IDIOMS AND PECULIARITIES OF CONTEMPORARY EMAIL COMMUNICATION
In the second year (and a half) of its existence, Pigs, then Bigs, and now Bpigs, has admittedly stepped on another toe or two. Your responses, scold, and enthusiasm have been a constant companion, helping us retrace our steps, or just move on. As promised and threatened we will post them this year too, as kind of post Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving retrospective.
Though there is an undeniable gossip value to this, the main interest in posting this, is the reasons and the ways different individuals choose to address a stranger (the author) online, in a way they would probably not do across the room. Online networks being a very recent development, savoir communiquer is not exactly set in stone, leaving a lot of room for improvisation and many many casualties.
The comments are categorized by the article or event they refer too. The Hate-o-Meter post, Like-o-Meter, as well as the Speed Portfolio event got their own separate feedback posts and we now actually have a working comment feature, which makes your responses visible and public.
As Bpigs rose in popularity, two new categories made themselves necessary: the one of Miscellaneous Requests and the Scary Intern Letters. Now, this might be the greyest of areas we have stepped in, publishing abstracts of people offering to work for us for free, but seriously, this is not the way to do it.
This year the good comments were left out, as they were the same as last year (Sweet! Great! Thanks! How funny, refreshing, good analysis, etc). All of the longer texts are shortened. The original grammar and spelling were not altered. Names or websites are not included, as this should be more of a study than a blast. Should you nevertheless feel the need to, write us a mail, we will publish it next year. In fact, this post begins with a response from last year and it ends with one too. This one is neither shortened nor anonymised, as it somehow found the grounds to complain on plagiarism...
if you felt so free to quote my mail, you might as well feel free to come and have a look at the show. even if we too are not able to pay you a single cent.
SCARY INTERN LETTERS
I am very interested in any information you could provide me on employment/internship with "B-side /bigs" magazine. I am confident that you will find my strengths, abilities and experience of use in the independence guide. Experience as taught me how to build strong images/concepts based on my high cultural background and knowledge. I have the ability to work with a team as well as cross-team.
(bpigs was funded on June 10, not July 4th)
As a passionate patron of the arts I try to say a breast of openings and exhibitions, Bpigs would be a fantastic platform to share such knowledge, of course as well as sharing whimsical anecdotes in my Interns diary'.
Diary Entry 1
...sent email to Bpigs after taking more pictures of next doors cat, time for another cup of tea I think....
I found out about Bpigs since I moved to Berlin and it’s been in my Top Sites constantly, for a month now. I really enjoy following it.
my name is *** (********* on google search). i'm looking for an internship starting preferably in January but later is also good. i'm 25, i make art myself and plan to start an illustrators fanzeen in Berlin. i also want to get my works shown (once they are ready..) p.s i speak perfect English and unperfect but understandable German.
Hereby an application for your internship in the hope, that you haven't found anyone yet who quite fits the bill, or that you will dump the one you have found and take me instead.
I would love to come and work with you for a week or so in either November/December 2012 or early 2013
I have decided to apply for this internship because I hope it to be my figurative placemat. If the wooden table you don’t want to damage is, say, the life my parents want me to lead, and the hot pot of soup the beers-in-görli-a-little-too-often life I have been leading, I would like this internship to be the softly and carefully woven pieces of scrap fabric cushioning the two. And maybe I can also fashion it to be a small, useless hat if need be. And, when my parents come to visit me in Germany later this year, I can us it to cleverly disguise the coffee pot size burn on the kitchen table (the placemat, not the internship). What they don’t know won’t hurt ‘em, right?
Can you please take out my last name from your blog, I am going to look for a new job in the USA and I don’t want my future employers to find it when they google me.
I am a student doing research on Indie art in Berlin. I am interested in any general information about the Berlin Independent Art, its state, importance and so on.
Ich bin die Marketingleiterin von ***********. Wir würden gerne einen Link auf der Webseite interns-diary-new-guy-0 platzieren. Oder Sie können uns von jeder anderen von Ihnen bevorzugten Webseite aus verlinken - gerne schreiben wir auch einen hochwetigen Unique-Artikel um beide Themen zu vereinen.
(the suggested link was to a stair-lift company =Treppenlift)
Dear friends from Bpigs
I´m in charge of the online marketing and online PR area…This global online project, targets citizens of the world, and aims to share their visions, ideas and solutions for sustainable lifestyles, modern social systems and forward-looking developments in the fields of architecture, design and technology. After visiting Bpigs, I was able to recall similarities not only regarding the targeted viewers, but also between style and shared interests..don´t you think?
First, ***** will send you a FREE pair of high quality and fashionable glasses or sunglasses (you don't need to pay any fee). After getting the eyewear, you just need to write an objective and real review for it and post the review to your blog-
At the moment we are looking to expand our CULTURE vertical and we love what you guys do ... Obviously we don't want to tread on anyone's toes, so we're wondering if you have a sales house, or if it's in house? If you could let us know your numbers/ stats?
I am emailing in the hope that you can help a poor ol painter out. I'm writing to you because I'm a big fan of the site and your work in Berlin…In September I will return to London to take part in the first year of ****, which, if you haven’t heard is a really interesting art school focusing on painting…As I'm sure you're aware, the prevelance of funding for individual artistic development in the UK is non-existant. This being the case, I have decided to try and raise part of my fees through crowd-funding. Would you help me spread the word.
ich suche für die Dreharbeiten zu einem Kinofilm mit dem Titel "Posthumous" ein Atelier - der Film geht um einen Künstler, der erst nach seinem angeblichen Tod berühmt und gefragt wird. Das Atelier sollte gerne in irgendeiner Form rohe Wände haben, Backstein, Sichtbeton o.ä., schön wären auch bemalte/bespritzte Wände und ein schönes Durcheinander. Besonders erfreut wären wir wenn das Atelier verschiedene Ebenen hätte...
Ich schreibe wegen einer Podiumsdiskussion zum Kunstmarkt. Wir haben ein tolles, aber leider schon sehr volles Podium, was wir sehr bedauern, weil wir sehr gern auch den Kern des Kunstmarktes: die Künstler auf dem Podium gehabt hätten. Nun würden wir Sie gern zum Vorempfang und in die erste Reihe der Gästeplätze einladen und Prof. ***, der die Veranstaltung moderiert, darüber informieren, dass Sie mit Kommentaren und Beiträgen die Diskussion bereichern würden, wenn Sie einverstanden sind und Zeit haben.
I'm ****, an artist from Firenze..
Ich würde Sie gerne auf die ***** hinweisen, die nicht nur Ausstellungsfläche für professionell arbeitende Künstler in Berlin und bei Kooperationspartnern im Ausland zur Verfügung stellt, sondern darüber hinaus die Künstler auch bei der Selbstvermarktung und dem Start in die eigene Unabhängigkeit unterstützt. Vielleicht besteht ja die Möglichkeit, die Idee, die hinter meiner „etwas anderen“ Galerie steckt zu unterstützen.
We are Berlin’s only gallery focusing on Outsider Art, art by people with psychiatric diseases or mental disabilities. It’s our goal to present and support these raw and pure works by “outsiders”. The gallery’s main focus is to reduce the distance between the established art market and Outsider Art.
Dear Mrs Stokou
Thanks for sending Bpigs info, still waiting to join you on Facebook
all the best
A/A MS. DESPINA STOKOU.-
Share my work.
I keep hearing about you and getting to know more and more people who know you and your good work! I actually got your email address from ****** but have since misplaced it so I thought I would write you here on FB. I wanted to know if you might like to meet me for a coffee..?
SAY A LITTLE PRAYER
I hope the art scene in Berlin never grows up. I hope it continues to keep the rest of the art world grounded.
ON OUR NAME CHANGE- PIGS to BIGS
Just thinking about your (positive) name change and the resulting confusion on the web domain name level.
Question: is BIGS going to remain on www.bpigs.com ? Confusing, isn't it?
Do you know that the B-I-G-S.net domain name is free? There are other B-I-G-S available, you'll see here for instance here www.godaddy.com or on www.pairnic.com, which I use). BIGS is taken naturally, but not B-I-G-S, available with .net but also other appendages such as .org or com or de or eu... Net just somehow seems to be more in the spirit of your ambitious and exciting organization however.
Anyway, just thinking out loud, on a sunny day, here in New England. Back in Berlin in a couple of weeks.
Bis bald maybe. Take care.
ON WHAT DID I MISS
It was me, I want to know what is going on, NOT what did I miss...
nice one to use a body-count-catastrophe as plug for an art-world-newsletter. cynicism rules.
CHRISTMAS MAGIC CHRISTMAS TRAGIC
I really enjoy your regular newsletter which is usually very good and informative.
Just please, please try to avoid writing about something which apparently you have no idea
about, for instance german pastry and christmas sweets.
Thanks and enjoy the German Advent,
P.S. and please don´t publish this email in your next review of response to your newsletter
I don't know where you hang out for Glühwein?! I had excellent Feuerzangenbowle + freshly backed Mutzenmandeln at the Gendarmenmarkt Weihnachtsmarkt, even my parisian company had nothing to complain. Try to avoid the cheap stuff on Alexanderplatz. Maybe the Pigs redaction could pull some money together for you to send you on a day out to the Nürenmberg (oh!) Christkindlmarkt. They got the original Elisen Lebkuchen, that I recently had at Munichs Viktualienmarkt. It's homemade + do die for! Everybody knows that Berlin is still a developing country in terms of culinary expression but you must do your homework better...and a bit a class pls. ;-). "Research" is the keyword for the writing crowd->or as B.E.E. puts it-> "the better you look, the more you see". btw Where does all the pessismism come from? Its christmas time baby!
Hei Despina Stokou,
Ich habe eine Frage das Speed Dating betreffend:
Was ist der Vorteil es sehr kurz mit häufigen Wechseln zu gestalten?
Ich denke daran etwas ähnliches zu machen (nicht mit Kuratoren, sondern mit Menschen, die ich kenne und deren Meinung mir wichtig ist). Bisher hatte ich mir vorgestellt ein oder zwei pro Besprechung einzuladen, doch jetzt denke ich eher in Richtung euer Form, also kurze, wechselnde Stops.
Nochmal meine Frage:
Was ist aus eurer Erfahrung der Vorteil vieler kurzer Dates anstatt wenige
Leute in unbegrenztem Zeitraum zu treffen?
Thank you for your consideration
LAST YEAR'S THANKSGIVING MAIL
Sorry everyone for the mass mail from Berlin to my entire mailing list, but please check out the way this person is plagiarizing my ideas to promote her own career! Typical, right?http://www.bpigs.com/diaries/zukunft-bitte-alles-deutsch-oder-keine-post...
Please unsubscribe from this newsletter!
Dear Despina Stokou,
No thank you for plagiarizing my comments ("with their (CUTE) spewlling and glammlour mishakes, next time I'll write schlower".) Please, next time you take words from letters that I write, I would prefer that you include my NAME so that I can take credit for my words. I did not send you an anonymous letter for a reason, I signed my name, ALEXIS KNOWLTON proudly, because I believed in what I wrote and I will take responsibility for it.
What I railed against in the first letter I wrote you, was exactly the kind of stealing and misappropriation of ideas and cultural capital that happens far too often today in the relationship between artist and curator. Yes, this whole relationship is quite conceptual and complicated, these structures of power and meaning can be analyzed and experimented with. However, I think that you have managed to reproduce the most insipid caricature of a curator I could make in my mind, at least 3 times now. More specifically, you and your organizations you have presented back to me my own, feared, Würst-Käse-Szenario for the contemporary role of the curator.
The first was "Speed Dating" i.e. "artists should be used for financial purposes and attention generating schemes by art administration", the second "Mortal Combat", ie. "artists are irrelevant but generate attention for great ego building" by Carson Chan and Aaron Moulton, The third now "Diarrhea Diaries" is a pathetic drool using your own "private correspondences" like Bild Zeitung, publicizing without permission, paragraphs from people who actually chose to speak up to this foolery as "electrifying NEWS" while you wagered absolutely no personal risk, reflection, or correspondence. As if hate mail means you are doing something cool, relevant or INTERESTING?
Maybe you believe there is no more criticism in art? It is all only an "attention economy" (lets go read Boltanski and Chiapello! because TzK does!) where ones friends, links and FLUID information dissemination (read, diarrhea) trump any attempt toward meaning or content. Maybe your empty meanderings about art parties in my inbox are an attempt to point this all out, through the tactic of simulacrum-ohne-cynicism? By holding your shallow picture of reality up to us, maybe it helps us strive for something deeper because it is such a bad example. Well, that is the only positive take I can make on it.
Or perhaps you were interested in showing us again and a few decades late for it to be interesting, yet another example of how almost all institutional critique today is futile because institutions so quickly incorporate that very critique to empower and strengthen their position? They OWN it, just like you thought you should take my thoughts and put them anonymously in your blog. This is like the MOMA showing the documentation of Hans Haacke's works as part of a canon of "MOMA Political Art", rather than MOMA trying to change its administrative structure or stance.
Like any bad poet, social- marketer or irresponsible journalist you have shown a remarkable desire for attention at any cost, and a sound lack of ability for any kind of critical distance.
I find it extremely cowardly that you couldn't take the time to write an e-mail back to me, and yet you can take the time to troll your old mails, find mine specifically, cut it up like a angsty teen-collage, put it into html, and send a mass mailer.
One last note, I also think its particularly disheartening the way you took excerpts from letters from "amateur" artists and made fun of them, picking on the so-called little guys. What's the point? I have an idea...
Although, no I only have topical knowledge of his writing, I would guess that Pierre Bourdieu might say that the point is for you to seem "distinguished" or have good "taste." (By the way,TASTE is something Bourdieu describes as, at least in 1960s-70s France, irreducibly tied to two factors: 1. social class (economic class) and 2. the occupation of one's father.) Those little comments-ala-out-of-context-quotes you made about artists wishing they could show their work to you or Pigs or Grimm or as an artist or whatever YOU BELONG TO, although seemingly innocent, show in this sense, a desire to restrain art as "Ettiquite" and evaluate it through a rubric of taste. Not doing this because it is a critical position, but rather, because it empowers you most, to do so. Its a disgusting tautology that we see quite often in the corporate spheres, or in all the rituals inside of the art field that folks with privilege cling to because it both flaunts their status and somehow ALSO hides its true source.
I have no idea from what background you come, but I think that anyone who has the time to be in the art field and send out these ridiculous mailers comes from an enormous social privilege of sorts (myself included.) On THANKSGIVING of all days (yes I am American and this is holiday that actually means something to me, with neither religion nor irony) I think we shouldn't take the extreme privilege of being an artist for granted.
Perhaps amateur artists just don't know the right way in to Your Privileged World. I highly doubt the way into Your Privileged World has anything to do with art however. At least, not my conception of art. All I have to say to these amateur artists, you make fun of, is that they are lucky if they find the EXIT to Your World before the entrance.
by George Brecht (1961)
!!!PLEASE UNSUBSCRIBE ME FROM YOUR NEWSLETTER!!!!
ALEXIS KNOWLTON (2011)
Thanks for citing my name, I had already noticed and appreciate your quick response a lot. I believe I also wrote the thing about -its not the money its the principle.
I apologize for insults and exaggerations within the tirade, but I feel particularly strong about some of these issues, obviously, and you had initiated a social forum over which I felt like I was a participant but had no control. I do respect you putting yourself out there, in general, its not easy I bet, and its brave in many ways too.