The Not So Final Hashtag Night (please!)



That was a very special month and it wouldn’t have happened without Jen Dalton and William Pohwida’s foresight and certainly not least for Ed Winkleman’s. There was a point midway when I saw some on-line-joke to Ed ‘how to run a successful New York gallery into the ground – give it to Jen and William for a month!’.


Well, the project certainly broke many moulds, and now as all has been tidied away and the walls are bare of chalkboards ready to be graced by art after the constant etching of views and sentiments during the previous month, it can’t have done the Winkleman gallery any harm. In fact while the whole project was a virtual freebie from Ed, and his business was effectively on hold the fact that the whole premise of the events were essentially only about art and not product was a breath of fresh air in these days of discussions and media articles based around so and so’s new book launch or film or whatever.


I explained to a friend that I wouldn’t be able to go to a local award do, and my nights from Wednesday to Sunday suddenly became proper stay at home, because there were so many interesting events keeping me pinned to the computer (note to me; 3G/wireless phone on wish list) with sometimes not just a cup of tea to hand but matchsticks to keep my eyes open (Oh to have been in New York time) well New York actually, but I’m not complaining because a 1 in the morning finish isn’t that bad.


But sometimes with 3×2 hour stints in one day I was glad I had some recorded because I just wouldn’t have been able to have taken it all in.


I guess Jen & co. are really up to speed on that one because they seemed to breeze through very energetically. In fact that is what I felt right through – a vibrant energy – so much so when the final stream was switched off, I felt a sharp umbilical kind of wrench, a definite ’now what’ feeling which was thankfully quickly followed by lots of ideas and what-I-was-going-to-do-next.

The final Rant night was exactly that no slushy goodbyes or luvvie tear jerking moments – just full on rant (I now think I understand the term angry New Yorker) and this was a bunch of artists here! not that there was animosity but it was certainly animated, full on and humorous.


So, I will return to many of the discussions soon, but for now I will leave you with a cross section of the vibe of the last four weeks in one-liners:


On Labor Class (a talk about workers who help fabricate pieces of sculptural art in a foundry):

“Some workers didn’t think about what they were making as art. It was just stuff for rich people”

“That’s very sad – The fabricators were never told when the openings were, for the pieces they made”

On why The System Doesn’t Work:

“Problem: even top artists struggle to make money. In other industries, this is not common”

“Artists do power & maybe it can be leveraged in ways other than increasing their sale prices”

“We in the art world are somewhat responsible for inaccessibility of the art world”

“Problem: all the money is concentrated at the top. Pyramid has a very large base”

“There is a lot of bitching going on. That’s what you get when there are no guidelines to payment requirements”

“Could have called the project sour grapes or life isn’t fair, but we didn’t. Keep coming back to payment for art labour”

“If you haven’t broken by age 30, wait till you’re 60 – what does that mean?, stop showing stop promoting, stop dreaming?”

“Fundamental misperceptions in tonight’s discussion: 1 making art is parallel to putting out fires”

“Artists have MORE fucking power than ANYONE in the system: sites Jasper Johns”

“Artists are living a dream. There is a choice here”

On Man Bartlett’s imminent Balloon bursting:

“Balloon cave YES!”

“Starting to realize that the combination of ustream, twitter and Man Bartlett is shifting the possibilities of performance art”

“I want to buy the balloon project, install it in the MMFA but you have to insure that they wont deflate over time”

“Yes! Getting closer and closer! It’s going to be LOUD on the feed”

“Jerry Saltz is helping pop the balloons”

“Watching Man Bartlett and The Happy Gallerina makes me wonder why like events don’t happen anywhere else in the country?”

“Save the balloon scraps. They are a historical record”

“Yey! Awsome!”

“That was a strange and cathartic afternoon”

“Between your pumping (balloons over 24 hours) and Jen’s chair dragging it’s been great!”

Balloons film of film

On Zachary Cohen’s talk on Social Media as Flattening Agent:

“its more important to me to have 10% of something than 100% of nothing”

“Establish trust in the Art world by “suiting up” and showing up”

“Trust, so long as everyone is who they say they are, social media is good for business and art. Transparency”

On Various topics:

“And I quote: Sorry. We couldn’t decide”

“Being authentic means having a point of view, while recognising that your truth is not THE truth, leaving room for others to speak”

“A wise man once said an uneducated man makes a great painter because he tackles art with a fresh mind?”

And on the Final Rant:

“My rant is that this (project) will be over way too soon!”

“Make Better Art!”

“Art is not a luxury. You just don’t realize you consume it every day and need it to survive”

“We need to adopt the apprenticeship method again and bypass the university completely!!”

“MFA = Mistress of Fuck All”

“Some people couldn’t paint if their lives depended on it – it’s not in their blood they pretend and its really wallpaper!”

“I have been saying from the beginning…guilds, unions, work as a tribe…and allow disagreement”

( One participant on explaining her frustration as an older woman still not having made any dint/money etc in the art world expressed; “In fact I am SO pissed off I’m going to break into an aria” at which point she broke into a pitch perfect rendition of the final scene in Tosca (I think) saying “And we all know how that ends!”

“You are lucky! You’re artists living in New York and living the dream!”

“Get a part time job!”

“Just bumped into Jerry and Roberta walking arm in arm on tenth avenue. So cute. After the storm (hashtag project) back to normal life”

“Art needs to make friends”

: )

Winkleman gallery

Back on Wednesday …..