Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Planes, Explains, and Automobiles ... CAA 2009

Well I made it to L.A. The drive from the airport to the hotel was longer than the flight from Oakland to Los Angeles, and as the hotel is a fair distance from the convention center, it looks like a lot of time is going to be spent standing around waiting for shuttle busses. I was torn tonight between heading off the the Gala and just going to bed at 8 pm, but I wound up not doing either ... I was digging my room service when my delightful co-curator called and I wound up whipping out a curatorial statement for the show ... which is only fair.

(My co-curator is quasi-famous in Second Life, where his avatar goes by the fabulously schizophrenic name of Rubaiyat Shatner. He is kind of the embodiment of that dichotomy. I like him very much. His avatar calls himself a Futurist. I once knew in real life a delightful person whose literal job title was "futurist," he was frequently hired to speak at conferences I attended on future trends and their potential impact on a particular industry. He once told me that the thing he liked best about being a futurist was "by the time the future gets here, the check's already cleared.")

Anyway, working on this show has been an eye-opening experience in a lot of ways. There are some astonishing technological feats on display, both as artwork and as the guts of the show's mounting, which is in and of itself something of a work of art. One of the best things has definitely been the friends I've made among other artists ... people who are geniune, fun, interesting, smart, and open. I'd met other artists in Second Life before, and found them to be clique-ish and slightly snotty, very much members of an "in crowd" performing for other members of the same "in crowd."

In the wise words of my new friend Mencius, "those people are NAIRL." (Not Artists In Real Life. Okay, so that's a little bit of an in-joke in and of itself, sorry.)

The other eye-opening thing is that these people seriously seem to have NO IDEA about promotion. None. Not a droplet. Not an iota. Zero. Zip. Nada. Maybe I just don't understand the crowd, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to run one of these puppies myself from beginning to end just to see what would happen if things were well and seriously promoted. Maybe my keen interest in New Media needs to expand into a more active role in the New Media Caucus. Maybe. (In my copious spare time, no doubt, but there we have it.)

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