fence transparency

This text is by Jennifer Junkermeier in her capacity and does not, necessarily, reflect the views of different infinite mile contributors, infinite mile co-founders, the author's employer and/or other author affiliations.  

fence transparency
fence transparency

∞ mile is…


Jennifer Junkermeier


My letter to you describes what I think
∞ mile (infinite mile) is, what I hope it will become and why I think it is a necessary endeavor.  By presenting what I believe to be the cornerstones of ∞ mile, its physical manifestations as a forum and record that facilitate criticism, and discourse, I hope to provide adequate reasons why you should engage with it and keep engaging.  

∞ mile is…

Everyone who has signed on to be involved with ∞ mile has varying ideas of exactly what it is and what it should be.  I think this is a good thing.  ∞ mile is a forum. Its online occupation is concerned with providing a structure for people to publicly and formally exchange views and ideas on art and culture in Detroit and abroad.   

Currently, few publications contain text or images of Detroit’s scene outside institutionally initiated or social-media dictated formats of information exchange.  ∞ mile is an accessible, public record of happenings, climate, and context for select art in Detroit.  With the amount of work created and shown in Detroit as well as a growing interest from both inside and outside the city in its happenings, a sizable gap of sources attempts to define and contextualize what the scene is and what it looks like.  ∞ mile will provide an alternative record of the art scene that, albeit curated, takes its cues from its contributors and audience as seen in monthly text, photo essays, letters and "citings".     

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

-Oscar Wilde

Criticism is a touchy subject.  It can be difficult to write and difficult to read when about one’s own your work.  A complaint about most of the recent art writing on Detroit is its deficit and self-congratulatory abundance.  Too kind and too polite, it has carefully avoided getting to the messy heart of it in fear of hurt feelings and unneeded discouragement to well-meaning neighbors, artists and community.  An important facet of ∞ mile is the reviews and criticism we anticipate writing.  A critic can be just as vulnerable a position as the one criticized. So, why do it?  In a 2012 article for The Brooklyn Rail titled "What's So Important About Criticism," Barbara A. MacAdam points out that our:

concern should not be ...with the importance of criticism as a vehicle for making judgments so much as with finding ways of figuring out what artists, curators, and even institutions intend, and both determine and explain how it is perceived or even successfully misperceived. ...In that way we can start a discussion, which I believe is the most anyone can hope for. It’s the true calling of criticism.

Art does not exist in a hermetic bubble.  It is not created in such or shown there.  It is meant to be seen and engaged by an audience and community who have the right and responsibility to respond.  Today, more than ever, I believe art should be discussed in hopes of understanding, contextualizing, learning and growing from our experience with it.  ∞ mile and the forum, record and critique that I hope it provides, will facilitate that discussion not only for a local community but for the global community for which we are part. 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Sincerely,



Jennifer Junkermeier

 

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