ArtPrize: Open Framework or Open Season?

ArtPrize is winding down to the vote of the 10. But as we all know, it’s also a social experiment. That part of the premise has moved to the forefront in this second week of this radically open framework.

Last Thursday, at a public ArtPrize event, Deb Rockman, a working professional artist, shared a concern with the founder of ArtPrize, Rick DeVos, about the impact of ArtPrize on Grand Rapids within the professional Art world. Mr. DeVos was reasonable and polite in his response as was the rest of the panel (at 12:25):

Following this public forum, Ms. Rockman was interviewed by Wood TV–you can see the report here:

It all seems reasonable. You may not agree, but you can say it was civil: ideas and ideals upfront, personalities set aside. Since then, there have been 220+ comments on the WOOD-TV site. 93 of them have been from one person who calls himself MofPointillism. MofPointillism has also been leaving negative posts to Deb Rockman’s Facebook page as well. This news report has also lead to others sending Ms. Rockman unkind, personal emails to both her personal and Kendall email addresses. It has reach a point where the admin of KCAD are truly concerned.

You may not agree with anything Ms. Rockman has said and that’s OK. But given the class warfare in many online comments, ArtPrize could be called SpitePrize. Hiding behind an online handle while acting in such a manner is shameful to say the least. This is not right. An email from WOOD-TV states that if 4 complaints are lodged they will remove him from the thread. It’s completely agreeable to disagree but this is beyond the pale. If you support a civil discourse please ask for MofPointillism to be removed.

Also, please pass this along: ArtPrize, an open framework is not an open season to abuse or threaten those with whom you disagree. Support a civil discourse.

4 thoughts on “ArtPrize: Open Framework or Open Season?”

  1. Actually, I did just that when I read all the comments a week or so ago. I was astounding by the voracity of the poster going by the name of Mof­Pointil­lism. My complaint to WOODTV was that the comments of this poster were escalating to the point of feeling threatening and the irrelevant inclusion in nearly every one of the comments of links to Professor Rockman's professional website felt unnecessarily intrusive. I also sensed an undertone of violence that had me wondering about Professor Rockman's personal safety and I feared for her even though we've only met once or twice and spoken in passing. As an artist and a woman, I asked that WOODTV consider removing every comment made by this poster – at the very least, it just became creepy and at the worst – the potential to commit or incite harm to Professor Rockman's person or reputation seemed a very real possibility. I hope WOODTV reconsiders and changes it's policy from anonymous posting to requiring real names be used.

  2. Deb deserves appreciation for having the guts to say what she did. She was a teacher of mine in school and she is a great person and artist. I don't entirely agree (especially the doctor analogy) but she deserves respect for her opinion. It's very unfortunate that she's been attacked in this way.

    I don't think, however, that this sort of negative commenting on the WOOD site is anything unusual tho. It is a byproduct of WOOD's decision to allow anonymous commenting. It creates exactly this vile sort of stuff. Flamers, trolls, all of this is because people don't have to stand by what they say in a public forum. It's great that The Rapidian has decided to not allow anonymous commenting. I'm going to make a story suggestion that a Citizen Reporter from the Rapidian contact Deb for an interview.

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