Field Perspectives 2017

Field Perspectives is available as a free, downloadable PDF here.

Field Perspectives is an arts writing project organized by Common Field in collaboration with nine art publishing organizations around the US. Field Perspectives publishes writing that considers the state of the artist organization field and key ideas being explored in Common Field Convenings, including the 2017 Convening Los Angeles.

The nine 2017 Field Perspectives partners are Los Angeles publications Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (CARLA), contemptorary, X-TRA; and national publications ARTS.BLACK (Detroit/NewYork), Art Practical (Bay Area), The Chart (Portland, ME), DIRT (DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) Area), Pelican Bomb (New Orleans), and Temporary Art Review (St. Louis). Commissioned writers include Chloë Bass, Dan Bustillo, Travis Diehl, Lucy Lopez, Lindsay Preston Zappas, Susan Silton, Ellen Tani, Anuradha Vikram; Andrea Andersson, Imani Jacqueline Brown, L. Kasimu Harris, and Charlie Tatum; and a collaborative essay by Ani Bradberry, Martina Dodd, Andy Johnson, Jordan Martin, Ikram Lakhdhar, Georgie Payne, and Valerie Wiseman.

Each publication commissioned one piece of writing published weekly throughout October 2017. The goal is to catalyze discussion, dialog, and debate before, during and after the event.


ARTS.BLACK (Detroit, New York) published Chloë Bass’ essay, Sorry not sorry. (Couples Counseling for Artists and Institutions: Step Two), an interweaving of personal experiences of apology, or the blank gaps of non-apology, mixed with quotes from famous institutional and professional apologies.

Art Practical (Bay Area) published Anuradha Vikram’s essay “The Big Lie” that questions how the city-wide initiative PST LA/LA is situated within the socioeconomic history and future of Los Angeles.

The Chart (Portland, Maine) published Ellen Tani’s essay, "Airing Out Ambivalence: on cultural care and the allure of judgment," that examines the idea of ambivalence, not as a state of critical failure, but rather a generative platform for creative practice, both for writers and artists.

Contemptorary (Los Angeles) published Dan Bustillo’s essay “Like Piss in Motion: Race, Gender, and Filtration Systems in the work of Candice Lin” that take a closer look at Candice Lin's use of piss to remind us that histories of race and gender do not become sterile over time.

Contemporary Art Review (Carla) (Los Angeles) published Lindsay Preston Zappas essay, “The Languages of All-Women Exhibitions,” examining how the language we use in reference to all-women shows is not only problematic, but may be reinforcing our ingrained biases rather than liberating us from them.

DIRT (DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area) published "Dissecting the Archives: An Investigation in 7 Parts," a seven part investigation into the field of archiving by Georgie Payne, Martina Dodd, Ani Bradberry, Valerie Wiseman, Andy Johnson, Jordan Martin and Ikram Lakhdhar.

Pelican Bomb (New Orleans) published “The Power of Place” a conversation between Andrea Andersson, Imani Jacqueline Brown, L. Kasimu Harris, and Charlie Tatum about how place affects arts workers in New Orleans; the challenges and obligations of working in a small city; and balancing local, national, and international concerns.

Temporary Art Review (St. Louis) published Lucy Lopez’s essay “On Care and Parrhesia” that asks how the art institution practices care of the self – towards (or on behalf of) its workers and its publics.

X-TRA (Los Angeles) published Travis Diehl’s “Op-Ed: An Ultra-red Line” that considers the protests against art galleries in Boyle Heights, the position of radical sound collective Ultra-red and asks what it means for the intersection of art and activism.