November 29, 2023


masterpiece of human

Track Changes : Open Space

Track Changes : Open Space

The colophon for the first Open Space, released by White Rabbit Push. The 1965 quantity is a cherished reward from OS contributor and then-colleague Jay Mollica.

It’s 9:44 p.m. on the past Monday in Oct.

I just concluded editing the previous to start with draft for Open Space’s previous season. Lots additional editing to do, but — no a lot more opening the new submission, questioning what you are having versus what you commissioned. No far more sending it again to the author, thanking/querying/cajoling/explaining … that is all around now.

For the longest time I have not identified how to start this goodbye. I’ve experienced it observed in the editorial calendar as “Solong&thanksforallthefish,” a dumb sf in-joke with myself, some sort of comfort and ease food.

And what is there, really, to say, that hasn’t been claimed in a person variety or one more by anyone or other on this rabbit warren of a web page? Open Space does not lend alone to summary, to closure — certainly not by a single individual. As founding editor Suzanne Stein wrote when we tasked her with addressing the internet site on its tenth birthday:

And but so. Now it is 4:04 p.m. on the very first Monday in November. It could be true that the pleasurable issues always get delayed. But not endings: Listed here we are, previous cease, on the heels of previous managing editor Gordon Faylor’s evocative, oblique farewell. That is not a royal we — I invited Suzanne to join me for this post, or she suggested it, or extra most likely it was somewhere in the content center. It’s a amusing (difficult, maddening) detail to operate a very small, for-artists-by-artists program inside a huge establishment being capable to collaborate with Suzanne, specially these previous couple months, has assisted relieve the strange loneliness of it. I’m grateful to her: for envisioning and constructing this site, for inviting me to take about its stewardship, for currently being a superlative collaborator and close friend.

I’m grateful to everyone who has aided to make Open Room what it is… what ever variation that is, to you. I just stated that OS is very small, which it is: Currently a team of 1, supported by a sole funder (thank you Davis/Dauray Family members Fund!), it is constantly at most been a half-handful of folks inside of SFMOMA (Grace Ambrose, Gordon… I see your deft arms in so many of these stunning internet pages, and in so a lot of recollections of our by-the-seat-of-our-trousers events), and a number of sort souls borrowed on situation from other departments (thank you Gillian Edevane, thank you Noah Biavaschi, thank you Sam Mende-Wong, thank you Bosco Hernández — and thank you Sylvia Castillo, pricey Sylvia, without having whom this page, along with myriad others developed in the previous few of many years, would not search just about so spiffy). But the full stage — the probability and the rub — lies in looking beyond the edifice, and then: so lots of contributors! So several espresso and cocktail dates, studio visits and tech rehearsals. Meetings and showings and consultations and collaborations, notebooks complete of plans understood and overlooked. And edits, edits, edits… normally edits.

Additional than everything remaining, it’s this producing-of that feels significant now: the determination to making an attempt one thing, maybe one thing one does not know rather how to do, or why, and seeing how far one particular can choose it. The wondering and wrangling and debating and eye-rolling and laughing and making an attempt again up coming time. That’s how art has generally manufactured sense to me, as a making perception of this globe, employing the resources and suggests at hand, and then sending whatsoever benefits out into the identical earth, in vanishingly scarce cases shifting it, just about every after in awhile connecting, and a lot more usually than not simply being reabsorbed. Nothing at all worth holding lasts by staying the exact same.

Is that legitimate? Possibly. Maybe not. Enable me say as an alternative, at 11:22 a.m. on November 9, 2021: I have these gratitude for all of this, and all of you. For the messy, not comfortable, imperfect, wonderful present that was and generally will be Open Space.

And so (now! November 29, 11:32 a.m. — no, hold out, make that December 1, 3:57 p.m.!), finally: So prolonged, and many thanks for all the fish.


When I left SFMOMA 5 decades in the past, it by no means occurred to me I’d continue to be so included as to be composing a final write-up, as (un)definitely as I penned the 1st. I need to have regarded, most likely: It speaks to the beliefs of the publication. See, you depart a job. You never retain doing it! But what you just can’t leave — even in a break up — is a connection. And Open Area describes a web of relation.

Open Space was (earlier tense!) an experiment, a problem, an architecture, a lark. (Also, a point that sings.) When I talked my way into the circumstance that would grow to be this publication, I promised myself that, for a length of two a long time, this on your own would be my poetic experiment. Thirteen a long time on I’m startled when I consider the macro see: so quite a few arms, so several minds, so numerous traces! A lot transpires in a 10 years-moreover, as Claudia points to over I’ve explained farewell once previously and I’ve even summed up.

This feels like a instant to basically say many thanks.

To Gordon Faylor, for editorial companionship and his expansive curatorial intelligence, whose care for the esoteric, the wildly experimental, and the historical introduced new texture and dimension to Open Place, not only but primarily exactly where poetry is anxious.

On behalf of all of us (writers, artists, visitors!) to Cody Carvel, poet and electronic fellow at Brown University, who thoroughly recommended and supported me as we labored tough to protect attainable futures for the Open up Space archive. A lot of wise and caring individuals are component of this effort, and I come to feel confident our function is protected.

And, carefully, to Claudia, from whom I have acquired so a lot. When I handed editorship of this strange experiment to her I couldn’t have known she would become expensive good friend, confidant, collaborator. This artist, so generous in producing room and time for other individuals, who — knowingly! — took a occupation that meant she’d be privileging others’ operate about her possess. She invited me to join Open up House as author myself, allowing me for the first time to come to feel what so quite a few contributors experienced expressed to me in excess of the a long time: The flexibility to produce, unconstrained, in so community a platform, is a transformative imaginative and important encounter. And it would make the reduction of this exclusive publishing endeavor truly feel all the more poignant for me, and just a very little bit more difficult to bear. And as to individuals edits, edits, edits: not only supporting, but carefully, elegantly, making others’ do the job better—this reward, this unique kind of care, so often invisible.

I would like to point out some of Claudia’s other achievements on behalf of this neighborhood of artists as effectively. Her 1st exertion as editor-in-chief was to guarantee that contributors no for a longer time required to request authorization from SFMOMA to republish their have function. In advance of the end of her first calendar year, she observed that Open up Room was W.A.G.E. certified, which intended that contributors would be paid a honest wage scale calculated in relation to SFMOMA’s whole working expenditures — the only outlet of the museum that could claim to be so transparently equitable! Claudia expanded Open Space’s dwell, in-individual component to incorporate dance, overall performance, and audio collaborations and alongside one another with Gordon started to fee poets not only for essays and commentary, but for poetry plain and basic. Critically, crucially, they expanded accessibility and invitation to so a lot of people today and voices traditionally marginalized, not only in arts publishing, but in just the walls of the museum by itself.

Open Area was often inside of, and in opposition to. This pressure and contradiction was constructed in from the starting, designed it what it was. If the system is misplaced, I like to think the likelihood isn’t.

Eventually, and specifically, to every single of you who have ever had a hand in this point, and you know you who are: for your thinking, generating, and speaking within and for Open Place, and for your friendship, notice, and discussion. We — collective we — manufactured some thing intense, unkempt, one thing alive. Open up Room, by no means a collection of matters, usually a constellation of persons, concepts, expressions —




How does 1 do justice to this sort of an at any time-expanding entity, to get at its density and its get to? We requested Lenny Gonzalez to try out. His answer, in collaboration with animator Chris O’Dowd, is this video, the ultimate Open Room commission.

We advocate comprehensive screen, seem on: