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POPEYE, SCRABBLE, RADICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
MARCH 13, 2007 11:22 AM

I have spent over 30 hours removing Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Dick Tracy from old comics - leaving only the word bubbles left. This is all for an artist that I am working for who is preparing for a show that opens the 19th, thus the urgency. I'll say more about this once it opens.

I never realized all the gender and class issues going on in these comics, especially with Popeye. There is one series that I worked on where Popeye announces he is the "Dictitator," and is constantly talking to himself about how best to fool the "sheeps." Sound familiar?

Aside from spending ridiculous amounts of time photoshopping Olive Oyl's knobby knees out of the picture, we've been playing scrabble like addicts. Jdawe who tends to flaunt his knowledge and grasp of the English language somehow never wins, and Emma - who is most modest in her approach, tends to always win.

Most of the time we have been using the online Scrabble dictionary for word challenges, but it'd be nice to have a secondary slang dictionary. Any suggestions?

I'm currently taking a class on the history and the theory of the avant-garde, exploring the different developments and appropriations of the term; from the Russian constructivists, dada, Clement Greenberg's "Avant Garde and Kitsch," etc. These artists and groups of people aren't all necessarily "avant garde" in the same way, but there does tend to be a common theme; the avant garde cannot exist without the bourgeoisie. Without the money of the upper class and the "umbilical cord made of gold," as Greenberg calls it, the avant garde would cease to exist. In terms of this history, it is exciting to think about the potential of InCUBATE; we are a group dedicated to understanding infrastructure and creating alternatives to relying on corporate sponsorship, private loans, grants, etc. These ideas are also alluded to in the article about Chris Gilbert on LAMB, creating a "radical infrastructure," or rethinking the ways in which institutions work, as Brian Holmes would say.

Are the arts administrators the new avant garde rather than the traditional artists? With separating themselves from outside monies and creating a self sustainable infrastructure, can we still use the term avant garde?

I won that board.

jdawe | March 13, 2007 1:31 PM

tony and i had long talked about how great we were at scrabble and wanted to play sometime. we played once (one on one). it was a dead tie and we used all the tiles and followed all the rules. we will never play each other again.

kevin | March 13, 2007 4:17 PM

I've believed for a while now that more study of Arts Administration and an increase in profesionals who want to work with art (rather than artists who just took a job at a museum or managers that just happen to work in art orgs) is the only thing that can keep exciting and genuine art in the public.

Without someone doing "Arts Merketing" the only thing available to the public will be is Marketable art. If you don't believe it, try to see a cutting-edge movie in GR someplace besides the UICA or Wealthy.

This is already the case with older forms of art, like opera. Sure, the bulk of the patrons are well-off, but without a whole bunch of dedicated arts administrators, I don't think anyone would ever see opera.

Anthony | March 13, 2007 9:09 PM

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