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How Not to Handle Controversy You Invited Upon Yourself – ArtPrize at The BOB

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

ArtPrize Controversy at The BOB

As ArtPrize opens in Grand Rapids, an actual controversy has finally broken out.

It’s not the usual controversy (ie art snobs being upset that “commoners” are allowed to express opinions on what constitutes “good art).  It’s actually controversy over work considered to be obscene. Read more…

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With @artprizeworst, Artprize has Officially Arrived

September 23, 2010 1 comment

Artprize Worst Logo

Mentions in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are nice, but the way you can really tell that Artprize has arrived is that there’s now a site devoted to lampooning the “worst” entries in the “open” art competition.

The blog “Artprize Worst” (and accompanying Twitter account @artprizeworst) appear to have gone up a week ago, and have begun publishing critiques of some of the entries in the 2010 Artprize competition ala Regretsy (parodying the craft ecommerce site Etsy).

A Sample Artprize Worst Post

I personally think that tributes like this are more important in the era of social media than mass media endorsements.  Here’s why: if someone is taking the time to catalog your foibles, it means you’re doing something well enough to not only be noticed.  More importantly though, it means your effort reaches a level of quality worth having an opinion on.

That’s the intangible quality that communication professionals thirst for.  It’s the reason so many actors long to be parodied on the Simpsons.

A Sample Artprize Worst Post

Hopefully the site won’t get shut down by legal action; giving a forum to this sort of opinion (which exists whether or not anyone files a cease and desist order) is valuable and can ultimately make the whole experience of an event like Artprize richer.  It also gives exposure to works that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

If I had an entry listed by Artprize Worst – I’d proudly wear that as a badge of honor signifying I was worthy of comment.

We should all be so lucky to have critics.

Unintentional Social Media-Enabled Collaboration: A Proposed ArtPrize Entry

August 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Idea for an ArtPrize Entry Using Body Scanner Images

I posted an article on my Facebook feed about the discovery that US Marshalls have secretly kept tens of thousands of body scanner images.

A colleague, Paul Jendrasiak (@pauljendrasiak), jokingly commented “I think they will be used for an ArtPrize entry hahaha.”

It’s a brilliant idea.

An artist could set up a full-body scanner and have ArtPrize participants walk through it – then project a display of their scans up on the side of  a large interior wall/projector screen – or better yet; the side of a building.  It would also be easy to automatically upload the content to a Flickr gallery and create a living, breathing exhibit online (where discussion could take place).

The work would be a great commentary on a variety of things 1) our Victorian notions of privacy (particularly if the images were depicted outdoors where everyone could see them which would likely cause those uncomfortable with nudity to object – fitting given that a large proportion of those same people are also supporters of unrestricted government surveillance), 2) obesity in the US, 3) government surveillance and individual rights…

I love collaborating with social media.  The accidental stuff is sometimes the best.

[Thanks to Cornell University College of Human Ecology for the body scanner image incorporated into the mock-up.]