Tuesday, January 23, 2007

check out my interview with Telegraph

Check out my interview with Telegraph in Real Detroit Weekly (with pics):



The telegraph was the first form of electronic communication that could be sent long distances. In years since, the boom in technology has made it as simple as an email to give quick notice. Humans want to be understood and to send ideas into the world. Artwork is no different in that artists hope to communicate to viewers what they are feeling or an idea that they hope to unleash. Telegraph Art Collective is a group of artists based in Detroit, though many of its members have spread out across the country. Their current exhibition at Oakland University Art Gallery runs through Feb. 25.

Playing an electronic version of paper telephone (er, telegraph) Real Detroit communicated with Telegraph to show how thoughts and ideas can change and evolve between people; much in the way that looking at art can be interpreted differently and spawn new ideas. The first member got this sentence over email: “Why Detroit and why have a collective?” They responded and then forwarded (“telegraphed”) only the last sentence of their reply to the next person, and it went on from there.

These are the results.

Hartmut Austen: Detroit. I like the sound of the name. It sounds French. For an artist, Detroit’s a big playground. I can’t say, living in the ’burbs, that I care too much about the region. I’m not a Detroit artist. I am an artist living in the Detroit area. A collective helps to look beyond [one's] own plate. I just realized that I have been living here as long as I was living in Berlin. I love Berlin. I don’t love Detroit. But I respect it.
Haley Renee Bates: I’m pretty removed from Detroit these days. The lasting impression that I brought from there is the utter contradiction that the area embodies. Contradiction offers entry into a much broader dialog, regardless of the subject at hand. In the case of Telegraph, it is present in individual artwork and in the group as a whole. Contradiction does not necessarily indicate a lack of cohesion; rather, it leads to a more engaging and exciting way of interpreting the world.
Fabio J. Fernandez: Seven different artists will have their own set of concerns, in the context of a group exhibition, the intersection of these often leads to new dialogue, new beginnings.
I am curious to see how Telegraph develops. We have discussed including architecture and design in one of our ventures and have been approached about contributing to an arts/culture magazine in a non-traditional fashion.
We have been able to marshal our energies in an effort to push forward, I wonder how and where we will push next …
Brent Sommerhauser: It’s exciting not knowing that. It’s incredibly flexible. In addition to my own work, I can speak enthusiastically about the work of these other six artists that I respect professionally and personally. We all do that; and we could wind up almost anywhere next year. Without an actual place for much of what we do, our meetings are infrequent, but full of focused response and inspiration. This is where we fantasize wildly about what’s next, hungry for potential.
Brent Sommerhauser: It’s exciting not knowing that. It’s incredibly flexible. In addition to my own work, I can speak enthusiastically about the work of these other six artists that I respect professionally and personally. We all do that; and we could wind up almost anywhere next year. Without an actual place for much of what we do, our meetings are infrequent, but full of focused response and inspiration. This is where we fantasize wildly about what’s next, hungry for potential.
Tom Lauerman: Is Christian is asking us (the reader) about our New Year’s resolutions? Personally, my resolution is to simplify my daily life. I’m frightened by how difficult it can be to take a step back and look at your own situation with some degree of objectivity. Last week in Detroit I had the good fortune to begin a series of conversations with mentors, friends, students and strangers. I came out of my shell a bit, and Detroit saved my life.
Shannon Goff: Each one of us has been “saved” by a fellow Telegraph member at one time or another. ”Picnic for Fabio” is inspired by Fernandez’s extensive thermos collection, but also constructed as a thank you for his generous help in the past. I realize it is a portrait of Fabio ... smooth and sleek, appreciating and pushing design and function, carefully assembled, humble with argyle sweater vest to boot. Honing in on the details and idiosyncrasies of each other ... I could make a portrait for each member ... perhaps that's where I’ll start next. RDW

Telegraph Art Collective • Through February 25 • Oakland University Art Gallery

More info: http://www.telegraphart.com/.

detroitarts pics of show

11 Comments:

Anonymous chris said...

Why does this Harmut guy keep slamming Detroit?! He did it in the catalog a friend showed me. And he does it here. It's like he's embarrassed and he has to keep reminding us he's a Berlin artist not a Detroit artist. Like it's something dirty.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

awesome article, ann. thank you for doing things like this!

(come on, people - let the woman know she's doing well!)

7:58 PM  
Anonymous john said...

I'd have to say I agree with Hartmut about Detroit.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Detroit. I like the sound of the name. It sounds French."

It is French, you shithead.

Ann, honestly, most of the artists you're coming up with lately are so weak that it isn't even fun to ridicule them anymore.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous kevin said...

hey anonymous,

why do you read this site, then? worried you'll miss out on learning about a new-to-you "weak" artist?

get lost, moron.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous m. said...

kevin: the anon has a perfectly valid point. a quote like that is deeply embarrassing for the interviewer, interviewee, the publication, and the general audience. Pointing that out doesn't have anything to do with one's choice to read/not read a blog.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous kevin said...

m. - try reading the second part of the anonymous post. that's what I am addressing. the poster is saying ann is posting "weak" artists. that's a subjective statement. if the poster believes it to be true, why read the blog? why comment?

*and*

as historically ignorant as harmut's comment may be, it does not indicate anything about his art, nor does it affect its impact or lack there of.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous hey-soos said...

m.:

you're blaming ann for accurately reporting what her interview subject said in response to her question?

ever heard the phrase, "don't shoot the messenger"? look into it.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous chris said...

What Harmut says in the catalog is much more haunting... Detroit is a place to get away from art, to meditate and be alone as an artist.
Or to that effect.
And maybe he is right. It seems everyone is out for himself in this town.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous m. said...

Hey-soos (cute), I'm not blaming Ann, but any journalist would cringe if their interviewee made a statement like that. Sure you can still choose to report it, but unless carefully handled it makes everyone look less intelligent.

Kevin: one could pose the arguement (and there was, in fact, a heated arguement between Todd and some others under another post) that the artist should/could/may/can be considered in conjunction with their art. In that case, Harmut is shown in this instance to be far from clever, and geographically unaware. This is especially of concern if he is working in the Detroit area and yet trying hand over fist to pretend he's somewhere else. It leaves the impression that Chris pointed out at the very get-go of this discussion: "It's like he's embarrassed and he has to keep reminding us he's a Berlin artist not a Detroit artist. Like it's something dirty." I mean, if that's the type of profile he wants to portray... I would just think it to be counterproductive: "Detroit Sucks! / Detroit, please support my art...."

And to preemt the upcoming comment: YES, whenever I've moved to a new place (city, state, country) I've taken the minimum amount of time to learn about the area I've just moved to. Especially if I want to be successful in that market (which is usually the point of moving somewhere, isn't it?)

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So maybe we can assume that Hartmmut isn't familiar with Detroit's origin, but to say that he "slams Detroit" just because he said, "I love Berlin. I don't love Detroit," is a bit hyperbolic. It's okay to live in a place and not love it. He's just being honest--as opposed to so many "Detroiters" who love it with pure defensiveness. There is nothing wrong with aligning your identity with your place of origin, the place that shaped you. Detroit is not easy to love. Especially when so many of its defenders are so unaccepting of those who bring a different perspective.

10:33 PM  

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