Globatron 2008 Wrap Up

Posted by on Dec 23, 2008 in Art Coverage, Globatron

With the year quickly wrapping up, I thought it was only right to do a sort of summary of Globatron’s perspective.  If anything, I believe Globatron has learned this year is that anyone who is actually trying help improve the scene is a part of the solution, and that there is a place for everyone.  Below is a 24 minute video blog by Globatron talking about his opinions and perceptions of the Jacksonville “art scene”.  With little ROI for anything arts related in Jacksonville, eventually folks reevaluate their lives and feel that passing the torch is better than continuing an uphill battle.  Here’s to uphill battles.



  1. Akbar Lightning
    December 24, 2008

    i got opinions man, i got opinions too, man…

    art world…sheez…there are too many of us, and what are we doing, we are engaged in so many activities. man, sheez.

    artists need to remember their purpose, that is why we do not thrive.

    stock brokers are supposed to invest in solid companies, when they do not, the market becomes false and corrupted.

    artists are meant to inspire ‘the people’, pure and simple, but we engage in sarcasm and irony, and as a result we inflate the market, we corrode values, and we alienate ourselves.

    the market needs rules, and artists need standards. it is sad but true. the 21st century artists will be those brave enough to develop some standards.

    art is a spiritual practice, and we are so far from spirituality in our cold and calculated art world, so enmeshed have we become with business and fashion.

    this is not an attack on globatron, it is an answer to a question, it is my hypothesis to explain globatron’s question of why? why this ebb and flow, why this perpetual sense of failure, why the galleries come and go, why the feeling of meaninglessness and futility?

    The artists must work together to make ourselves indispensible, but to do that we will have to decide on values, rules, standards, we will have to do things that many of us hate to do, compromise, commit.

    only this way will we become a language to society instead of a tower of babel, a oasis for fools.

    i do not claim to be there, one cannot get there alone, but i sing the song nonetheless, and yet, i will probably fight it the most when it begins. i am paradox, I am akbar lightning.

    all praise him, Globatron!!!!

  2. Byron King
    December 24, 2008

    You have a good point. There are little standards in contemporary art. The old anything goes rule, is killing art. No one is buying art because contemporary art has cut itself off from the rest of society. Now it’s just for a small percentage of the world. I’ve had many conversations at parties, etc, and people ask me what type of art I do, and I say whatever I want to do. And imply, you wouldn’t get it anyway.

    Now that’s sad I think. The average person is no longer included in the equation for art. It is produced for, and sold to a small group of people. Artists in cities like Jacksonville (which has a very small collector base) are fighting over reputation more than anything. If art was still for the average viewer we’d all be making money and galleries would be staying open. But it’s not. It’s for a tiny percentage of any city. I agree with you akbar. If we want to survive this economy we need to think about being inclusive not exclusive. Contemporary art has continued for decades cutting as many of the population out of the mix as they can. Now we have many generations of art educated artists who wonder why they can’t make it as an artist, and galleries who wonder why no one is buying their work and why they can’t stay open.

    The economy, the war, global warming, all of these epic events in our lives seem to be a symbol to recreate art and redefine it so that it can include more of the masses. We need to look at Obama’s campaign and see how the message was to include not exclude. There was magic in his campaign. If contemporary art wants to survive these hard times we need to re-evaluate our goals and start to open the dialogue up to more folks who can get our message.

    Very interesting response Akbar. Thanks for taking the time to do so. I forgot to add the major art (cultural) event for me was that Obama came to town, three times. That was the most significant cultural event. And it beat any art event by a landslide.

    I also forgot to add that the biking and bike art scene has been big in Jax lately, and that crowd seems to be very inclusive yet attracts a very hipsterish crowd to their happenings. The single/fixed gear bike crowd has an interesting movement here in Jax that is putting art on wearable useful objects like bike bags, bike frames, and t-shirts, taking art off the gallery walls and putting it on things people can use on a daily basis. Maybe the DIY spirit is where all contemporary art needs to go if we want to attract more of the population?

    Globatron is trying to keep the dialogue going. He is not sure how a year could go by so quickly with such little progress. Maybe some of you could help him understand. Akbar, thanks for bringing your A game to the table.

  3. Joy @ Bogda
    December 24, 2008

    Just let me know when you want to talk.

    And thanks for all the good feedback. You made me feel like I made some kind of difference here.

  4. tommy armageddon
    December 24, 2008

    thanks. man that was long but i watched it all. i don’t know much about how its done but i knew people and places you mentioned. happy holidays.

  5. Byron King
    December 25, 2008

    Can’t believe you watched it all. Or that anyone would. Thanks Tommy. Funny thing is Globatron could probably talk another half hour easily about this very subject. His father used to call him the mouth of the South for good reason.

  6. kelly
    December 27, 2008

    I watched it all. I think you’re spot on about the DIY (or arts and crafts, if you prefer, speaking historically and not colloquially) movement. Look at the economy, can people in Jacksonville really afford to buy a lot of work? I think we need to examine more closely what happened to art making, and the art market, in the depression era. I personally am not well-informed about this subject/era, so I can’t really say anything useful about it.

    Personally, I’m finding less satisfaction with art making. As depressing as it may be, I’m finding that I’m influenced by the falling-sky reports about the world, and I can’t help but question a lot of the art that is made. What good does a platinum and diamond-encrusted skull do for rioters in Greece? What good does an abstract painting of a nude woman do for tensions in south Asia? I find that I love art projects that are blurred with civic projects. Like Rural Studio, N55, and The Wayward Plants Registry. We are the creative people with the skills, let’s do some research and solve some problems already! Stop decorating a sinking ship!

  7. Yvonne
    December 27, 2008

    hey byron, glad to see you recovering nicely.
    it’s amazing to actually think that your brain was exposed not long ago.

    2008 Wrap Up: good stuff.

    you’re right about this scene, it goes up and down, backwards and forwards, inside and out, it’s enough to make you fall off balance and lose your way. maybe i’m a hopeless optimist, but i have faith in this city. i know there have been artists here forever, but as far as an actual scene i don’t think it really started till a little over a decade ago. of course, i’m only speaking from my experience. compared to what it was, what i remember, and what it now is, i think we’ve made huge strides, but we still have a long way to go.

    an element that we can’t forget about is educating the public, we need to start the education in our schools, and keep in mind that there are several generations of jacksonville citizens who missed this important element so we need to reach them in a different way. as artists we do this already by exposing them to our work but we definitely need to take it a few steps further, like your blog for example. reading the thought process behind some artists’ work sometimes gives it more value to the innocent bystander who doesn’t know what they’re looking at. unfortunately, the blog caters primarily to those who are already in the scene. now i wish our local main stream media would jump on the ride and support our scene and give us the coverage we deserve. for most of us, this isn’t a hobby we picked up along the way. the sacrifices that most of us make to pursue our passion and in turn enrich our city would shock most people.

    our city & scene lack respect. ignoring a positive aspect of our city’s growing culture and obsessing on our negative aspects isn’t going to elevate the level of respect our scene deserves. outsiders looking into our city only hear the negative side (too many police shootings, a bad season for the Jags, high murder rate) but what about all the good? what about all the hard working artists, musicians, performers etc ? just the thousands of dollars that are raised by silent art auctions a year by our very own local artists is nothing to ignore.

    we also need to expose people to art on a daily basis, i’ve always been a big advocate of murals, not just gallery shows. gallery shows appeal to people who already know art or are in the art scene and those people are already going to the shows. your average person in jax doesn’t know and feels intimidated going to gallery openings especially when they don’t know a thing about art or the artists. i feel sometimes baby steps are needed to accomplish what we want, instead of expecting giant leaps of progress. we need a foundation, we need roots before we can really grow. maybe that’s why we keep growing and dying. without a strong root system we’ll never grow to where we want to be.

    besides the venues you mentioned, we do have a couple of events which help expose the masses to local artists, 2 that come to mind are Art Unleashed & Art After Dark. I’ve shown work in both of these shows, my work sold very well and met a couple of my future collectors. Art Unleashed is a fund raiser, but the exposure has been great (and of course it’s for a great cause) the amount of art buyers that show up to these two shows is incredible for jax’s usual standards.

    anyway, these are just thoughts & opinions. i won’t stop working at trying to figure out what makes jax tick or what will get it to keep ticking. you’ve got a great thing going on here byron, keep it up, hope you and your family are enjoying these holiday blessings 🙂

  8. globatron
    December 27, 2008


    I definitely think there has been a lot of positive. You are correct about that. But usually any news source, focuses on the negative, I guess I was going in that direction with this wrap-up too. I could name ten amazing art shows, several I was involved in also.

    I definitely believe in baby steps and taking one day at a time, but until we have the infrastructure to support the arts here in Jacksonville, I do think we need to face the truth about it and realize we are sort of kidding ourselves and that this city will never be a real art town. Not unless we can get a walkable arts district supported by the city will we have anything but what we have.

    If the city woke up one day and realized they could allow artists to have shows, and studios in all the condemned buildings downtown and that they all could be open during art walk until new renters were found for the properties, we could transform this city overnight.

  9. Byron King
    December 28, 2008

    Yep Yvonne, that was my brain. It’s amazing. Thanks for noticing. The recovery has gone amazingly smoothly. A little rewiring needed to happen on the left side but it happened very quickly. My fine motor skills came back online in a jiffy.

  10. Zac Freeman
    December 29, 2008

    Enjoyed your recap of 2008. And thanks for all your effort in nurturing a Jacksonville art scene. Maybe we didn’t move forward anywhere, but maybe we didn’t move backwards either. It’s hard to tell. And that’s unfortunate.

  11. Byron King
    December 30, 2008

    Thanks Zac. Nice to hear from you. Would love to hear an update on how your art practice is going. I really appreciate it. Happy New Year.

    Yeah maybe we’re just right in the middle neither forward nor backward. Better than going backwards. Backwards would be no one talking about this at all possibly. Since this all started I’ve been a big advocate of keeping the dialogue going so we can make some forward progression.


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