Monday, September 1, 2008

The confluence of artists and firearms

A reflection on blog as form, pursuant to a conversation with an artist about donating a trip to a rifle range for charity.

Last year, the artist Robert Goetz donated the experience of shooting guns with him to Poetry Scores' annual Experiential Auction fundraiser. I really like that idea - I like the confluence of creativity (artist) and violence (firearms), and I'm of the mind that the 2nd Amendment should be cherished just as much as the 1st. This country was created by and for people with guns. Confront your inner militiaman.

But Goetz is an artist, you know. He needs to come up with new things, to evolve and create. Not for him, the same exact experience in 2008 that he donated in 2007. Also, it was on him (as a Poetry Scores board member), to wrangle a donation out of the artist Kim Humphries, who directs installations at Laumeier Sculpture Park and is a big deal (bigger than Goetz, Goetz seems to think, but others of us see more in Goetz than Goetz seems to see in Goetz).

So, Goetz combined the artist's need to evolve and the board member's requirement to recruit Kim, and he came up with this:

"One thing to add to my experience - Kim Humphries and I will be tag-teaming the gun range event. We've agreed to create a joint experience where the LUCKY winner (or highest bidder) will have the opportunity to investigate the characteristics of many more firearms. Along with the hands-on experience, the highest bidder will recieve a collaborative work of art (between Kim and I) in DVD format. This DVD is extremely limited in production and will contain the artists' assessments of their gun collections. We hope to add provenance to our arsenal, as well as to debunk any popular myths associated with our firearms. The piece will reach from practical issues to personal, anecdotal tales. There is also an opportunity for the LUCKY winner to participate in the DVD production."

This LUCKY thing all in caps is meant to be self-deprecating, Goetz on Goetz kind of stuff. Also, though I adore the image of a girl artist with a gun, I feel compelled to explain that Kim Humphries is a man; also, adding that "Kim" is a very cool name for a guy.

A message from Goetz about something else this morning returned to these important matters.

"Anyway, while I'm still picking at letters on the keyboard ... did you get the email about the Kim-and-I joint project for the auction? I didn't hear back, so I'm worried you didn't get it. Oh, wait ... you're too busy blogging. I HATE BLOGS!"

The accumulation of capital letters, ending with the exclamation point, seemed to require a repsonse.

"Given my prior scorn for BLOGS," I wrote, "which lasted up until the nanosecond when I first published myself on one, it is good for my karma score to take your abuse in silence at this time. To take your abuse in silence ... then collect my thoughts and discuss this on my BLOG."

I have now scored my karma; collected my thoughts.

What I want to say, as a newly converted and no doubt (therefore) often irritating blogger, is that a blog is - for me - just another gigbook, just another's reporter's notebook, an open electronic diary, an avenue of self-publishing for a guy who always had more to say than patience to secure editorial approval for saying those things in print - and that is just as true, now that I find myself a newspaper editor, as it was when I was a penniless freelancer mailing out clips, back when people actually still clipped out items from print newspapers and physically used the U.S. mail to transmit evidence of their ideas.

Sorry, Goetz. I now LOVE BLOGS.


Image is my sketch of Goetz, paired with something characteristic he had just said, at a Skuntry Museum mixer. The 2008 Experiential Auction will be held 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 at Atomic Cowboy, 4140 Manchester Ave. in St. Louis. Bidding for the gun range experience is open now and starts at $10. Drop a comment here with some way to contact you, or email your bid to brodog [@]

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