Re: serious work

Dawn Stoppiello (
Sun, 7 Sep 1997 14:13:57 +0100

I've been hiding out but...ok, well.

(sorry its so long...once again i am a hypocrite and broke my own rule on
length...but, you don't have to read it.)

Here are my thoughts:

On "serious work" I agree with Imma that it is not the content or even the
execution of the work that makes it "seroius" it is the belief in the thing
and the depth of your own examination of your intent that makes you serious
and thusly makes the work serious. Perhaps Richards reaction is his feeling
that the piece (which I also did not see, so am limited in how I can
respond) lacked a kind of "serious" depth of examination of the issues
concerning the internet/technology/computers/machines ...whatever Sarah's
content was for the piece. It is often hard to know how deeply an artist
has delved, sometimes we can only see their depth if we are fond of the
work and we recognize our own search/exploration in the work of the one we
are watching.

Perhaps Richards reaction (or rather, my interpretation of it) is in
relationship to the ever increasing hord of folks who want to jump on the
art/tech hype-wagon (Sarah, I am not saying you are doing that) and skim
some attention off the top of those who have been working with combinations
of art & technology for years. Of course, there have to be for-runners,
pioneers, whatever who pave the way for the next set to make there work
without the same kind of difficulties that the previous group had...maybe I
am wandering.

I also want to support whoever said that anyone delving into this medium
should be supported. It doesnt matter if there are "bad" works out there as
long as there is work out there. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has
one. Also, I don't think Sarah's piece will hurt anything or anyone - she's
didn't make a bomb, she made a dance.

As far as going public with your opinion on this list serve, I say yes! It
takes alot of guts to tell someone how you really feel about their work and
I think it shows that you respect that person more than if you told them a
simple one liner. How many of you have heard "oh, it was...interesting" and
known that the person really had problems with your work? I usually don't
want to get into a critical discussion right after a gig, but I will ask
people for their honest opinions and if I can talk to them about it later.
I always want to know exactly what people think of my work. It is often
painful to take a "harsh" critisism but I learn a hell of a lot more from
the one who is willing to tell me how it is for them then the one who says

I think it was right for Richard not to go direct to Sarah because I think
the point of this list-serve is to have these kinds of "harsh" discussions
that we all need to be having if we want to be "serious" about this work
and learn from each others perspectives and styles. Sarah can (and might!)
tell Richard to go to hell, or she might hear something in his critisim
that will help her to make her next piece with more consideration and new
knowledge. She might do both.

I feel a bit of guilt as I say the part about "the point of the list-serve
is for US to be having these discussions...) because I have not
participated in a discussion for months. That is because I often get
intimidated by the language and sometimes, I simply do not understand what
people are saying. But I have been reading and trying to crack open my
little skull and fill it with new words, new thoughts, new perspectives. I
find it amazing that a few years ago I felt like a lone dancer in a sea of
computer-music professors and techno-geeks (said with love and respect) and
now there are many, many dancers in the soup with me. I'm sure you've been
around all along but it is nice to feel connected to you all through this
list even if I don't chime in that often.

And, specifically for Stephen who has a big piece coming up that some of us
will see: would you like to hear constructive critisism and if so, would
you prefer that it come to you personally and not via this list? I have a
feeling the list will want to be involved. What do you (collective you)

Keep it coming-

Dawn Stoppiello / Artistic Co-director / Troika Ranch /
416 W. 23rd Street #3D New York, NY 10011 / 212.691.9547