Get Visual is the proud recipient of a grant from The Christos N. Apostle Charitable Trust

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A new direction for Get Visual

When Get Visual began in late 2008, I purposely included the words "and beyond" in the tagline, so its mission would not be unnecessarily restricted - I wanted to retain for myself the possibility of writing outside the lines of Capital Region visual arts.

Until now, I have used that freedom sparingly - most often to address something in the arts realm beyond our regional geography or, even more rarely, to venture into a topic area not focused on art at all. This is about to change. The reason? I'm questioning the worth of art criticism in a time of economic, political, and social changes so vast (and fast) that it is simply impossible to keep track of it all, much less keep up.

So, in addition to the usual art criticism, I will use the pages of GV to explore my voice as a social critic. There are a lot of things on my mind - no doubt they are on your minds, too. Let's talk about them.

Here's some of what to look for in this space in the near future:

Gripes, complaints - and questions

We're living in a culture of complaint. Is there any way to stop the growing tendency of entitled young Americans to try to whine their way to the top? (Example - today's Academy Awards boycott effort by frustrated black actors and their supporters.)

Enough screen time already!

This is my dilemma (definition: a difficult or persistent problem). How to address the issue of too many eyes and brains spending too much time staring at little screens without using the little screens as a way to reach those eyes and brains?

Why can't we all just get along?

A  lot of smart, talented, well-meaning people (including myself) put a huge amount of effort into creating the current version of the Honest Weight Food Co-op, a beautiful grocery store and community pillar that employs more than 200 people and has over 12,000 members - yet, a few months ago, the Co-op was subjected to a hostile takeover of its board by an insurgent group representing a few hundred voting members. This group now behaves like the Soviet Politburo. WTF?

You call that disenfranchised?

In Albany recently there was a second vote on whether to approve bond funding for improvements to the high school. It passed, narrowly, amid some confusion at the polls - apparently, the organizers of the vote underestimated the turnout and were caught shorthanded on ballots, a situation that was eventually corrected, but not before a bunch of impatient brats decided they were being purposely "disenfranchised" of their right to vote. Inconvenienced, yes, but to think there was actually a conspiracy to manipulate the outcome of the referendum? Puh-leeeze! Yet, Albany County Comptroller Mike Connors won't let it go.

Photo Regional comes full circle

The 38th Annual Photography Regional reminds me a lot of the first ones. Are we making any progress? Does it matter? Review to come.

Cut to the video

OK, so it appears some people started a fight on a CDTA bus, then decided to report it as a racial assault on themselves, and eventually ended up getting charged with assault and false reporting to police. So many ways stupid - but the part I can't wrap my head around is how in 2016 did three collegiate 20-year-olds not know this was all being captured on video?


Robbie-Bobulon said...

It'll be interesting to watch where this goes....

I'd stick to Art if I was you...
In today's climate this sounds and looks like a way too easy way to get misquoted out of context and then getting skewered, lambasted, tarred & feathered and then fired from your job.

Just look around the internet, my good friend of 40 years, It's happening EVERY DAY to well meaning, sincere, likable, basketball playing, white middle-aged gentlemen such as yourself.

What are you looking to accomplish anyway?

david brickman said...

Rob - You have a point. Actually, you have several points. I heard a guy on the radio recently who was a Teacher of the Year, wrote a blog, and then unknown people waged a campaign against him by producing massive quantities of out-of-context quotes from his blog to make him look like a pervert. They failed to get him fired, but it sounded like they ruined his life for a long while. I don't worry I'll end up like that guy, but it did cross my mind as I was contemplating this move.

Still - it seemed so sad to have arguments about art with other people who love art. What's the point in that? I decided I might rather talk about something wider-scale. It's a search for meaning - not a means to accomplishing anything. We'll see how it goes ...

George Guarino said...

Stick with art David. I'm interested in what art shows you bring to our attention. I'm much less interested in reading about your opinions on social issues unless it relates to the art. Just my 2 cents. G

George Guarino said...

Looking forward to your visit to the Tang for Borrowing Light. I loved the show. How fortunate they are to receive that collection.

david brickman said...

It's on my list!