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  • Michael Masucci 23:21 on 19/12/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Building multi-generational communities 

    One aspect of my project/practice that has been difficult/interesting to navigate so far, is maintaining the older arts communities that I have worked with over the decades, ( many of whom only occasionally utilize social media) with the younger more social media-centric communities. Such integration will be a challenge, and as with most challenges, a creative opportunity as well.

    • Vanessa 08:42 on 20/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Michael, this is a really interesting space. As a new media dweeb, I’m always amazed by how many artists have very minimal online footprints: some don’t have websites at all, others do but aren’t present on many of the spaces that are “basic” to me.

      What I’ve learned is that we all have the place or places that “feel like home” to us. If you want to have a conversation and you really like F2F over coffee or beer, then you gravitate to the places and people who facilitate that. If you do or don’t like Facebook or blogs or Vimeo or any other on/offline space, that becomes your community.

      If you’re someone with a message you want heard, then you can’t expect them to come to you, you have to take that message to all relevant media where publics you want to reach can be found. That can be a lot of work, but at least conceptually it’s easy.

      What’s a little more conceptually complex for me is the idea that if I do or do not frequent a particular type of watering hole, that’s going to influence the people that are part of my sphere. Katrina told us at the last hangout that she deleted her Facebook because it took too much time / attention / focus. I’m probably too much of a media whore to actually delete FB, but I don’t spend much time there. For me FB is the place where even smart people say banal things. vs, eg, “The Well” (which is actually before my time, but “so I hear…”) was a place where you took time to craft a really compelling response. On FB even smart people become banal. On The Well you sounded smarter than you were IRL.

      On the other hand, I have a few really smart friends who, for reasons I don’t entirely get, pretty much only communicate on FB. So if you want to interact with them, you have to go to FB.

    • Michael Masucci 19:32 on 20/12/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, you are so right. When The Well (which was not before my time) was in its heyday, for the most part, only ‘tech savy’ people had it. Professors types, scientists and artists associated with tech/art groups such as SIGGRAPH. Just having a thewel.coml email address gave the pretention that you were ‘smart’. Thos days are behind us.

      Your comment that, for example Katrina stopping FB (as for the most part I have well), is another cultural trend to take note of. You so correctly point out that not ustilzing one of the numerous spaces that are in cyberspace, means you basically do not exist to that community. That has always been the case even in proto-digital communities ( i.e. BBS, web 1.0, etc) and especially before that, in the world of print media. If the ‘recognized’ art press did not write about you, then you did not exist, at least not in the so-calledc ‘art world” ( a term I find offensive, art is not a world but more like a series of unrealted feudal states). So, as you said, if you want to communicate with some people, who for whatever reason only communicate on FB, then that;s the platform you must take.

      With so many of these emerging and declining platforms out there, the decentralization of the past reasserts itself, in some ways. I realize that through search engines and multiple feeds to your Twitter, FB, Pinterist, Youtube, etc., etc., etc, distribution channels does automate the need to repost, over and over again, but marginalization does seem to be trending forward for more analyitcal and critical discourse.

      I’m not being pessimintsic, only observations. In general I think the trends are very, very positive. But those friends of mine, who, smart as they may (or may not) be,find FB, Twitter, etc, boring still need to be raeched in more tradional off-line ways (yse, I like meetinf F2F over beer, coffee, but more becuase I like beer and coffee and prefer to be talking to someone interesting wjhile I’m partaking).

      But, like you, most of the people I know are living more and more online, and I also must adapt my daily routines to find more time each day to interact this way. For decades email has done this quite effectively, but the change that was brought about by people like ( among many others) Dave Winer is now ubiquitous, and if that is the way that information will essentially be distributed, everyone I know must also accept this simple truth and must adjust accordingly.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts, they are always very helpful and appreciated.

  • Michael Masucci 02:22 on 03/11/2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Phenomenology, some experiential art pioneers 


    Thanks again for continuing to build this online community.  I hope this new site of your becomes used by this community that you are building, and continues long after the MOOC we are part of is completed. That truly would be proof that the course was worthwhile and effective.

    It occurred to me after listening to Kozel’s talk, how much of the contributions of underground artists, and thinkers has been, in shaping contemporary art theory and discourse. Some of these were already notable in academic circles, but many other key people are only now beginning (often very late in life) to achieve the recognition that they always should have enjoyed.
    (More …)

    • Ciara 18:07 on 03/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

      Michael, thank you for sharing the video of Barbara T Smith’s extraordinary final performance. I found it incredibly moving: particularly the passing the mantle of her work to her trusted, younger friend and colleague. The sense of dignity with which Smith enacted her ritual, combined with the healing affect reminded me of the work of Alastair MacLennan. MacLennan resists the term “performance” preferring to describe his performances as “actuations”. He has lived and worked in Northern Ireland since the mid 1970s and is currently a Research Professor in Fine Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast. Immersed in some of Northern Ireland’s cruelest and bitterest moments, MacLennan made “actuations” that served as a poised and poetic counterpoint to the surrounding violence and offered healing possibilities within the peculiar rite of the performance. Thank you both for introducing me to Smith’s work and reminding me of MacLennan’s today.
      Hope you are enjoying the tail-end of the weekend!
      Best wishes,

      • Michael j. Masucci 23:46 on 03/11/2013 Permalink | Reply


        Thanks so much for taking the time to write your reactions to Barbara’s piece and to introduce me to the work of Alastair MacLennan. Through sites such as this one, we can all better inform each other about such artists.

      • Vanessa 22:53 on 04/11/2013 Permalink | Reply

        Amazing pieces Michael, thanks for bringing them – you must have such a vast archive!! 😀

        All 3 were precious insights and yes, I agree with Ciara that the Barbara T. Smith mantle passing was really a sweet and beautiful piece. It’s wonderful to be sharing these pieces here… and… with Studio West finally opening and revealing whatever it is pretty soon… perhaps you’ll also be able to post them in “Your Studio” there!

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