TIME WAS WHEN THE SITE OF OUR BEAUTIFUL CITY WAS PRIMEVAL FOREST; OUR RIVER WAS SIMPLY THE ROUTE OF LEAST RESISTANCE SELECTED BY THE WATERS THAT WELLED FROM EARTH’S LABORATORY HERE, THERE AND YONDER, OR WERE ACCUMULATED BY THE FORESTS FROM THE HEAVEN SENT RAINS AND PEACEFULLY FOLLOWED NATURE’S LAW TO LAKE, AND RAPIDS, AND THE OCEAN
While artist-run spaces can provide a comfortable break with the normal order, they exist easily within that order. At worst, such a space might operate without a business license or breach lease agreements or bother neighbors, but at the end of the night the state has nothing to fear from apartment galleries, artist-run non-profits, and independent presses in themselves. Like academic departments, alternative art activities can foster communities of soft rebellion where dissent can be safely channeled into symbolic gestures and aesthetic critiques. When politically engaged and progressively organized, these projects can be a necessary point of gathering for the politically sensitive for whom utopia and revolution are goals no longer taken seriously.
From Steve Ruiz’s essay in the Extinct Entities catalog
RIVER DISPATCH / 2014 / Site: Flint, MI, USA