This is a blatant new media plea for an old school kind of man. Mutope J. Johnson, a dear friend of mine and a fantastic artist and person (great husband, father, brother, son, teacher, coach...you name it...as I write this, he is out of state as a volunteer track coach for his son's team. I, on the other hand, am still in my pajamas sipping tea and rambling...for a great cause of course, so that scores me a few points). He is one of the most honorable and capable men I have ever met and I would hate for a lack of embracing a new media popularity contest to somehow be a factor in his chances to become the next deserving Artist-in Residence at the Pfister Hotel. Mutope should not be penalized just because he has a network of people who choose to limit their technological participation. Of course, he is on Facebook and I am certain that crew will rally! I am not on Facebook. I am a carrier pigeon.
So, anyway, last year the Pfister Hotel began an artist residency, and the time is near to select (on skill and competency for the position, one would hope) a new AIR (artist-in-residence). But, as are all things now days, the tweeting and the public voting have taken over to make something that should be a bit more thoughtful into a version of "American Idol". Can you tell I am not pleased about this? I understand it as a marketing ploy, but I think it is a bit demeaning considering the voters are not getting all the information on the artist, such as a person-to-person interview, looking at a body of work (artists have one to three pieces up at the Intercontinental Hotel's Gallery M for a few weeks), access to the career experience and relevancy for this AIR, what they plan to work on during the public residency, etc. (I call it a "public" residency because the artist is in a storefront space in the lobby of the hotel and everyone and anyone is able to drop in and watch work being made real-time and talk with the artist), their ability to interact with the public...not just through a machine (I mean, really, we can all be uber marvy when we don't have to look someone or a group of someones in the face). The measure of a star is that face-to-face charisma. At least an AIR star, in my opinion. The current AIR is Reginald Baylor, who is also at the top of his game and is a great person and communicator. Here is a link to some info about his residency and also there is a button to vote for the 2010 AIR.
OK...so if you vote (either by web or by tweet...if you are tweet voting I am told that you should send it to @pfisterhotel and text the name MUTOPE...I could be wrong and if this isn't the format let me know but that is what it says on Third Coast Digest), email me at email@example.com and include MUTOPE in the subject line and you could have a chance to win a bundle! Feel free to include a comment about your voting experience because I have the feeling I will be able to forward it all to the instigator of this bright idea for improvement...I could be wrong, it could be me being inept, but I have had a hard time voting. Anyway, I will put all the names in a newly crocheted hat and then select three winners. The catch is that Mutope has to win this portion of the jurying process. The Pfister will send out a notification and they also have a real-time scoreboard at the Intercontinental. I will warn you, I have had the worst time trying to get my vote in. I refuse to join Twitter and the other online option is not working well for me. I registered but it keeps telling me I am not. UGH. I am going to go down to the hotel and vote because it is only a few blocks away from where I work. I am also going to send an email to the FISTER (I am misspelling Pfister because I am childish and they misspelled Mutope's name on their site...I own my childish behavior, it is part of my charm) to inform them that these options are not functioning very well. Hmmm. Technology is as good as what you put into it. My contribution is sketchy, to say the least.
VOTE MUTOPE! Thanks. I have to get ready for work now. (NOTE: The voting seems to work better if you register and then vote the next day. Hmmm.)
PS. I will have a Haiti post soon. I am not so vapid as to ignore such tragedy. But as in all our great worldwide natural disasters, the impact is long lasting and my little ramblings can wait a bit.