The Chicken Wire – Season One

Posted by on Apr 5, 2009 in The Chicken Wire


Welcome to The Chicken Wire, Globatron’s first digital exploration of the relationship between art, truth, academia, freedom and everything else that gets wrapped up with it. We start our season with direct engagement with universities and their art professors, looking for feedback on art’s purpose and
properties. As we provoke them concerning their complicity in a game that has global consequences we
expect a bit of resistance to our work. However, we are looking for informants, anonymous or otherwise,
to help us in this quest. If you value artistic rational engagement feel free to join us, do investigations of your own and join our project.

Hope you enjoy!

Globatron, Akbar Lightning and Father Mapple Moab Adzu III

Look for The Chicken Wire Image for our archive of this project.



  1. Byron King
    April 5, 2009

    I think we’re onto something Akbar and Father Moab. Instead of saying he’s not into the project, Mark Creegan (a supposed good friend of mine) logged in last night and deleted all the posts that he and James Greene had done over the past two years, in fear of this project jeopardizing their careers as art professors.
    It’s sad but true folks.

    Luckily a simple database restore did the trick and we have that content back on the site from our esteemed two local art professors. Be proud of your work my friends, don’t delete it. There’s no reason for that.

    And I know for a fact Mark did it as he’s the only one who had permissions or the interest to do so.

    Luckily I reset all my passwords and don’t have to worry about that ever again. I will miss the Globatron theme song he and Akbar collaborated on though.

    I mean jeez. Has it come to this? Talking about there being no rules.

    Rule number one, don’t email anyone’s employer and ask them to get engaged in a conversation about art, of which they teach?
    Rule number two, don’t speak about truth in the arts.
    Rule number three, if you do speak of truth in the arts you will lose all your contributors who are art professors.

    Akbar, I do think a re-examination of the art laws are in order.

    I’m sure the local media would be interested in this in some way or another if presented correctly.

  2. downwithit
    April 6, 2009

    Yeah, no.
    be real, he’s scared of you, not of losing his job. I’m sure that local media would be pretty interested in you both tracking down the employers of contributors to your website and contacting them. Uh, yeah. The police might be kind of interested too.
    You don’t maybe think it’s that they both feel like they’ve been sucker-punched and they are deeply hurt and confused. Like you’ve stabbed them in the back, that they put their intellectual selves- hell, their thought, effort, and yes, love, for art and learning and sharing here on this site and in return they are now bullied and attacked as part of the academic enemy? I personally do not recall them ever attacking anyone with less educational credentials than them. Who wouldn’t be taken absolutely by surprise that people they considered collaborators with on this site, people they trusted, (bad choice!) a place they treated like a community, would go as low as to STALK them at their place of work in attempt to shame them into some sort of drama or controversy? Byron might not be thinking straight, he is under a lot of stress but that is no excuse for being a dick. Akbar, on the other hand, you appear to be a narcissistic sociopath of a bully. No excuses for that, and maybe no cure either. At least Byron hopefully has a chance. What is this, Akbar, some kind of virtual Columbine where you finally get to put on your trench coat and show the people who think they are better than you how much they wished they respected you back before it was too late? Holy heck I am glad I never posted my name or a link to my work here in a misguided desire to be part of the conversation and share as well. I’d be scared sh$tless right now at Byron and Akbar crossing over into real life, tracking down my professional associates, trying to ruin my career, and generally getting medieval on my azz.

  3. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009


    wow, again, we are getting hit with personal vulgar attacks on our character. i think if anybody looked at this site, they would find us getting such emotional insults way more often than we’ve given them.

    we sought to talk openly about issues that artists have respectfully discussed for 1000s of years, and we do think it’s problematic that suddenly there is such a culture of fear and insecurity. we do not think of art departments as employers, we think of them as institutions that represent certain ideals, and we have invited them to defend those ideals as members of society.

    please downwithit, what chance does byron have? if you describe the cure or even those rules that we have broken, we will abide by them. taking our digital art into the real world is exciting, this is an art project. is mark or valuistics in danger? and if they are, then they ought to reconsider their loyalties. if they are not in any danger, then how you can you defend such personal attacks?

    we honestly mean no harm, we were sincerely looking for an exciting discussion and we were attacked for that, and that made us curious. art and science.

    i’m glad you feel more secure because of your anonymity, your life must be rather fragile, as are many peoples’ lives right now.


  4. Byron King
    April 6, 2009

    I’m not going to give you much respect for the rant you just did downwithit as you have given us none.

    We have contacted only the UNI Art Department and President of UNI. The letter is asking for answers. Real answers to real questions about our culture and our times. It is a not prank or spam letter. But a challenge to practice what your preach or profess what you believe in. An “Art Project” at that. Something that would seem to be more respected but the fear that is seen with its creation proves much of what the letter hypothesizes.

    That’s all. Amazing you see it as stalking. If it is indeed all relative in this world of art and truth, how is an inviting email to an art department not relative too. Or Art even? I’m flabbergasted academics can’t see the irony in dismissing it and not thinking of it as an art project after hiding behind the empty veil of relativism.

    It seems there are real lessons for us all here. If you are to teach, believe in something and be able to stand up for it. If you are to blog on the internet believe in that too. Don’t delete it. Stand up for something. Anything.

    I don’t appreciate the nonsense about me being under a lot of stress. I mean that much is true. A lot of stress. But my current level of stress has allowed me to see as clear as day (Crystal) many of the issues you seem to so easily dismiss. Cancer is a gift downwithit. I take chances one would not usually take. Cancer survivors often speak what they think and stand up for it. Thanks for putting us in our place though. We’ve only been open and asked for real dialogue about real issues. I’m glad I don’t know who you are because I’d most likely be disappointed as I am in Mark and James.

    Of course deleting two years of content (which is nearly illegal since it’s my blog after all) is not just an act of fear of Akbar and me, but of the possibility of their higher ups realizing that Mark and James have been involved in a very long discussion about issues that were addressed in that very letter we sent out. Don’t let me collect the content to parallel the viewpoints in that letter. They are there. But I won’t because I’m not out to get anyone. It’s not a conspiracy. Sorry mate.

    We have not attempted to oppress anyone’s creativity, opinions, or beliefs but merely asked what they are? All James and Mark had to do was to say I don’t support this project and make that known. And that would have been the end of it.

    And yes a journalist would eat this story alive. An entire art department silenced when asked core questions that should be easily rattled off if anyone is to pretend to have the knowledge to teach art.

    And if I could quote a Mark Creegan comment from this post:

    Globatron’s Art Law #5 – Art can’t be taught.

    Hoo Yaa! Love it!
    Here is a great quote from James Elkins. Its is a proposed honest disclaimer on a school brochure that lists several famous artists as alumni:

    Although these artists did study at our school, we deny any responsibility for their success. We have no idea what they learned while they were here, what they thought was important and what wasn’t, or whether they would have better off in jail. We consider it luck that these artists were at our school. In general we disclaim the ability to teach art at this level. We offer knowledge of the art community, the facilities to learn a variety of techniques, and faculty who can teach many ways of talking about art. But any relation between what we teach and truly interesting art is purely coincidental.

    from Elkins, James “Why Art Cannot Be Taught”, U of Illinois Press, 2001, pg 104.

    Downwithit, I would have loved for you to come from behind your anonymous mask of which you have only used a handful of times. I know you are not a devout follower of this site but just passing through. I’m fine with that too. I firmly believe you are connected with the UNI faculty as you only began commenting when Tim Dooley slathered all over the digital art post. Tim’s your boy. I get it. Thanks for answering the letter in an offhanded spiteful manner of which you have maintained since getting in the ring.

    Akbar, is, there’s a link to his site on every post. Nothing anonymous there my friend.

  5. downwithit
    April 6, 2009

    oh I see. Bwaahaahaa! “taking our digital art project into the real world” by trying to mess up people’s lives. I forgot, you think of it as art, so it is ok. Daring, even. Perhaps even Godlike?
    “We were and science” Got it! I am thinking we might get along after all! That is why I torture small animals by dismembering them slowly and seeing how long it takes for them to stop moving, digitally recording the process and posting it all online. They are art films.
    Art and science! I am excited.
    “is mark or valuistics in danger? and if they are, then they ought to reconsider their loyalties.” Your prose is lovely. MmmMMMmmm. sprinkled with more threats and a delightfully heady dose of fascism. I think I love you? Oi!

    this all harks back to the time of Mussolini, what a time that was! 1909, the Futurists, saving art from the clutches of softness, femininity, academia!!
    You’ve studies your lessons well AKBAR. The future is yours:

    F. T. Marinetti, 1909

    1. We want to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness.
    2. The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity and revolt.
    3. Literature has up to now magnified pensive immobility, ecstasy and slumber. We want to exalt movements of aggression, feverish sleeplessness, the double march, the perilous leap, the slap and the blow with the fist.
    4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath … a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
    5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.
    6. The poet must spend himself with warmth, glamour and prodigality to increase the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
    7. Beauty exists only in struggle. There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.
    8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed.
    9. We want to glorify war – the only cure for the world – militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt for woman.
    10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice.
    11. We will sing of the great crowds agitated by work, pleasure and revolt; the multi-colored and polyphonic surf of revolutions in modern capitals: the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals and the workshops beneath their violent electric moons: the gluttonous railway stations devouring smoking serpents; factories suspended from the clouds by the thread of their smoke; bridges with the leap of gymnasts flung across the diabolic cutlery of sunny rivers: adventurous steamers sniffing the horizon; great-breasted locomotives, puffing on the rails like enormous steel horses with long tubes for bridle, and the gliding flight of aeroplanes whose propeller sounds like the flapping of a flag and the applause of enthusiastic crowds.

    It is in Italy that we are issuing this manifesto of ruinous and incendiary violence, by which we today are founding Futurism, because we want to deliver Italy from its gangrene of professors, archaeologists, tourist guides and antiquaries.

  6. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009


    i’m a pacifist. but there are some aspects of utopianism that i think were tossed out because of its violent tendencies. that is quite convenient for our current oppressors.

    i think passive resistance to power structures that work against freedom of expression is a noble pursuit.

    you have called me a sociopath and a fascist. i would say you throw around terminology a little too loosely. that is alarmist.

    but that futuristic manifesto is a great addition to the discussion, pretty cool actually, and challenging. although i hate violence, i like #2.


  7. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    I sure hope someone stops these people from beating up on the globatron.
    He is being destroyed!!!!!!!

  8. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    I agree kathy, what’s wrong with these people?

  9. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    I overjoyed that Mark the the know-it all is off this blog!
    If he is really a Professor, that has never been proven!
    I have a MFA and I never heard any of my teachers tell me that is was a good thing to be passive.
    I know I’m just one person but that just sounds like a coward.
    He Needs to wake up and realize these are very bad times.

  10. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    Yo Kathy, i am so overwhelmed to hear someone on this site who is excited about what we are doing i don’t know what to say.

    i liked mark’s personality, i liked his creative impulses, his aesthetic, but he did find our discussions threatening for some reason.

    although i would no go so far as to say he is a coward, as i’ve never met him, i did find some of his recent actions were less than courageous.

    we never want to lose collaborators, even when their opinions differ, what i find sad is that he did not want to tolerate us.

    welp, another epic adventure on globatron is beginning.


  11. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Maybe I was being rash.
    I think if you look at Marks work, its not very good.
    He’s what I call a loony bird.
    His ideas are to crazy, they seem like he maybe had many problems growing up.
    AND he is a teacher?
    The only thing he can teach is how to be a loony bird.
    Now that he is gone, Globatron can realize it’s vision.
    I believe that is whats important.
    This is a think tank for artists.
    Throw the dead weight overboard.
    Bye Mark! Bye James!

  12. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    maybe you are right kathy. perhaps it is pointless trying to convince people that artists ought to be free to have strong opinions, that it in fact makes for more fruitful dialogue.


  13. Byron King
    April 6, 2009

    A think tank for artists. Wow. What an honor Kathy. Thank you.

    Bill had a great thought, how would we do the same type of project for artists themselves?

    The way I believe Akbar and I see this Chicken Wire project as season one. This season we are addressing Academia. What’s next? Any ideas on what approach for season two?

    Obviously the galleries and art critics should be approachable too.

    There are many questions that need to be answered. No one engaged professionally in the arts should be unapproachable in their ivory tower.

  14. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Byron, I hope you don’t mind that I said that this site is a think tank?
    Bill is my friend, he has been involved in the arts for 30 years.
    He loves this blog.
    He feels that Globatron has the power to shape the arts into something America and the world can be proud of.
    Teachers and artists are making fools out of the world.
    They are very greedy.
    Artists, think just because they get away with spitting in the face of the public, that no one can stop them.
    Well i have news for them.
    They will be exposed, they will join us or they will suffer.
    Now they have Globatron watching them.
    I think you are at the tip of the iceburg
    BTW I just found out I am being let go at my job.
    I have two weeks, then no job.
    I worry about what is going to happen to my two little girls.
    Obama must GO!
    Impeach OBAMA!

  15. Byron King
    April 6, 2009

    I don’t agree with you on Obama. The man just got in office. But that’s your viewpoint and I completely respect that. Sorry to hear about your layoff. We’re all in the same boat it seems.

    No…..think tank is a real honor. Thank you.

    Obama inherited a mess though, I’m all for giving him the benefit of the doubt. He’s definitely working hard and trying something new, as the old economy is what got us all into this situation in the first place. Right?

    Politics aside, really glad to see you and Bill involved with the site. Thanks for joining in on the discussion and for the very kind words about Globatron.

  16. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    I don’t agree and I’m mixed race.
    Obama is making everything worse.
    Larry Summers, citigroup, Goldman sachs, Tim Geinther.
    How is this better than Bush.
    Just because someone is black,that doesn’t mean they are always right.
    This is just the New World Order.
    I hate poltics.
    But I love this site!
    Your Globatron video is my favorite.
    Bill, thinks that Globatron should be the face of the blog.
    I like the idea of daily Globatron video reports, or even hourly reports.
    I know with you being very sick, that may be too much for you.
    Its just an idea.

  17. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    Yo Kathy, I agree that some of the financial decisions being made in washington sound questionable, but I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt simply because I acknowledge my limited knowledge of the larger financial picture.

    What i do believe strongly is that if artists were more united in what we were doing, and less fractured, less isolated from one another due to competition, we could address political issues in a more informed way, like Hollywood.


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