I had to miss the College Art Association conference this year (due to my service as a member of a job search, imagine serving on the jury of America's Next Top model only way less glamorous; see Testing the Waters and A Gathering of Nerds for my reports from last year's), but sometimes hearing other people's stories about it is just as good and saves you from having to breathe recycled air in a conference center and drink bad lukewarm coffee at your anonymous crappy hotel. However, I do miss doing my model minority junior faculty meets fashionista "native informant" meets Joan Rivers-Kloe Kardashian-Jay Manuel Nerdy Art Historians and Studio Artists Fashion Runway analysis with my friends. And after seeing the Tino Seghal show at the Guggenheim -excuse me, after having experienced, no participated in, no related to others at - I give up. After the Seghal show I feel newly emboldened to pitch a session to the next CAA that would allow nerdy art historians to take advantage of conference hotel amenities and let off steam:
Tino Seghal: Relational Aesthetics in the Hot Tub.
Abstract: Envisioned as a space of sociability, the hot tub is a classic locus of exchange. In this panel, we invite artists, art historians, and museum workers to submit topics for conversation in this platform for experimental thought.
If some junior faculty member at an art school and a young fashionista independent curator pitch this to CAA, (and you know they will) they better give me credit! Sidebar: I was talking to an artist friend about artists' residencies because I know visual artists and writers that have gone to those posh bucolic retreats and to me it just sounds like the Jersey Shore except they are nerds with Ph.Ds or MFAs but they still drink, hook up, and yes, if available, get in the hot tub!
So for those of us that missed the conference, the Art History Newsletter Blog http://arthistorynewsletter.com/blog/ brought us cynical academentia-sufferers something to laugh about.
First, here is the tantalizingly brief but on-point description of the conference quoted from the blog:
"Bad at Sports discusses the recent CAA conference in the first few minutes of their latest podcast:
So Mark [Staff Brandl], you’re the only one of us who’s actually been at CAA for the last couple of days. I stopped by yesterday to buy a book and promptly ran away. There’s a huge number of humans there and they all seem to be art fans in one way or another, but I don’t see that sort of hungry excitement of an art fair, I see a kind of lonely hearts club vibe and it’s creepy.
Mark: Well there aren’t any collectors here so there’s no money and most of the people are art historians which means there’s a lot of guys who look like Jerry Saltz … But it’s fun, it brings out the scholarly, academic side in me. I just saw a great thing on eighteenth century painting of … dogs."
Next, the fabulous colleagues at the blog share the brilliant tweets by a young scholar of color looking at the conference in ways in which I can identify in more ways than one. LOVE HER! It is worth reading her tweets in full, they are very telling. I think I will tweet next year from CAA.
"University of Cincinnati graduate student Auna R. Hearne, aka BlackAesthetic, wins this year’s award for best art-historian twitterer:
Riding to Chicago with 2 weird white girls and a foreign one. Let the crazy tweets begin…
At the #CAA2010 Convocation, very cool to see my favorite artists & art historians: Griselda Pollock, Barkley Hendricks, & Holland Cotter
Holland Cotter is a cute dude! Wow…and he talks exactly the way I thought he would! Cynical and intelligent! #CAA2010
The #CAA2010 Convocation speaker is pissing off all the ppl ready to pour up at the gala. Chill, Dawoud Bey is speaking
Art nerds unite! I feel like I’m going to be doing a lot of eye rolling this next couple of days. These people are passionate #CAA2010
Old white people at #CAA2010 stop staring. No I’m not a part of the hotel staff, I’m a grad student.
Getting up to put the monkey suit on. Thinking about hitting the Students & Emerging Professionals breakfast shindig #CAA2010
Last night the convocation speaker said “Think about what you are here for.” That was the most resounding statement. #CAA2010
At the book fair, is there a broke grad student discount?! I would love to buy about every book but… ha! #CAA2010
headed to my 1st session at 12:30 entitled “How is Queer Art Relational?” #CAA2010
Yes, I am identifying. The gay and black art historian goes to gay and black sessions #CAA2010
At the Queer Art session with a bunch of white butches and some old queens. lol #cantwait #CAA2010
I agree, forget Bourriaud #CAA2010
#overheard at #CAA2010 “I didn’t think I would see other black ppl here, are you going to the black thing too?!” #joyinmyspirit
Images make papers interesting. Virginia Solomon’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties: Queer Aesthetics & Cultural Politics” AND images #FTW #CAA2010
#Futurebabymama Kara Keeling, Ph.D. University of Southern California
I live to be a discussant like Jennifer A. Gonzalez of UC Santa Cruz from the Blacknss as Model session. Amazing commentary #CAA2010
Debating on whether or not I’m crashing the Yale U reception. My advisor is an alum and said she would claim me but #idontknow #CAA2010
A presence from the queer session was in the “black” session. Shared feeling of otherness? #CAA2010
I had to leave that last session. It was shameless Artist’s Self Promotion. I don’t like your art, don’t impose it on me #CAA2010
I went to the Yale U reception to find Glenda Swan & my advisor. Neither were there and I was clearly not wanted #CAA2010 #Itscool #noshade
Fuck yo Ivy League reception in the ballroom, this is how urban research institutions get down #CAA2010 http://yfrog.com/1em1mj
I have so much respect for my school director right now. what a stand up dude. Really appreciate this free, unlimited alcohol
just heard about a party in 1276…Queers…I’m on my way
I literally got
wasted last night. I was gone off of … WHITE WINE?! What is going on? white wine! I had about 2 bottles tho
I know we went somewhere, to a Mexican joint. They charged my card for some food I didn’t eat. I’m not sure how I got back to the hotel
Today, I’m wearing grey and purple. If you see me at #CAA2010 speak! Yes, I’m attending the conference. No I don’t work at the Hyatt
I’m running late, but I’m fine. Headed to the African Diaspora session because Jacqueline Francis is in charge #FTW
Bronze Level, West Tower, Water Tower pow pow pow I just sunk your battleship #CAA2010
Dear #CAA2010 the African Diaspora session is full, there are people spilling out the door. Take notice and give us a bigger room next yr!
Thoroughly enjoying this session. Next up…Tobias Wolford: “What is Africa to me? African American art & the problem of origins” #CAA2010
This speaker sucked the life out of this session. Not sure if its his tone or the subject of the paper. Mass exit #CAA2010
Putting my art history hat back on, heading to the second queer art session: “Desire is Queer!” oh yes it is #CAA2010
Argh! Missing the Art & Violence session! But I’m more gay than violent & there is a white butch w/ an Irish accent speaking #sold #CAA2010
I just got on an elevator going up with some stiff looking artists/art historians. And its 34 floors in this hotel #FML #CAA2010
I know I’m not the only black and gay art historian at #CAA2010 I’m just the only one tweeting lmao
This session’s next paper – A Long Hard Look: Queer Desire in Contemporary Life Drawing #somegayshit #FTW #CAA2010
I’m super boo, grad student broke like a jok but I just bought the LAST copy of this book on Kara Walker at the #CAA2010 Book fair #fistpump
UChicago Press is handing out glasses of white/red wine at their #CAA2010 booth but due to last night, I know the powers of white wine
Chancing white wine again…just one (very expensive) glass of Chardonnay
Last session of #CAA2010: African American Art. I was running late but I’m here. Very underwhelming audience. I’m slightly disappointed
You don’t want to argue with me. Especially not on Twitter. I write better than I speak and I will light your ass on fire
#sigh Most of the presenters on the African American art panel are white. I’m not racist but I would like to see faces like mine #CAA2010
Argh! This session is sooo dry. Why do I feel out of place at an African American art session?? #CAA2010
And the only black scholar speaks like a Southern preacher and is an unimpressive academic. #wevegottodobetter #CAA2010
This presenter is having technical difficulties and keeps pronouncing Catlett phonetically. CAT-LET #Fail #gtfoh #CAA2010
I’m starting to realize that! The most impressive well spoken speakers @ the #CAA2010 sessions I attended…were visual artists
I can’t wait to read this book: Kara Walker-No, Kara Walker-Yes, Kara Walker-? … I bought the last copy available at #CAA2010 pow pow pow
Everybody that knows me knows that I’m not impressed with Kara Walker. I bought the book to bolster my own personal opinion #CAA2010"