking shit up and being polite. Do both; do whatever you want.

– Hitler’s German is sehr schlecht

(sorry I’m 3 yrs late)

Justin Hunter Allen July 7, 2015 - 10:20

3 yrs late? lol no this thread will never die. it’s the glasstire zombie apocalypse:



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