Friday, February 13, 2009
Get ready for another fine dispatch from Mr. Cranky Pants. I’ve been weighing the merits of this decision for minutes, calling friends, talking to various people, and just generally wringing my hands over an experience that I’ve chosen to share with you, my adoring public.
How many of us are carrying cell phones on our person 24 hours a day? How many of us consider our phones an essential and crucial tool for personal communication and expression? How many of us find it woefully ironic that an institution that might claim to be dedicated to dialogue and communication would deny us usage of our phones inside its walls?
I was at the opening for “Pretty Is As Pretty Does”, admiring what is, without a doubt, a thoughtful and well put-together show. And yet my singular most important moment at Site Santa Fe tonight came when I felt a tingle in my pocket and opened up my phone to read an incoming text message. I was about to reply to it when a docent approached me inside the PACKED house and asked me to put my cell phone away, because they aren’t allowed inside the gallery.
“I can’t even TEXT a message?” I said, incredulous.
“No, you need to go the lobby.”
Whatever spell had been laid upon me by the art on the walls had just been broken. Once again, I was treated to the notion that what lies up there – on the walls – is important, but whatever I have to say is unimportant and needs to be communicated elsewhere. Mind you, what I have in my hands is a Personal Communication Device – I could be making a phone call, I could be texting, I could be writing notes for a blog post, I could be posting to facebook or twitter about the wonderful show that Site is having and inviting all my friends to come down and visit it – but I can do NONE of those things inside Site Santa Fe, and I just find it trivial and annoying and reductionist that such a rule exists.*
(* Because let’s face it - the rule exists to keep some annoying twat from talking loudly to their broker in the middle of the “sacred space” that the art world likes to believe its galleries are. And like a million other pernicious laws in our not-so free society, it takes into account only the actions of the lowest common denominator and assumes that everyone is that ungracious. I AM NOT THAT UNGRACIOUS and I resent Site Santa Fe for assuming that I am.)
You can’t have it both ways – make a real LAW that everyone Must Be Aware Of. Post a GREAT BIG SIGN out front that tells people clearly that they can’t use their PCAs inside your building. I could’ve left mine in the car you know. Fuck it – I could’ve just stayed at home and spent my energy promoting something cool like Meow Wolf’s opening tonight, which by the way rocked the house and where I was not once prevented from calling my friends and texting to my heart’s content.
There’s something elitist and fucked up about preventing people from making a call or texting a text. It says that your communication is not permitted here. I’m sure that I have better places to be.
Posted by by gregoryp(tm) aka Gregory Pleshaw at 6:19 PM