Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Boston Art Awards: Yokelism

We live in a wired world, where much has become decentralized, and many hurdles to participation have been lowered. The Boston Art Awards, an open-to-all project organized by a local blog, marks a great moment for the place of our alternative wired press – and the web in general – in our art community.

Still the art world remains focused on the closed Circuit of Away biennials and art fairs and New York. But with the money that is the lifeblood of this Circuit evaporating, perhaps now is the time for the art world to have a webby decentralized moment too. It’s the moment for folks like us in the provinces – the yokels.

I invite you to join my proudly provincial movement, which I call Yokelism.

The Boston Art Awards are focused on exhibits organized here – and especially on art made here in New England. They are a sort of argument about what we value here. They look back to where we’ve been but also point to where we’d like to go. They identify the sort of ideas, the sort of spirit, the sort of crazy amazing stuff we’d like to see more of around here.

The Boston Art Awards are also meant to be the beginning of a discussion. A discussion I hope all of you will join me in here on The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research and in various forums over the coming months. A discussion about why art made here matters. And how can we better support the cool stuff that we do. And incubate more amazing stuff. And so produce more terrific stuff to make our art scene more exciting. And in turn make our New England community more thrilling and more nourishing for everyone who lives here.


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