Friday, April 10, 2009


I’ve resisted commenting on what’s happening over at Globatron because I thought it was pretty much an exercise in didactic dogma and circular thinking. However, with the recent turn of events, I thought I’d draw a parallel between what’s happening there and the Communist Revolution in China in the middle of the last century.

After the Communist forces took over, ostensibly to help the common people and create a more equal society things went well for awhile, but eventually Party leaders were corrupted. Ideas and ideals were distorted, a program of counter/mis-information, bully tactics and gross human rights violations ensured.

Also, as people were starving to death, provincial party leaders were generating reports of record-breaking crops and productivity. All lies to serve what the leaders saw as a greater good, i.e. reinforcing their political goals and dogma.

A good idea gone wrong.


Anonymous said...

It’s interesting to note that Jaxcal/Globatron began after an “anonymous” letter was sent to the Folio. It seems to have gone full circle. Karma?

Kurt said...

Globatron got a little crazy mostly because they started taking themselves way to seriously. But it's a huge stretch comparing them to communist China. Two playground bullies is more like it.

Anonymous said...

I was not on Mao's Long March, but
used to make the Long Drive Saturday
morning meetings when the group was
known as JaxCal.
As to other similarities with the
Chinese, I personally have observed
a member of JaxCal eating noodles,
and another was drinking tea, so
there are grounds for suspicion..
But Globatron/JaxCal has obviously NOT had the success that China has had in marketing their products, go into WalMart, find one thing with a Globatron logo on it, whereas everything else was made in China, with the exception being the actual building.
But yes, in both cases, the
defining force and tone was set by one strong dominating individual's
mindset and agenda, at at that point, the whole game is rigged, top down management does NOT foster or encourage creative participation from others who otherwise could bring so much to the table.
Byron seems to lash out and provoke in a way that leaves the other party little options in their response,then when they come out swinging, he claims to be the very soul of peace, love and brotherhood,and likes to assume the role of the aggrieved and misunderstood party.
How could what was presented as an honest discussion and inquiry evolve into a situation where one of the participants bowed out writing:
Not to mention the 2 emails I received, one threatening me with lawsuits and reporting me to the feds and cops, and the other one, which was rather reasonable and sincere, just asking me to see the practical aspects I was fooling with."
Weren't we talking about Art?
How did it all jump to talk of Feds and Cops?
Ok guys, chill your asses out,
if I did not take the opportunity to say this is beyond cheap drama,
then someone else should, but I did,just to save them the trouble.
What a whirlwind about nothing....

Anonymous said...

well, you know, when ken/akbar tracked down and emailed the universities (bosses) that some of their commentators/contributors work for, in order to alert said institutions of their instructor's (rather benign) philosophical positions, ostensibly to hold those artists and their employers over an open fire, it becomes something less like cheap drama and more like pathological real life stalking. i am still going with this being analogous to the futurists rather than the communists fwiw.

Anonymous said...

That drama was also really, really funny. Fun to read at least. had me in stitches last night. Collard greens served at the action committee meeting, oh my. I'd be laughing still if the whole thing wasn't so deeply, profoundly tragic. Shakespeare could have penned this thing. What an utter shame (and WASTE OF TIME).

madeleine said...

perhaps comparing GT to Communist China was a little overboard, but mostly it was because I liked the comparison, and the idea, that without humor, compassion, and a reality*t gets out of hand.

Plus, the whole "lets contact contributors' institutions" was beyond the pale, self-serving and half-baked at best.

Jax CAL said...

I knew it was only a matter of time Madeleine. Congratulations.

You've been making cheap shots at jaxcal/globatron since it all began. I'm glad you're having fun with this one too.

If you as Jacksonville's only self appointed art critic/writer can't see the ART in the Chicken Wire project then I question your opinions and judgment as I have since you made it your personal quest to poke and stab at me anytime you get a chance to.

Way to go once again. I can almost always count on you writing something smart about what we are doing. Honestly, the only time I read your blog is when I notice hits on my sitemeter from a snarky reference you are making to one of our projects. I was sad to see James and Mark threatened by our posts and projects as they were very close friends of mine. I hope one day to be able to be their friends again. I would have wished they could have just distanced themselves from certain posts and continued contributing but it seems if one is to be an art professor they hae to distance themselves of any controversy. Especially any controversy questioning academia.

It was a well defined art project with specific boundaries. No one was stalked. That's just plain nonsense. Tim Dooley made his identity well known and then we encouraged his art department to be a part of a dialogue that was ongoing. That's all. The letter we sent was very respectfully written at that if you read the letter but I doubt any of you did.

And the Chicken Wire project that was an off shoot of that first letter was another letter asking for more dialogue. Emails sent to an art department asking their opinion of art is not stalking last time I checked or spam. Check your spam box if you see anything like our letter please forward it to me.

Stalking is making up three Facebook profiles and befriending all of my friends then writing shit about me to all of them. That's cyberstalking and was a result of our letters. Or how about writing threatening letters about getting the feds and lawyers rounded up to prosecute us. Or the fifty or so plain out filthy name calling comments that were either deleted or put in the spam filter because they were to awful to be published.

I have no idea what Mr. anonymous is talking about above as that what was done to us. I'm pretty sure I know who it is as who does the cyberstalking in the Jacksonville art scene historically? That person please forward your emails to me. I call BS on that for sure. The correction is, that is what you did to us and we have the letters to prove it.

To be honest, anyone attacking Globatron on this post I hope you never read it ever again as you obviously don't understand the site. No one is forcing you to read it. We have national intentions now and would rather not associate with Jacksonville's art scene since this is the reaction a simple art project gets. I firmly believe Mark's reaction speaks more to the institutions he serves vs. any Communist dictatorship. Afterall we are only speaking of two emails that were sent to one art department asking for their input and dialogue on two posts. Communist dicatorship is really, quite a stretch but at least you admit it.

And as to our several month debate over everything being relative, I suppose it's not all relative is it. Writing any art department and asking them questions about art is off limits. That is one TRUTH we learned from this project. Got it.

If you did not read my short story that outlined the entire process leading up to this please read the first comment on this post:

if you still feel after reading that we had evil intentions in this project or anything I've done on jaxcal/globatron then I can not convince you otherwise.

But have your way with it. Twist our intentions however you want. It seems this blog always does.

I know the person who was the source of information for the article in the Folio that started JaxCAL. Even though that person has personally stabbed me in the back like many of you in the Jacksonville art scene. That person needs no controversy in his/her life. Funny, the one who needs no controversy started all of it. This city will get no where in the arts because we are fearful to have open discussions about anything. Expressing one's opinion in this city is a cardinal sin unless you are Madeleine.

Globatron is no longer a local art blog so please quite attacking it as if we're your competition or something. You can have all the corners. All the mad money we have made off the globatron empire? It never was a competition Madeleine.

The crown is yours. It's all yours. Congratulations. All bow to Madeleine and her quirky, smart writing. I'm so happy for you.

I hope this is your last stab at me but I seriously doubt it. And on closing, I don't read your blog. So please quit reading mine. And I don't desire a response and will not be checking this blog ever again so please feel free to not respond.

Anonymous said...

Holy God!

Anonymous said...

Byron really is just a misunderstood artist trying to start a dialogue in a town that has no guidance without him :( I mean come on guys... this town (and now the country) has so much to learn from Byron King. Obviously, someone who has a BFA and a blog is a force to be reckoned with. He asks the tough questions that someone with a BFA would ask. We ALL know that really what higher-ed needs to focus on is the egomaniacal ramblings of an ex art-handler turned web designer and his BFF who can only truly feel whole when using pen names. Who else would guide the incompetent spine-less academics through the red-taped hallways of the university? Academics need Byron to show them how to grow a pair. If Byron King can seek truth from behind a pen name and a ski mask…we all can. Why in the world would Mark Creegan want to distance himself from a man in a ski mask calling himself Globatron, writing letters to Universities because he just wants to have a dialogue for the betterment of humankind? It MUST be because Mark is bowing to the pressures from the institution that contributes to his livelihood. Mark would never turn his back on the art community. I mean, not the REAL art community. The community of two that had their heads so far up their own asses that they were blind to the fact that their “art project” might compromise Mark’s chances to attain the security needed at a University to openly seek the definitions of truth within his classroom.

-Greedo Clu

Anonymous said...

what was this folio article? i feel so left out.

madeleine said...

Wow. Bryon you certainly weighed in.

My favorite part of your comment were the ways in which you vacillated between addressing me, then addressing the comments, as well as issues I did not bring up on this site, in a big ball of righteous anger. Bryon, you don’t get to jeopardize people’s professional lives because they longer back your “cause,” your search for “truth.” Your totalitarian, one team one fight approach damages not only your credibility, but makes your arguments tedious beyond measure…I’d suggest luring an editor over to GT. Seriously, reading your comment(s) is exhausting.

It was also nice to see you restate many of the accusations you’ve lobbed at me before—often in long, rambling messages directed to my email in-box…things like “don’t speak to me in public."

And since you, Byron, are not going to read this, I guess the best part for me is that you are revealing yourself, and your site, to be the self-serving liability it is.

Good luck with your national site…I guess we all have known, all along, that Byron King is bigger than Jacksonville.

Anonymous said...

I second your original statement Madeleine.. "A good idea gone (horribly) wrong."


is it gone forever once one enters said...

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Mark Creegan said...

My instinct is to let all this ridiculousness go, mostly because I hope I am not self-centered enough to believe anyone cares about all this. But a bully on a pulpit constantly repeats the same flawed narrative, so respond I must simply for the record.
The red herring that I feared the letters because they were “controversial” is completely bogus. I wasn’t afraid, I was embarrassed. An art professor would not have been insulted or shocked by the questions raised but rather by HOW they were presented in such an insulting, arrogant and ignorant manner. The questions themselves are ones that are constantly debated within my profession in journals, conferences, workshops and blogs.
But all that is bullshit because if they were legitimately interested in that investigation they would have involved me as someone (sort of) on the inside. I could have assisted on the content, form and address of such a letter. But the fact that they did not contact me and did these things essentially in my name as a member of the site pissed me off because it was so goddamn obvious that this action was intended to do harm on someone’s career (regardless of its real capacity to do so). It was also obvious that this was a spiteful retaliation because the target was associated with a former contributor.
My last comment on that blog was a clear request for them to think about those actions and the consequences to the blog itself. Honestly that was my main concern because I really did not think this man would have been harmed in any way. But the intention to harm was what angered me and I knew that a blog that was already on shaky grounds would lose all credibility with this. So I waited a couple of days ( I left town) to see if they would come to their senses, but I returned to see that it escalated. At that point the former contributor asked me for my permissions to delete his posts and I did as well in an admittedly rash act but understandable given how disgusted I was. Again this was being done with my name attached. If I feared how it looked to potential employers (and if that was a concern of mine I would have left a long time ago actually), I was just as much or moreso concerned with how it looked to my friends and family. I hope I sent a strong message that I wasn’t having any of this. And I have no problems with them calling it art, but obviously it is a failed work since it doesn’t even conform to their often repeated standards of responsibility and morality.
So at the end I am just sad because I feel something of great potential has steadily been ruined. I am guilty of many things here, mostly the hubris to think that my involvement legitimized something so flawed. I ignored the fact that intelligent people like Madeleine wouldn’t come near the thing and other colleagues I respect asked me what I was doing on there. I felt I could contain the crazy , and at first I thought I had some influence to ease over tensions. But it was always “us vs. them”, first the local artists vs. the museum, then the contemporary artists vs. the monster artists, and now the truthseekers vs. the relativist academics.
But I want to be clear that I was genuinely enthusiastic by most of what went on there. It wasn’t perfect but it mostly fit well my quirky humor, my love of conversation and learning about contemporary art. Ultimately, I think the interests of the participants diverged with mine as witnessed in a recent post titled “What Contemporary Art Has Given Us”. So a blog originally about contemporary art now stands clearly against it (which is why Madeleine’s Chinese communism analogy is so apt to me). The irony that Globatron has ultimately harmed the rep of art that was already seen as elitist and arrogant is mind-boggling. I am taking a blogging break, because I learned my lesson that I am not the local profit of contemporary art--no one personality is or should be-- it’s a team effort. And with that, see you all at the folio show!

madeleine said...


Thank you for noticing that all I really said was that GT was/is a good idea gone wrong.


Thank you for commenting on your own situation...I think we all knew you weren't bowing to "political" pressure, but rather, a professor with a valid response.

Anonymous said...

It was a good point you made, Madeleine. The list of bad things ultimately coming out of good intentions is long. Even a righteous 'art project' can be blown apart by the influenece of our more unfortunate human qualities. Under the right conditions, we are as all easily corrupted as those communist party leaders.

It's good to read Mark's reply. I'm impressed with his restraint for being so quiet up til now.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps after the dust has settled
some clarity will emerge.
Personalities are at times a
volatile mix, passions rise, opinions escalate into rants, tactics descend to the level of "questionable" and the world keeps turning.
Maybe it's all a necessary part of the process, messy but inescapable.
Time, they say, heals all wounds.
Time also wounds all heels

The Laurel flourishes best said...

"it is not necessary to go down into dust and ashes for that, I said."