Quality Control: Communication, Part I of II

An essay on the ingredients of a visual art scene/community in outline, diagram and equation form.

Communication + Infrastructure = Longevity

I. Communication. How does an artist get oriented in a community? How do we meet each other? How do we find out who is conversing? About what?

A. Artist <-> Artist Venues

1. Non-mediated, informal relationships, outside of a facilitated mission

a. Multi-artist studio space
b. University

i. Undergrad/Grad student <->Professor
ii. Student <-Student
iii. Professor <-> Professor

c. Internships

i. Intern <-> Intern
ii. Intern <-> Mentor

2. Informal relationships, but still outwardly/actively building (i.e. somewhat facilitated)

a. Internet media commenting: blogs, webzines, Flickr!,  MySpace, Facebook, craigslist
b. Attending opening receptions, open studios, artist lectures
c. General frequenting of bars, coffeeshops

B. Facility <-> Facility. Defined as galleries, museums, arts organizations, universities, schools, classes, art-related businesses (supply/framing/installation/print shops), artist collectives, government entities. How does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

1. Direct contact through email, letters, phone, press releases
2. Conferences and meetings
3. Public information through the Web, printed art guides.

C. Public <->Public. Public is defined as an individual not participating in the spectacle at hand. How do viewers discover art? Where do they take in art criticism/reviews? Where, and do they discuss their own opinions?


1. Opening receptions
2. Meetings/lectures/talks/conferences open to the public
3. Classes
4. Print and online media listings
5. Formally planned public spaces such as murals, sculpture and landscape art
6. Alternative spaces

a. Accepted: offices, restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, waiting rooms, motel rooms, hair salons
b. Assaulted: so-called street/guerilla art or graffiti on electrical boxes, poles, walls, sidewalks, dumpsters, overpasses, billboards, water towers, etc. various circumstances in the urban landscape

D. Artist <-> Public. Must be mediated. Why? Unless an artist is having an exhibition or open studio at their home, there must be a mediator/presenting space for this interaction to take place.

1. Artist talks, panel discussions and lectures
2. Open studios and demonstrations
3. Exhibitions, shows, events
4. Street/guerilla art
5. Public art
6. Online and print media, marketing
8. Classes
9. Artist mailing lists

E. Artist <-> Facility

1. Curation
2. Gallery representation
3. Open calls for submissions and proposals
4. Facility mailing lists
5. Seminars, conferences and workshops for artists
6. Purchasing memberships in an organization or institution

F. Facility <-> Public

1. Education

a. Classes, art schools, workshops
b. Lectures/talks
c. Demonstrations
d. Kinetic/experiential learning through installation

2. Interactive experiences

a. Collaboration between viewers and artists on a piece
b. Exhibits in which the viewer is the subject, or allowed to influence the finished art or be the artist
c. Experiences in which the viewer can see the finished piece of art created in front of them

3. Memberships

a. Business sponsorships
b. Individual membership perks


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