Archive for the Ah Boston... Category

Platform 2, out of Cambridge, MA, is organizing a Failure Support Group on February 29. Here are details:

What: Failure Support Group
Where: Democracy Center
45 Mt. Auburn St, Harvard Sq., Cambridge, MA
When: Friday, Feb 29th, 6:30PM

When a scientific experiment fails, this is useful public knowledge. When an art project fails, it is generally to the great embarassment of the artist/s involved and any public discussion is consciously avoided. But what might we learn from discussing our artistic failures? What is so horrible about failure? Why does our culture cover it up with such vigor? American culture glories in images of success, upward mobility, achievement. At the very least a homogeneous normal is acceptable, but what is lauded is a relentless progress towards success. In the face of this, how do we deal with our failures? Do we have to see them as worthless or shameful? Can failure be recouped as a space for resistance, individual growth, or a stand for culture that embraces difference?

Platform2 invites you to a one-night, participatory support group to see what we can learn from our artistic failures.

How it’ll work: Each person gets 5 minutes to present their artistic failure. Bring visual support materials on a thumb drive for presenting from a laptop computer.

Note: We can only accommodate 20 presenters, so first come, first served. You may also attend to listen as long as you will share some of your own failures in the group discussion.

Light refreshments will be served.


Meanwhile, the Belmar Lab’s exhibition “Failure,” has now set its roster of artists (and “36 Artworks About Failure”) and the space is preparing for the opening. Details:



Cheese Cubes
Cheap Wine
Heartbreaking songs of love performed on the oboe
The sounds of Red Hook, NY
36 Artworks About Failure

Dress badly and keep your expectations low. (Ours are.)

Failure is an exhibition that considers the artistic implications of disappointment, rejection, malfunction and breakdown. Artists chosen for this exhibition were asked to consider different ways to depict the concept failure, offering, perhaps, a critique of what we are commonly told is right.

Failure features new works by artists Bill Amundson, Stephen Batura, Drew Beckmeyer, Francessca Berrini, Luke Best, Sam Brown, Chris Buzelli, Gemma Correll, Ian Dingman, Kiersten Essenpries, P-Jay Fidler, Nicole Gordon, Pamala Henderson, Bob Jewett, Rusty Jordan, Gary Kachadorian, Mister Koppa, Jeremiah Maddock, Wes Magyar, Butch Mann, Amanda Marie, Max Miceli, Lauri Lynx Murphy, Lori Nelson, Robyn O’Neil, Eric Ottinger, Qi Peng, Mike Perry, Liliana Porter, Julia Pott, Courtney Reagor, Daniel St. George II, Jay Taylor, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson. Co-curated by Ethan Jantzer and Adam Lerner.

Join us. What’s the worst that can happen?

Some arts organizations in Boston recently, on January 13, staged a “die-in” in response to a report on the arts economy of Boston published by the Boston Foundation. Called “Vital Signs,” the report, which was released on December 19, suggested that the directors of “struggling arts groups” should perhaps be seeking “exit strategies.” According to the study, while large institutions such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Museum of Fine Arts remain healthy, smaller groups are “losing audience and struggling to balance their budgets.” The Foundation suggests that an organization “whose vision has either dissipated or lost its resonance with its audience or supporters” should consider shutting down.

Apparently, at the “die-in,” which took place in an alternative gallery space in Cambridge, a self-proclaimed group of “artyrs” drank Kool-Aid as a symbolic protest to the report. According to Boston Globe reporter Geoff Edgers, leaders of Boston’s small arts organizations had a lot to say to the Boston Foundation.

“The report takes a very naive position in the end,” said Jurgen Weiss, executive director of Snappy Dance Theater. “What I take from it is, ‘Look, here are these big organizations. They’re big. So they must be good. And all these small organizations are having trouble keeping afloat. So by some kind of Darwinian process some of them should die off.’ ”

Kathy Bitetti, an installation artist who heads the Artists Foundation, [said]:

“They don’t fund us, they never have, and they have no sense of who we are… Unfortunately I think this report does more harm than good. They’re looking at a corporate model. Instead of spending money on these reports, they could actually be funding organizations.”