Jun 26, 2003
posted at 17:20 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid
Matt Mirapaul reported this in the NYTime’s.com: Ms. Halbreich said she intended to keep the projects online but could not commit to doing so until the cost was determined. Obviously, this position is unacceptable. So, Sarah Cook wrote a letter and MTAA posted it on our web site at “mteww.com/walker_letter/“. We had 689 people sign the letter in one week. We now have response from the Director, Kathy Halbreich, and also a response from Steve Dietz linked from the initial letter.
I personally found Kathy Halbreich’s response to be sorely lacking: Our philosophical and artistic commitment to New Media has not wavered, but the resources are not there to carry out that commitment as intensively or as quickly as we had hoped. Simply substitute “Photography” or “Video” for “New Media” in the quote above and you can see what an absurd statement it is. We all understand the hard economic times but the cuts should have been shared across the board. The statement also uses double talk. What does “carry out that commitment as intensively or as quickly as we had hoped” mean? To Ms. Halbreich it means disappearing the department that could carry out *any* commitment whatsoever. Blackhawk summed it up well on thingist, “They haven’t shot themselves in the foot, they’ve amputated it.”
She does go on to assure us that the works in Gallery 9 will continue to be accessible (which was my main concern) but I’m still feeling a bit nervous about this considering the NYTime’s article quoted above.
At any rate, this is a big step back for new media art in the USA. The Walker was *the* visionary institution for new media. Steve’s position at The Walker helped to push new media, web art, and net art into the mainstream of american art institutions and now they’ve dropped the ball. It’s a shame. permanent link to this post