Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sitelines Art Fair: The Extended Horizon

Today I received word that the Sitelines Art Fair will not be taking place as scheduled for the weekend of May 16-18.
As I understand it, potential issues with the selected venue, a low number of confirmed participating institutions and the sands of time have all conspired against the fair being held right now, although perhaps something can be rescheduled for later in the year.

I was skeptical when I first heard about the plans to organize an art fair here. The viability of plopping an art fair in the area didn't make sense to me, but I began to see the potential a couple of months back I heard Carl briefly discuss some of his ideas about the concept of this fair that, in my interpretation would seek to frame a context for art activity endemic to this region. When I talk about activity endemic to this region, I'm not talking about a cultural isolationist, root for the hometown "Aw man, our artists are just as good as those bigshot snots and if they won't let us join their party, we'll throw one of our own" kind of backyard boosterism. I just think there's a case for place which can hold water in this current state of affairs. Given the seemingly ever more homogenized traveling art circus that is wearing grooves into the global art circuit, a Hudson Valley-centric gathering that includes galleries and institutions from around the area can have import. It's ironic that so much contemporary art deals with the importance of place, and experiencing the specificity of a site while a major driving force of the marketplace has such an opposite relationship to engaging with space. Hello Cleveland! er, Detroit? you rock.

I'm envisioning Dr. Who travelling around in art fair booth.

I can see where an event such as Sitelines could serve as a gravitational point for the artistic activity in the region; a chance for the semi isolated cultural outposts dotting the valley to convene and connect - And do so without necessarily reverting to an orgy. (I lived in South Beach for 3 years. I've seen parent-teacher conferences revert to orgies down there.)
Imagine, part art fair, part comic con, part plushie parade all right here. That'd be so hot. (Indeed, if such a wonderous convergence were to happen, I hope we'd be ready. Just in case, Art Fag City has a test to sharpen your senses.)

What adds vibration to many of these convergences are the activities that orbit the fairs. Ultimately, I think the success of Sitelines, when it does happen, will depend on the multitude of energies of many independent efforts that speak to the level of esprit d'art in the surrounding environment.
In any case, there's still certain to be loads of that esprit d'art being spread thick that mid-May weekend, as Habitats for Artists will have some doings going on over at Spire Studios. I imagine that the Electric Windows will still be on tap, and who knows what else.
Hell, we're even planning a Maykr potluck Brunch, and yer'all invited.

Update: here's the latest on events in Beacon for the weekend of May 17 &18.

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