Gaffs, Bad Jokes and Comments

Uncategorized Jan 23, 2006 No Comments

When we published the results of our summer poll last week we revealed that voting for Nigel Milsom had been the subject of some good natured poll rigging. We claimed that “agents” working for the artist had arranged multiple votes by getting around our fool-proof security measures, demonstrating perhaps that Art Life readers are not fools. As a result we decided to disqualify Milsom and award the top honour to Sarah Smuts Kennedy and Christopher Hanrahan.

We based our not altogether serious claim on the fact that we can track user ISPs and see who has been online and when. Although someone did take upon themselves to vote multiple times, we have no idea who they were and or why they were doing it. Milsom wrote to us to point this out and we unreservedly apologise to him for any embarrasment our joke may have caused. We now proclaim all artists and shows on the original as winners, just because we can…

We decided to follow up our non-poll with a poll on the poll, which is probably taking reflexivity a bit too far…

That Last Art Life Poll Was

A sham 48% 37

Rigged 19% 15

Unrepresentative 18% 14

Faked 9% 7

Biased 5% 4

total votes: 77

In a similar mode of craven apology, we also made a mistake last week by stating that outgoing GrantPirrie staffer Clare Lewis had been a gallery manager at the Redfern space. In fact, Lewis was a gallery assistant and it is the indefatigable James Steele who is the gallery manager. While on the subject of GrantPirrie, another reader emailed us to advise that when we mentioned Todd Hunter in our email alert, we probably meant Todd McMillan. We probably did. Apologies all round.

Emails: You work at the Museum of Contemporary Art – perhaps you are the director, perhaps a preparator or an assistant curator, perhaps even a senior curator… Whatever your title you’re wondering “whatever happened to my weekly email update?” It’s a mystery. Some MCA staff are getting their emails, while others are not. Send us an alternative email address or speak to the volatile loner in the corner [i.e. your IT guy] about the problem. They have time on their hands and are always happy to help.

A couple of readers wrote to us to advise us that we’re not that special after all – that is, we were not the subject of a recent article by Sebastian Smee – we were simply being paranoid. Smee’s seemingly non-sequiter reference to the memory of gold fish was a refrence to an article he had written way back in 2005 for The Australian reviewing the work of Jo Law:

Visiting a shared house one day years ago, I saw a copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace propped up in front of a goldfish bowl. The occupants told me they turned onepage a day for the benefit of the hapless fish. The joke got its kick, of course, from the widespread belief that goldfish have an attention span that lasts, depending on whom you ask, between three and nine seconds. (A colleague informs me this is false and a slur on goldfish, who can actually be trained to respond to stimuli, if not necessarily to great literature.) I was reminded of the poor fish’s plight by a brilliant work by Jo Law in an exhibition called BEAPworks at the John Curtin Gallery in Perth…

We have aboslutely no recollection of this article which may prove some sort of point, but we’ve already forgotten what we were going to say.

Which brings us once again to Comments. On several occassions we have called for calm and reason among our dilligent readers who feel compelled to make comments [often many times a day]. We welcome such reader participation under the rules we outlined last week but sadly, even our calmer readers were pulled into a rather nasty slanging match late last week and we have decided to act to restore some semblance of order. We have therefore temporarily suspended the commenting rights of several readers and will restore them in 10 days time. Think of this as a kind of time out where everyone can just calm down and think about what they’ve done. Thanks to Super Nanny for suggesting this approach.

The Art Life

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