Last weekend I was lucky enough to sit on a panel with some amazing GLAM sector colleagues at LitCrawl Wellington. We were hosted by Bartley & Company art gallery (which I had never visited despite living in Wellington for 7 years) and had a pretty engaging and urgent yet relaxed conversation about the state of art/cultural sector critical writing in NZ. I will always be so grateful for having friends who talk and think with, so much so that I even didn't mind doing it in front of a (bigger than expected) audience. One thing that kept coming up for me during that panel was 'generosity' so with that in mind...
1. The generosity of criticism by Daniel Coffeen
I talked about this piece in the discussion mainly because I find Daniel's analysis of critical writing personally ground-shifting - he centres it in pure generosity:
"My point is that we expect judgment from each other but when it comes to critique, we take offense.
And this just seems insane as what is more generous than critique? It demands time and energy, a lending of oneself to the performance of another. Judgment leans back in its chair and, exerting the bare minimum of energy, points a thumb up or down. But critique leans forward in its chair, poised and attentive, heeding and contemplating, digesting and imagining."
I love this concept and it has helped me reconcile my own feelings of timidity and uncertainty around critical writing.
2. Becoming generous thieves by Nina Simon
"I learned to cultivate creative greed while working on Operation Spy at the International Spy Museum, where I was lucky to be working on a project that was so new to us that we didn't have any pre-established models or structures for doing it. I spent a lot of research time learning how designers in related fields solve the problems we had developing Operation Spy: how screenwriters craft plot twists, how game designers build instructions into the game, how theme park designers deliver consistent, high-impact multi-sensory experiences. I approached all of these fields with one question in mind: "What can I steal?" What amazing thing is this designer or author or game creator doing that I can take a slice of and stick into my museum?"
3. What is generosity and where does the impetus to act generously come from? Causes, Manifestations and Consequences of Generosity - a multi-disciplinary project out of the Science of Generosity programme at Notre Dame seeks to answer these questions:
"Current studies of generosity come from many different and often disconnected disciplines and focus on various terms, such as philanthropy, volunteerism and altruism. The Science of Generosity initiative aims to bring together diverse approaches in order to create a field for the study of generosity in all its forms."
4. And now for something completely different - The most generous art museum donations of 2016. Cripes. People have too much money.
5. And now, because I'm feeling generous and it's Friday I'm letting you in on my newly discovered love of Arianna Grande. At least one of her songs anyway. You're welcome: