Of late, I’ve been tracking my submissions to various art shows, fellowships and grant competitions, and I gotta say, I don’t know if formal application procedures work anymore!!!! I’ve had some very interesting talks with friends/colleagues of late about the state of affairs in which we pay to be considered for various opportunities (whether it be the gallery charging an application fee or the usage of application management systems such as Slide Room) and/or — once accepted — expected to cover one’s own incidental costs, which was the case with the recent New Museum Street Festival. What does this say about our field? Are the cumulative – yet minor – successes of crowdfunding giving our institutions an excuse to stick it to us and have us bear an additional cost for producing artistic and intellectual works and thought?
I just received two new rejection notes this past week, one for the Round Hole, Square Peg invitational (for which I paid $25 to apply) and the other from the organizations inviting a writer to participate in the Ideological Guide to the Venice Biennial project. Since I frankly like what I proposed to both outfits, I’ll share them here — my proposal to Round Hole, Square Peg and my proposal to the Ideological Guide project… And, it was only a couple weeks before that I got a no-go from the Arte Util competition from the Queens Museum of Art. While most of the things I apply to do not cost money on the front end, I’m starting to look more critically at the time I spend trying to make my ongoing – typically longterm – projects fit the parameters of the seemingly prolific mill of competitions. Is it all just a lottery system?
PS, I had some fun a few weeks ago prepping for a conference presentation … I’d heard so much about organizations using ‘dashboards’ to monitor their effectiveness that I took a stab at developing my own dashboard … check it out here!