In order to solicit response to the needs of the artistic community, feedback was sought to the structural issues surrounding a meeting of artist/holographers throughout the congress and very specifically during the concluding session on Sunday July 27, 1990. In conjunction with this input and as an integral part of the experimental meeting a questionnaire was distributed to representatives approximately two months after the conclusion of the congress proper. Unfortunately, the results of this feedback are too extensive to provide in their entirity and it has been necessary to condense the responses to the form of a summary including a few specifically relevant quotations.
The questions designed for the questionnaire were derived from the many issues discussed during the congress itself allowing us to incorporate these responses into the format of the questionnaire. The questionnaire contained nine questions which are presented here preceding the summary of responses.
1. How did you feel about the length of time of the congress ? (if you believe the Congress should be longer or shorter please provide some brief reasons).
The large majority of representatives expressed satisfaction with the overall duration of the gathering, some commenting that more time would simply exhaust the energy of all involved. A minority felt that more time was needed and another minority felt that the gathering was too long and could be shortened. Many representatives commented that the programming during the final two days needed more structure and that rather than open discussion, panels or small group discussions might have been more beneficial.
"Questions and answers! Each
artist needs time to answer questions", "I know it
was a planning necessity, but 10-minute talks are a bit short
-- even 15 minutes would help", "The artist's sessions
could be extended to include 5-10 questions per speaker",
"The participation of artist/holographers was great. The
presentations were short but it was fascinating to see the development
of people's work. Possibly artist's presentations could be grouped
into areas of similar content or approach (not media) in the
morning with afternoon sessions discussing relevant issues in
the afernoon throughout the week", "If you can't say
it in 10 minutes then it is too pretentious", "Artists
should be asked to bring at least a one sheet biography or at
best their promotion folder so that other artists can read about
them and thir work. An artist's statement to go with the slides
would also be helpful."
3. Were there important topic(s) which you feel should have been addressed but were not? If so, How would you think this topic should be approached (lecture, panel discussion, demonstration, workshop etc.) ? Please list in priority from most to least important.
4. Would you be able to assist in publicizing and organizing a future congress ?
The greater proportion of representatives indicated that they would be able to assist in organization of a future meeting. Among the areas in which they offered support were the following.
5. How might the exhibition held in conjunction with such a congress be improved ?
During the open discussions of the congress as well as in informal conversation at meals etc., many representatives expressed concern with the existing format of the congress exhibition, the manner of presentation of work, etc. For this reason, this question presupposed dissatisfaction with some aspect of the exhibition. The suggestions contributed were broad in range.
A. A larger exhibition space perhaps allowing for installations. Spread the exhibition to several galleries or public exhibition spaces in the community. Allow for installations where necessary and provide space adequate to preserve the integrity of the artists work.
B. Travel the exhibition at the conclusion of the congress.
C. The exhibition could be curated with a chosen theme or aesthetic direction defined in advance.
D. Provide a more visible location.
E. Broadly publicize the exhibition (place ads in major art magazines, etc., seek reviews by critics)
F. Put artist's statements up to accompany work.
G. Don't do the exhibition at all!
6. Do you have suggestions for dealing with the multi-lingual nature of our meeting and a cost-effective means for making the content available in the necessary languages?
This problem was immediately apparent to the representatives to the congress yet no simple and comprehensive solutions are currently forthcoming. Among the suggestions which were offered were the following. Because of its direct and economical solution to at least a portion of the language problem, item D. below appears to offer some significant advantages and opportunities and was suggested by a number of respondents.
B. Simultaneous translations through computer.
C. Attempt to hire bi-lingual students to assist with translation duties.
D. Pre-presentation translation. Material for talks and lectures would be submitted in advance and translated into languages requested by the representatives.
7. Do you have suggestions for ways to identify and encourage younger/new artists to become involved in a meeting such as this.
A number of practical suggestions were submitted in reponse to this query.
A. Ask each artist or regional organizations to encourage younger artists to participate.
B. Contact institutions with holography programs and seek out student involvement.
C. Publicize in major art magazines
D. Keep it affordable so that younger artists can attend. Perhpas there could be a special fund to assist a small number of upcoming artists to participate or they could be given reduced charges in exchange for organizational assistance.
E. Involve them in planning of the event.
B. Individual artists critiques by artists or quest critics and gallery walk throughs for the same purpose. Ask critics could discuss work which they feel is strong.
C. Have more critics and curators participating and allow their involvement to be more interactive.
D. Special presentations by curators of holographic exhibitions.
E. Have primary speakers share ideas in panel discussions - get these speakers to interact and share their viewpoints with the artists.
F. Keep presentations shorter, don't overemphasize curators/critics role.
G. More multi-cultural selection of curators/critics (i.e. not all white/male).
9. Do you have any further ideas to contribute to the dialogue and which you would like to have considered when preparations begin for a next congress ?
This question assumes that there will be another meeting of artist/holographers at some time in the future and responses to it suggest that the representatives may see merit in such a gathering. Because of its open-ended structure the reponses to this questions were wide reaching.
A. Continue the secluded character of the event - set off from a busy, competing environment (others counter-suggested that it should be in a higher-profile environment).
B. More involvement of the Museum of Holography in New York - "what are they doing for the community and informing the public"
C. Don't incorporate art and education topics together " . . . the topic of teaching and holography seems vast suggesting either another conference on its own or participation in the larger arts education conferences." in contrast "In additon, I would like to suggest: inform art community and art educators and the art community at-large about the purpose of the congress and future scheduling.
D. Maintain an open atmosphere, not just for holographers but for any interested parties - "we need to involve more of the museums, sellers", "open admission, cheap rates", "I would not limit speakers to critics and curators"
E. Do some longer presentations by selected artists - "by vote during the congress, five artists are selected to make longer presentations", "I think it would be wonderful for the artists to have a little more time presenting their work", "all artists attending should give a fifteen minute presentation".
F. Distribute topics of presentations, panels and other discussions in advance so that interested persons could study the topic. Selected readings or quotations could serve as a focus for some discussions.
G. Provide better access to media equipment and create a room for information incorporating videos, c.v.'s, slide shows and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE RESPONSE
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