Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Online vs. Physical Exhibition

I've received some inquiries from artists curious as to why there is no physical exhibition planned for the Iraqimemorial.org project. Here is my response to an email ask such:

Thank you for your email inquiry regarding Iraqimemorial.org. The intent of the project is to create, first and foremost, an internet database of memorial proposals – this goes with the fleeting nature of the project and conceptually reveals the lack of any “real” process for creating a memorial to the civilian casualties in Iraq.

At the same time, I recognize that a project of this nature, depending upon the response from artists, could very well result in an eventual exhibition of project proposals, and perhaps even a book – I hope that this will happen and have been actively working on a variety of fronts to publicize the project as widely as possible to insure that as many artists choose to participate in this project and that the public take the time to visit the project site.

I am also keenly aware of the potential for the internet to gain exposure on a level that quite frankly would likely dwarf any given exhibition venue in regards to the number of potential visitors to a web project such as this - as opposed to the numbers visiting a physical showing. In past month alone, since the draft site for the project went online there have already been over 5,000 page views – this mostly taking place before any publicity regarding the project was released just four days ago. I would anticipate that these numbers will grow significantly over the next few months as the project takes on momentum.

What I am saying here is that your work will be freely accessible in a way that it would likely never be in a physical exhibition setting. You will also have a very impressive group of jurors considering your proposal (these jurors will further be instrumental in curating any future exhibitions or publications related to the project).

I realize that through this project I am asking much from artists, but would ask artists to consider the potential of this project to first and foremost and most importantly raise awareness regarding the issue of civilian casualties in Iraq – a difficult and pressing subject.

Thanks for the contact – I hope you will consider participating.