Okay seriously #Facebook, your mobile app is idiotic. I look like a fool commenting on posts from like 3 days ago! What the hell is up with the random posts that show up in my mobile? It makes the whole thing basically useless because it randomly places shit anywhere from 3 minutes ago to 3 days ago or more right next to each other. Billions of dollars in the bank and you morons can’t fix this?
#latenightrant (not so late) via Facebook
Category Archives: Rants
It is time for the world to wake up and realize that Miami is different than it once was. Miami is now more than just beautiful beaches, awesome nightlife and rabid corruption (though we still do have all those things). Recently, the Miami New Times reported that the Huffington Post ranked Miami “Eighth Most Overrated Place in the World”. (Actually, pretty much the entire list is nonsense. Where would they like to visit?)
Of course, all they mention are the overpriced drinks, humidity and nightclubs. It is time for the world to wake up and realize Miami is much more than that. Just this week, we are in the midst of the Miami Book Fair International, one of the largest and oldest annual literary gatherings in the world. In a world of video games and social media, that is really something of which to be proud.
Following almost immediately on that, of course, is the Art Basel Miami Beach week of art. Thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world come to Miami to take part in the dozens of art fairs and shows. It has even far surpassed the original Art Basel in Basel.
Aside from our big cultural fairs and festivals, we have a growing arts and cultural establishment. The Adrienne Arsht Center has grown from the early days of empty seats to regularly sold-out shows, with some of the most prestigious companies passing through their doors, as well as a host of unique, alternative productions. The Perez Art Museum Miami (forever Miami Art Museum to me) is nearly finished with its spectacular new space. For those who have not seen the amazing renderings of the new Miami Science Museum, you really have to check them out. The HistoryMiami museum is taking over the old Miami Art Museum space in the Miami-Dade Cultural Center and will have greatly expanded exhibition and program space, including a theatre.
In addition to the big institutions, more and more arts and cultural groups are popping up all over. Life Is Art, Miami’s Independent Thinkers, YOMiami, Cannonball, Locust Projects and many others have started supporting the arts over the last decade or so (a few are a little older).
The tech scene is small, but growing. Places like MEC261 and LAB Miami are helping to bring the tech community together and provide resources. We have resource groups forming to help entrepreneurs find investors. The Beacon Council works diligently to court business big and small to move to Miami.
I will skip over our food scene due to time constraints, but suffice it to say, we have many excellent food choices, once you get your head out of the… tourist traps.
So Mr. and Mrs. HuffPo, and you, the rest of the world, yes, we do have amazing weather, beautiful beaches and some of the best nightlife in the world (stop being jealous), but we have much more than that and are growing every day. Come by and I will be happy to give you a tour.
Toilet Paper. The answer to the question, “How do you tell you are at a poorly organized event?”
I have been to some bad events in my time. Recently, I have been to some really terrible events. It seems like we have an event-epidemic these days. I am not going to name names, so don’t bother to ask. Even if organizers are good intentioned and “doing their best”, if the event is poorly executed, it reflects badly on not just the organizers, but on other similar events. It brings everyone down. The more bad events that are produced, the more likely people will not attend future events, even if by a different organizer.
You guys know this is a pet-peeve of mine, that anyone who can pick up a phone and rent tents thinks they are an event producer. Event production takes careful planning and execution, and to create truly great events takes lots of experience and understanding of what the attendees want.
So, toilet paper. Toilet paper is one of those small things that makes a big difference. Running out of toilet paper is a huge no-no. Ladies, especially, hate it when there is no toilet paper, and when the ladies are in a bad mood, you know the gentlemen are, too. The thing about toilet paper is that this is so easy and cheap to fix, yet many inexperienced producers forget about it.
Sure, if you have a TON of money, you can rent massive stages and glorious tents, and make it look all pretty, but if you forget the toilet paper, this is a clear indication that you do not know what you are doing. It is like the canary in the coal mine. I can guarantee you that any event that runs short on toilet paper also has issues backstage. I would bet you that if you asked the performers or participants, they would tell you a horror story. Poor communication, bad marketing, disorganized execution, delayed payments, schedule running behind, all of those things are likely happening behind the scenes. There is no chance that an event producer who forgets toilet paper runs everything else smoothly, it is a clear indication of bad organization.
Now, so what? So, please stop supporting bad events. Buy continuing to buy tickets from the same bad organizers, you continue to encourage this bad behavior. There are so many bad events in Miami and the reason is that attendees have low standards. Raise your standards. So what if your favorite band is playing, they will be back soon. Spend your money with those who do a better job and soon either the bad producers will go away or learn their lesson, which improves the event scene for everyone. But, you have to raise your standards!
As more poor events are produced, more sponsors get burned by these producers, which means that they will be less likely to sponsor other events, even if my different organizers. This means less money for the good events and fewer good events. These bad events really do ruin it for everyone.
If you are one of those whose events ran out of toilet paper PLEASE GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS and let the ones doing a better job grow. You know who you are and you are making us all look bad. There are better ways to make a living and it does not matter how good your intentions are, if you are doing a bad job, you are hurting everyone.
Stop ruining my art walks.
So, I went to the Thursday Wynwood Art Walk for the first time tonight, and I have to say I love it. But, you don’t come. You wannabes. You posers. You scenesters. If you just come to Wynwood because everyone else does. If you just come to eat and drink. Don’t come on Thursday. We don’t want you. We don’t like you. We want the lovers, the freaks, the artists, the creatives. We want those who come here to learn and experience the art. These are the true people of soul. The true Soul Of Miami. The rest of you, stay in your herd and don’t ruin my Thursday art walk like you did my second Saturday.
So, today I was at the South Miami Art Festival taking photos, as usual, for Soul Of Miami. As I was shooting one section, a woman started hollering from across the street, “Please don’t take pictures of the art!” Before I continue, let me show you the photo I was taking at the time.
You will note that I have blurred out the actual art. Anyway, she was all apologetic, saying, “this is not a gallery, but it is a gallery,” but inside I was like, “YES! Finally!” As you know, I am a creator of arts events, a curator, and an art enthusiast. I HATE it when people photograph art. Yes, hate. I think it is a completely douchebag thing to do. (The only exception is if you are a professional reviewer shooting for a physical publication and you clear it with the artist first).
Later that day, I was speaking with an artist manager friend of mine and this person told the story of one of the other artists showing at the festival who had been dropped from his gallery because his artwork had been showing up all over Facebook. This is not a joke. When you take one of those straight-on, carefully held, nicely framed photos of a piece of art, you are, essentially, stealing from the artist. Like the image? BUY IT.
Now, you might say, “But Jaaaaaaaaaames, you are always photographing art.” Right, so let me show you the acceptable ways to photograph artwork. And, let me be clear, these are only somewhat acceptable. Even I feel a little uncomfortable doing these, but since it is my job to showcase the event, it is necessary. If the artist asks you not to do it, then don’t.
Here is the first one: “The Angle”
Shoot the art from off to the side. The flattened 2-dimensional angle makes it harder for people to reproduce. People still get the feeling of the art, but without making it easy for people to steal the image. Honestly, this one is a little too straight on for me, but it was a long week and I was not as careful as I usually try to be.
Another one I like, “We Love Art”
A nice shot of people enjoying, and partially obscuring the art. Again, it gives the viewer an idea of what the art looks like, without making it easy to reproduce. Another reason I like it is because it shows people enjoying the work.
Here is a fun one, “The Contemplative”
This is one I love. A side on shot of someone really getting into the piece. It’s so cool to see people moved by a work.
So, are you getting the idea? The idea is to give the viewer a feeling for what the art looks like, and for what the event itself looks like, without making it easy to steal the image.
Now, this is a super awesome way to photograph the art: “The Collector”
You see what she’s doing there? She is photographing the artist info for the piece of art, so she can look it up later. That is an AWESOME thing to do!
So, to keep in context with the subject of this writing, here are not one, but three examples of how not to photograph the art: “The DoucheFans”
Maybe we’ll call it two and a half negative examples. The woman in the gray pants seems to be doing “The Angle”, so that might be okay. But, the other two, definitely uncool. If you like it that much, buy it!
And here we go: “The Thief”
“Ooooh, I love this piece! I’m going to make it my wallpaper! I’m just going to snap a quick pic and share it with all my friends! Who cares if the artist can’t eat this week.” Super-uber-not-cool. Stop. Doing. This.
I’m not going to get into the, “but it could help them promote their work” nonsense, so don’t even try. Unless you are a true influencer or reviewer, your taking their work without permission and using it as your Facebook cover or phone wallpaper is NOT going to help them sell more work, believe me. It is just nonsense rationalization.
So, I hope you are getting my point. As we come up to another Art Basel, I think it is time we all consider being a little more considerate of the hard work and struggle that many artists have. If you love their work, tell them, don’t take it for yourself. They will love it if you come up and tell them how much you like their work. And don’t worry, they aren’t going to try to hard sell you on it. If you have a friend who might want to purchase it, pick up a card, don’t snap a pic. Let’s help keep the arts flourishing because, you know, Life Is Art.