[NetBehaviour] We won't fly for art : Take the Pledge

Pall Thayer pallthay at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 13:26:50 CEST 2009

In addition to what Simon said, I think you're also oversimplifying
the idea of "revitalising [the] [local scene]". The local scene here
in Reykjavik is very "flat". I work here with a small organization to,
not "revitalize", but rather to "vitalize" this scene as it has never
been anything other than "flat". It's highly unrealistic of us to
attempt to reach our goals on the merits of our work alone. This would
be nice but there are a couple of reasons why this is unrealistic. For
one, showing that there is an international scene adds a lot of
legitimacy to our claims that this type of art is relevant and
worthwhile. Another reason may perhaps be a bit more "Icelandic". The
Icelandic cultural scene has always been afraid to acknowledge things
that happen in Iceland that can be said to be new and different unless
someone else does it first. A very good example of this is that The
Sugarcubes were practically unknown, except within a very small
underground local music scene, until they hit the charts in the UK.
After that, Iceland was finally ready to accept them and what they
were doing. The same sort of thing happened with Olafur Eliasson. Very
few people in Iceland knew who he was or what he was doing until after
he was recognized abroad even though he had exhibited several times in
Iceland (he's never actually lived in Iceland). I can't think of a
single well recognized figure in the Icelandic art community that
didn't first receive recognition somewhere else.

So, for these reasons it's important that we network outside of
Iceland both to make contacts that we can bring to Iceland to show the
community here what is happening elsewhere and to make names for
ourselves outside of Iceland so that the community here will be more
receptive to the work we're doing ourselves.

In other words, we can't "vitalize" or "revitalize" the local scene
without traveling abroad and this is widely recognized as can be seen
by the numerous travel grants available within the Nordic countries
and Europe expressly for the purpose of "networking".

best r.

On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM, richard willis
<listservs at richtextformat.co.uk> wrote:
> hey all
> i took this pledge, but it's easy for me as i barely get any time to
> dedicate to art as it is, the idea that i would have the time and money to
> fly somewhere to see it is almost absurd. for some of you guys it looks more
> challenging, and it really the challenged that should be taking this pledge.
> for me it's like saying 'i pledge to carry on pretty much as i already am
> doing'.
> if you really need to fly to the art, because you live in rochdale or
> reykvavik or whatever and the local scene is a bit flat, perhaps you should
> be putting energy into revitalising that local scene, rather than spend time
> surfing for cheap flights to new york.
> r.
> 2009/4/16 Tim Cowlishaw <tim at timcowlishaw.co.uk>
>> On 16 Apr 2009, at 10:10, helen varley jamieson wrote:
>> > yes turning off lights & appliances, & not overheating buildings, is
>> > just as (maybe more?) important as reducing flights & driving. i don't
>> > have the stats but i understand that even turning off things like
>> > computers & stereos at the wall can make a difference.
>> I think the point is though, that it's not an either / or. We need to
>> be doing all of the above, and urgently. If people's personal
>> circumstances make this difficult / impossible that's a seperate
>> issue, but we can't really be using energy efficiency in some areas to
>> jsutify extravagence in others - it's basically the same offsetting,
>> but on a personal scale, and it doesn't work.
>> Cheers,
>> Tim
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Pall Thayer

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