This goes out on Monday…

DOC is having a photo competition. John McCully, a photographer, is appalled at the notion and has written a rather lengthy essay on the subject which can be read here. His key points are that while in sport and other areas competition is positive the notion in Art is just plain wrong in that it forces judgement of the unjudgeable. There is no way to objectively judge art as in determining one creation to be better than another, he claims. Promoting art as a competitive event fails miserably to understand what art is, McCully tells us, and claims of superiority, one versus the others, is a mistake ‘with the whiff, the unmistakable almost-odour, of fraudulence’.

He notes also that by entering the ‘competition’ participants forfeit copyright, totally; the creativity of the participants becomes the property of DOC with no consideration of the creator whatsoever. This fact is hidden in the fine print, he points out. ‘That totally sucks’ he says. ‘I know where DOC is coming from but that’s not on’. He calls it ‘fine print shenanigans’.

He points out that it doesn’t have to be like that. ‘Promote the event as a Photography Exhibition. Anyone can enter; the images are placed on a server for the world to see, a valued public archive with full copyright protection for the protection of the participating artist however young and small, old and infirm. There is no Judge, no losers, but there still is a prize, and lots of winners, everyone actually. A huge top prize: a free lunch (there is such a thing – easy on the mustard and hold on the judgemental) and a day out with the camera with fellow Kiwi artists, competition-free, no losers, just winners; everyone who participates is a winner, and everyone’s work is invited to be uploaded to the server, as equal as varied before the eyes of the world to see’.

And if DOC take a fancy to any of the images, that they have perceived value added to the DOC enterprise, then a conversation should take place, a concession discussed, with the artist. DOC know how to do that, McCully reminds us.

Bottom line, says McCully, is that ‘photo competition’ is an oxymoron, impossible, and unfair even to begin to go down that road. Art should be promoted as competition-free, and coming to understand that simply participating in art is to be a winner, plain and simple.

And copyright remains with the artist, as is rather much the norm in the world today. It cannot be otherwise, McCully suggests.

Undate on Jeffrey

My pal Jeffrey, that’s him above, has just day-before-yesterday had a tumour removed from his bladder. He is home now, recovering. He told me it was not nice, especially having a tube stuck up his penis, and while rumour has it he has one of the biggest that didn’t help.  His exact words: it was horrible! Yes, well, I don’t even want to think about it.

Anyway, this post is for dear Jeffrey George Brown, a great American artist, a great friend in Mexico, my bestist Mexican pal, who right now is finding it excruciatingly agonizing to take a leak. My heart is with you, pal. And I especially thank you, old friend, once again for driving me home late from the Berlin Bar so many times on your red scooter (both of us wasted), dump me at my door in the dust and dog shit. We never crashed, not once, nor even came close (not that I could tell anyway); you piloted that little red machine through the narrow cobbled callas of San Miguel de Allende with aplomb.

Wishing you all the best Jeffrey. Get well soon, Pal. (click on Jeffrey’s camera to get a closer look)

As you may note I have demoted ‘Rangitata River Centre for the Arts’ while promoting myself. As the blog started to take shape it quickly became clear that this blog was me blogging off (or is that on) so in order to minimize the confusion I made the change. The Rangitata River Centre for the Arts is another project and will have a page of its own here at John McCully.com but for now it is UNDER CONSTRUCTION as the enterprise gestates.

By the way, do get back to me if the project, Rangitata River Centre for the Arts, is of interest to you.

Something Sad and Magical

Canada Geese eh.

Look, I tell ya fellow fishermen, we’ll catch nothing here. They’re not letting enough water down the friggen river. It’s all going on the bloody fat capitalist Ashburtonite dairy farms. Pathetic. Look at this – how would you expect anything to make it up this damn trickle!

We’re screwed, us classic hunter-gatherers. The next thing the bastards ‘ill have us getting our fish at the supermarket. What fun is that!

Shadow Dance at Sea

Alright, pay attention, hurry up, stay in line, oh my God you look a mess; straighten up, common, over you, the other way you, get in line and prepare for take-off. We’ll take our turn and go in waves, OK, are we listening kiddies? Do I have to repeat myself! And you, on the outside, whatsyourname; don’t take off till I tell you…oh Christ; too late, he’s gone.

Right then; let’s go.

(and they did)

Watch out for the traffic!

(Click on the image to take a closer look.)