Welcome Mat #1

Posted by on Apr 3, 2009 in The Chicken Wire

northern_iowa1

The Welcome Mat is part of an investigative report that Father Mapple Moab Adzu III is conducting. He sent this letter to this university whom we had contact with recently and invited them to discuss a variety of topics. What you will find in this post is a comment thread that represents the feedback from that university and the beginning of our relationship with them. Let’s give them the Globatron welcome by challenging them to profess their highest truth to us.

Share

33 Comments

  1. bill king
    April 6, 2009

    I am surprised to find such an intelligent project on a blog.
    My friend Kathy raves about this site all the time.
    I love the masked Globatron, fighting evil doers.
    Getting back to the post.
    One thing I notice when you look into these schools, is that they have no black teachers.
    I know that there has to be at least one black person in the state of Iowa.
    Where are the black teachers? Does this school hate all black people, or just the ones that teach.
    No ones ever talks about this.

    Hey Akbar, you should expose this blatant racism for what it is>
    Pure hate has made these schools act like jerks.
    These jerks must be booted out on their cans!

    Reply
  2. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    I hope Globatron gets every teacher fired that refuses to open their minds.
    If it has to be by force, then so be it.
    I hope that they get what they deserve.
    They are racist and cowards.
    My professors never pussy-footed around the subject of truth.
    If you don’t speak truth then you are nothing more that a liar.
    Maybe Mark isn’t a coward, he is just a liar.
    Wake up, Mark!

    Reply
  3. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    wow, Bill and Kathy, great points. i couldn’t agree more. I will be writing their town papers tomorrow and sharing this project with them, and i will include your ideas.

    if you would like to help, no pressure, just an invitation, if you could find a way to contact the students there and get them involved, i think that is where the real magic of this project will occur.

    great to have some supportive voices after months of resistance,

    akbar pleased

    Reply
  4. Father Mapple Moab Adzu III
    April 6, 2009

    The following letter was just sent to the press in Waterloo, the WCF Courier. and below you can see the letter byron sent to the dean and the president of the university. doing our part to liberate the creative class!
    Father Mapple Moab Adzu III
    (byron, if you want to imbed these in more logical ways, go for it.)

    Dear WCF Courier,

    The letter below was sent to University of Northern Iowa’s Art Department. We chose their school as the first school in an ongoing investigation into the university art system and how it relates to the jobs, the market, and notions of art and truth in society. We will be contacting schools all over the country and inviting them to engage in the post that we create for them at Globatron.org. Globatron.org is a national Arts and Cultural blog that does extensive reporting and commentary. You can see the Welcome Mat post that we made for them in the headline of our blog:

    http://www.globatron.org

    Please notice the comments there, concerned citizens who noticed a racial inequity in the faculty at UNI Art. We are contacting you because we thought as a newspaper you might like to question them as to their silence on these issues. Given the current financial crisis, we thought you would find the financial elements of this story intriguing, and it could lead to great community discussions.

    Please let us know if you have any questions. I have pasted below the letter sent to every art professor as well as a letter to the Dean and a letter to the President of the University. We have received no response, and we thought you might want to get commentary. Please let us know if you pursue this.

    Thank you,
    Father Mapple Moab Adzu III

    Dearest Art Professor,

    My name is Father Mapple Moab Adzu III. I am an investigator at Globatron.org. We are contacting you again because our recent exchange with one of your professors has inspired us to expand our research of artistic principles into a program of action aimed at investigating relationships between the following set of questions:

    1. Are the 21st century global existential threats, the conjoined twins of environmental stress and economic collapse, essential issues for artists to address in how they live their lives?
    2. Is the current social structure that represents the art world, as represented by universities, galleries, museums and the web sustainable and if it is not how ought artists, as a group, address the situation?
    3. What can a young art student expect from an art department and how does that relate to cost? Do art students have rights?
    4. Are art professors expected to have a clearly defined artistic philosophy and if not how do they resolve the expectations of their students? Are they responsible to explain the terms of their relationship?
    5. If the university is highly integrated with the corporate structures that are coming under intense scrutiny as a result of global problems, how do artists resolve this tension?
    6. If artists are required to submit their work for evaluation in order to attain employment as an instructor, what are the parameters of evaluation? If the only parameters for selection are the department’s personal choices, what are some possible consequences of this?
    7. Are professors complicit in a credit industry that feeds on the desire young people have for a college degree, and if not, how do they resolve their alignment with these agencies?
    8. Most importantly, if these issues are problematic to a college professor, do they have the creative freedom to confront the very institutions within which they work?

    In the interest of full disclosure we are contacting your university and we will be contacting others because we have found a few trends in our dealings with art professors that we hope you will help us understand. One we have found an intense obsession with the notion of ‘career’ in preference to artistic truth. Two, we have noticed a slight aversion to any ideas that would create tension, a kind of political correctness, that we theorize comes from the growing insecurity within a closing ecosystem. Three, an adherence to a post-modern relativism that is protective against a real unity among artists, the kind of unity that would expose the submissiveness to be found in all tiers of the artistic journey, from classroom, to university, to gallery, the artist has become the ultimate employee, playing the part of the nostalgic court jester, but resisting true political or philosophical engagement. We concede that the university might once have been an oasis of intellectualism but due to corporate appropriation we are arguing that it has become a problematic relationship, and we hope to invite a discussion about this with every intention of helping artists become united in the search for an honorable relationship with the 21st century, one befitting those people we believe thrive most when involved in those kinds of revolutions that make sense of history. Most importantly, we are allergic to the kind of political considerations we see at play in the careers of art professors and we feel this works in direct opposition to the creative freedom that is touted as a high ideal.

    Yes, this is a direct challenge, but we at Globatron see this as an extension of our intent to remain passionately engaged in confronting the boundaries of art, and continuing to integrate our knowledge in a way that might not only inspire our fellow artists but serve to uplift humanity in an artful 21st century way. If you feel that you have somehow resolved these political, ethical challenges to be found in the university system, we would love to hear about that as well as any thoughts you have on art’s purpose in a rapidly changing world. As an art professor, we invite you to profess your knowledge to us, and we will give you the respect of opening ourselves to your expertise. Globatron’s members have created a Virtual Welcome Mat for your University as a place for your faculty and students to engage in an exciting discussion of these issues. And that discussion will be broadcast to others as an artistic act. We will be addressing other universities, so this is your opportunity to express yourself to a hungry audience. You will find at Globatron a truly free community where you may also participate in other forms of artistic experimentation.

    We will interpret silence as disinterest, isolation or fear. This is a great opportunity to up the stakes in your community. Even if you think us foolish or naïve, we are offering Globatron to your students as an open project. Now is the time for a reevaluation. Now is the time to dig deep and ask if art has a place in the coming revolution, a revolution that is not man-made, but a result of man-made forces that are colliding, challenging us to do what we have become resistant to doing, craft new values for a new future. This has always been the role for artists, to imagine new futures. And even though some artists have discarded this old romantic notion, to replace it with commerce, we are fighting to keep it alive.

    Sincerely,

    Father Mapple Moab Adzu III

    Investigative Reporter

    Globatron.org

    Dear Nancy,

    I am contacting you to let you know that the entire art department at the University of Northern Iowa
    was sent the letter below as a direct challenge. The questions in the letter are not ones to not be answered.
    They are very profound questions for our time for the professors and the students to have answers for. I thought you’d
    like to know that none of them attempted to answer any of these questions in this letter. Being silent
    to this letter speaks volumes in itself. That much is true. But what does it say? What say you? Maybe if the students were to know that their professors were challenged to answer very profound questions about art and their philosophy and that they were silenced because of the fear of answering these questions and the repercussions of doing so it would make them question further?

    We will be contacting local your media to tell them of the Art Departments silence. This will be an ongoing project
    and other universities will be invited to attend. UNI was the first invited and we were very excited to get their input on this very profound challenge. If there is continued silence on the project that is fine, but that silence will be evaluated next to the input of the other universities who actually do answer. This is no prank or spam letter being sent by someone with a vendetta. It is a challenge to practice what you preach. Or to profess what you teach. If an entire art department can only answer these questions with silence, I’m sure many local media persons would be interested in that silence and what that means for our times.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Byron King
    Globatron.org (founder)

    Dear Mr. President,

    I am contacting you to let you know that the entire art department at the University of Northern Iowa
    was sent the letter below as a direct challenge to their belief systems. The questions in the letter are not ones to not be answered. They are very profound questions for our times and for the professors and the students to have answers for. I thought you’d like to know that none of them attempted to answer any of these questions in this letter. Being silent
    to this letter speaks volumes in itself. That much is true. But what does it say? What say you?

    Maybe if the students were to know that their professors were challenged to answer these very profound questions about art and their personal philosophies and that they were silenced because of the fear of answering these questions and the possible repercussions of doing so, it would make them question their art education even further?

    We will be contacting your local media to tell them of the UNI Art Department’s silence. This will be an ongoing project
    and other universities will be invited to attend. UNI was the first invited and we were very excited to get their input on this very profound challenge. If there is continued silence on the project that is fine, but that silence will be evaluated next to the input of the other universities who actually do answer. This is no prank or spam letter being sent by someone with a personal vendetta. It is a challenge to practice what you preach or to profess what you teach. If an entire art department can only answer these questions with silence, I’m sure many local media persons would be interested in that silence and what that means for the arts and our times.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,

    Byron King
    Globatron.org (founder)

    Reply
  5. bill king
    April 6, 2009

    Please follow though with this.
    This is important to all artists.
    If only Globatron could also put pressure on artists to stay within the normal boundries.
    Most artist just want fame, they never seek out truth.
    You and Byron make art that has a message, its not just about making thousands of dollars.
    I know that you and he are New York artists.
    You have nothing to prove.

    Reply
  6. downwithit
    April 6, 2009

    The trolls are at the controls, and the train crash is coming. Feeling queasy, must look away.
    Byron, put on the brakes. Get counseling. Something. Akbar is obviously insane.

    Reply
  7. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    downwithit, argue against these ideas. the personal insults reflect badly on you. rational argument is something our culture has lost, because of a deteriorating education system. it does not endanger artistic variation or diversity, in fact it will nurture it, by educating the audience.

    your fear of insanity, or novel viewpoints reflects a very narrow view of artistic endeavor. i think you don’t know your history very well, or honor the eccentricity of many of the world’s great artists.

    you have a home here downwithit, but i will always challenge you to put aside personal insults in favor of a rational explanation of your beliefs.

    thank you Bill!

    akbar

    Reply
  8. Byron King
    April 6, 2009

    Yes thank you Bill. Downwithit, your personal insults are getting old. If you are man/woman enough take the challenge and answer the letter, or better yet tell us who you are while answering the letter then go ahead and do so.

    All we are asking for is a little accountability. Toe the line downwithit. Practice what you preach.

    Making silly insults is not supporting your case whatsoever. It is proving however much of what is hypothesized in the letter. The truth and timely significance of asking these questions is becoming clearer and clearer with every insult you muster.

    Reply
  9. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Byron,Akbar, Downwithit is only here because he is afraid of being exposed.
    He is a big part of the larger problem.
    Artists and teachers need to be put in their place.
    I wonder how he would feel if Globatron let the people around him know that he afraid of truth.
    I’m sure he is a professor.
    Hes not much of a man.
    I will see what I can find on this clown.
    I hope I can help you guys spead the message
    .

    Reply
  10. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    Kathy, although your passion is quite wonderful, may i gently suggest that the deep personal attacks could be damaging to us in the long run, as we try to build a logical argument for what we are doing.

    that is my opinion, and so, i am not asking you to confine your speech, just sharing on that point.

    in what you are saying there is something true, that fear is the problem, fear of speaking up, and it is pandemic.

    i think somewhere there is a great middle path, what i would call wise rational exchange. the world is suffering from extremism everywhere. one is either overly emotional and combative or completely conformist and avoidant.

    I think we are looking to make a home here for the middle way, to be confrontational with the power structures but remain available always for calm confident argument on points. that is why i invite Downwithit to stay because his insults do not harm me, but i really do hope he shares his viewpoints, that he struggles to put them into a sound argument, and perhaps he would teach me something. I think behind all emotional attacks there is a genuine passion that is desiring a clear language to give it full expression.

    akbar

    Reply
  11. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Yes, Akbar, you are right again.
    Its just sad that downwithit can come on here and say that we are all crazy for wanting clarity.
    If it was face to face then I bet they would be very careful what they said.
    I just think he should pay a price for trying to talk negative about Globatron.

    Reply
  12. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    that’s the point kathy, he is already paying a price, if we are right in our thesis, these people are feeling fear, and that is a horrible feeling.

    that is why resolute rational dialogue is uplifting for everyone.

    the reason idealists have been equated with dictatorship is that often radicals and revolutionaries did not process their anger and became worse oppressors than those they were fighting against. this is the wisdom of Martin Luther King, that he taught people, if you are going to do confrontation on something you want transformed you must first rid yourself of anger. that is our achilles heel.

    the presence of dissenting voices on Globatron is a good thing, and we should welcome it, and respond to it, as a practice in socratic exchange.

    inside every bitter artist is a young idealist who remembers loving art as something grand and noble. the market driven world has driven us artists apart, and we no longer talk about our art, the intimacy that we used to feel in high school is gone.

    akbar

    Reply
  13. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Akbar, I have very exciting news.
    Bill just called me at work and said he and some his friends will be sending the letter out to newspapers and universities as a group.
    They are meeting tonite.
    He said there may be over twenty people involved.
    If you knew bill like I do.
    You would know he is very intense.
    He is quiet but intense.
    I told him the next step is to do live protests and rallies.
    I hope Byron isn’t mad at me for what I said about Obama.
    My mother says that he is the Antichrist.
    I just don’t trust him

    Reply
  14. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    I want to be clear.

    Byron and I wanted Mark and Valuistics to remain members and contributors of the site. We both liked their posts and their engagement. We felt that they should tolerate our projects and we felt fine to tolerate theirs. Their intolerance of our project made us question why it was so threatening, it is a project born out of curiosity.

    We had no intention of this stuff dominating Globatron. If that was the case Byron would not constantly be inviting people to contribute. These posts can be ignored if they are not liked, as we sometimes did to those we weren’t crazy about.

    i just wanted to be clear on that. I want to be clear that we have no answers, we just have passionate questions, and a feeling of freedom to speak to those questions.

    akbar

    Reply
  15. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    That’s awesome Kathy, way to go Bill.

    i think a healthy mistrust is a good thing, when it comes to government, so no problems here. i am right now hopeful, but it is a cautious hope.

    akbar

    Reply
  16. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Akbar, Bill wants to know what to do if the cops get involved.
    What should he say?
    I told him whatever you do, please do not lie to the police.
    Sometimes I worry about Bill.
    Can sending the letter get Bill in any trouble?
    Downwithit implied that sending letters or e-mails to artists or art professors could get you arrested.
    That smacks of Big brother.
    Byron did it, so I think Bill should have a little courage.
    What do you think?

    Reply
  17. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    yo Kathy, I have no idea what Bill should do, I don’t even know him.

    I’m thrilled you guys are enthusiastic about this project but this letter campaign is something that byron and i are doing, he is welcome to write his own letters and send them to universities and he can share those with us. we are planning on contacting more universities. i might suggest he wait until universities begin to respond and engaging them on this forum.

    this is an art project, and we have no interest in getting into conflict with the police.

    akbar

    Reply
  18. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Once again Akbar you are right.
    Yes, you’re right, Bill can get very excited.
    And believe me,We are very afraid of the police.
    I’m sure Bill will talk about it at the meeting tonite.
    I wish you could be at the meeting.
    But I know that you live in New York.
    You are very lucky.

    Reply
  19. Akbar Lightning
    April 6, 2009

    is the meeting in Jax? if so maybe he could take some video and send it to byron. that would be great.

    akbar

    Reply
  20. Byron King
    April 6, 2009

    yes definitely. please do. Some video would be amazing.

    And no Kathy I’m not peeved about you not digging Obama. I’m open to deferring viewpoints. Globatron is a spot where we can agree to disagree.

    Glad you guys are excited about the project. Where is Bill speaking and to whom? What’s the meeting for? I’m definitely interested in learning more.

    Reply
  21. kathyjackson
    April 6, 2009

    Yes its in Jacksonville, at Bill sisters house.
    Bill lives there.
    I can’t go because I don’t have a babysitter.
    Bill wishes that he had a video camera.
    Hey I got to go.
    Getting off work.
    Maybe next Meeting Byron can come to as Globatron.
    I bet he has a video camera

    Reply
  22. kathyjackson
    April 7, 2009

    Byron, the meeting was at bills sisters house which is in san marco in jacksonville.
    And I hope you don’t mind that he did this on his own but that is Bill.
    He really believes what you are doing is bigger than art, it is a new way of living and thinking.
    He and I agree that the problem is most people are lazy.
    They must be made to do what we want them to do.
    Bill and I are willing to help make that happen.
    He is going to call later on so I will let you know what happened at the meeting.
    LONG LIVE GLOBATRON!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. Ill Papa Mulder
    April 7, 2009

    Greetings

    I once wrote a letter to my Uncle Sam complaining about the lice in my shorts – I just know they put them there.

    He did not reply. Therefore my point is proven by not only Poe’s Law, but because I know I’m right.

    Not all grapes make wine and the Truth marshes on! Rattle ‘dem bones, it makes a stay in the crib more, something and perhaps will get mama back in the room.

    ~Phoxx

    Reply
  24. Akbar Lightning
    April 7, 2009

    Papa Mulder Phoxx, feel free to elaborate. are you being purposely obscure, or is this the talk of a relativist?

    do you think writing a letter is a good response to lice in your shorts?

    or are we to read something into that? as we do not know you, implications are harder, as there is less context. relativism depends upon a bit of knowledge, like getting to know another culture.

    so, welcome, and please elucidate your thoughts some more, so that we may participate.

    akbar

    Reply
  25. Gorgo
    April 7, 2009

    The meeting last night was the bomb.

    Thanks Bill for organizing the whole thing. Tell your sister that the muffins and collard greens were very appreciated.

    I think we need to take action on these issues as soon as possible. Like you said Bill this is a new world and fortune favors the bold.

    I don’t get all this talk about relativism or whatever, it sounds like someone thinks the cause is just for fun, but you know from being there that we all take this very VERY seriously.

    It is time we stood up and removed these barriers to truth and artistic honesty We are all being stifled by these chicken breasted ‘professionals’.

    This is the beginning of a revolution, my friend.

    Globatron has started for real now, Bill. Thanks for providing leadership.

    Calvin is starting the globatron activist group on Facebook, and we are posting the surveillance videos there.

    Anything but Peace, my friend.
    Gorgo

    Reply
  26. Gorgo
    April 7, 2009

    For the group:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=68171229371&view=user#/group.php?gid=68171229371

    You can order the patches and masks from there.

    Reply
  27. Akbar Lightning
    April 7, 2009

    gorgo, I for one do not endorse this. it is threatening and most likely a hoax intended to make us seem like something more than people who wanted to talk about art.
    akbar

    Reply
  28. Gorgo
    April 7, 2009

    Akbar. This isnt about ‘threats’. This is about taking things seriously.

    Since Bill is one of the leaders of globatron, you should take it up with him. Since you werent at the meeting last night, you have no idea how committed we all are.

    Sign up, buy a ski mask and liberate yourself man.

    The Revolution needs funds.

    Gorgo

    Reply
  29. Byron King
    April 7, 2009

    I second that Akbar. This is a hoax like most of the comments have been the past few days. I don’t endorse this whatsoever.

    Good luck with your revolution. We are only trying to have an educated conversation about art and culture through this project. And we are trying to maintain a certain level of intellectual discourse on these comment threads too.

    If you comment on here please try and give it some thought before doing so. No ignorant personal attacks or threats please.

    Reply
  30. Byron King
    April 7, 2009

    Gorgo you are misinformed.

    Check the bottom right hand box at the bottom of the page for a list of the Globatron contributors.

    Bill has no affiliation with Globatron and now I know you guys are just
    having fun and trying to make the project into a big joke. I get it.

    I am about to put my moderators cap on now. I truly hate doing that but this type of nonsense is not going to be allowed on this site anymore.

    Remember that in the future when you see your comments disappear Gorgo.

    Reply
  31. Gorgo
    April 7, 2009

    Byron King.

    I support the ideals of Globatron. I don’t know why you are talking about having my posts deleted.

    I wasnt involved in art until this group formed, and I understand that a lot of the bad people have been pushed out of the group. Like everyone else I am sick of fake artists and poser intellectuals.

    Getting involved with Globatron is the most exciting thing Ive done in a while.

    Bill is holding a vote on what projects will lead globatron into the future I hope to meet you in person at the next meeting.

    Gorgo.

    Reply
  32. Karen Atkinson
    May 20, 2009

    I have sent my survey questions in via email. Am interested in others answers.

    Reply
  33. Akbar Lightning
    May 20, 2009

    Awesome, thank you Karen, we look forward to reading it. Bravo!
    akbar

    Reply

Leave a Reply