Track Changes : Open Space

The colophon for the original Open up House, printed by White Rabbit Push. The 1965 quantity is a cherished present from OS contributor and then-colleague Jay Mollica.

It’s 9:44 p.m. on the final Monday in October.

I just finished modifying the previous first draft for Open up Space’s final time. Lots more enhancing to do, but — no much more opening the new submission, thinking what you’re getting versus what you commissioned. No additional sending it back again to the writer, thanking/querying/cajoling/outlining … which is all above now.

For the longest time I haven’t acknowledged how to start this goodbye. I’ve experienced it noted in the editorial calendar as “Solong&thanksforallthefish,” a dumb sf in-joke with myself, some variety of comfort food.

And what is there, genuinely, to say, that hasn’t been reported in one particular form or another by someone or other on this rabbit warren of a web-site? Open up House doesn’t lend by itself to summary, to closure — undoubtedly not by just one man or woman. As founding editor Suzanne Stein wrote when we tasked her with addressing the web page on its tenth birthday:

And but so. Now it’s 4:04 p.m. on the 1st Monday in November. It might be genuine that the pleasurable things often get delayed. But not endings: Below we are, past halt, on the heels of former handling editor Gordon Faylor’s evocative, indirect farewell. That is not a royal we — I invited Suzanne to be a part of me for this article, or she proposed it, or a lot more almost certainly it was somewhere in the content center. It is a amusing (really hard, maddening) thing to run a very small, for-artists-by-artists plan within a massive institution remaining in a position to collaborate with Suzanne, especially these very last few months, has helped ease the odd loneliness of it. I’m grateful to her: for envisioning and creating this website, for inviting me to get around its stewardship, for getting a superlative collaborator and close friend.

I’m grateful to absolutely everyone who has assisted to make Open Space what it is… regardless of what model that is, to you. I just said that OS is little, which it is: Presently a crew of a person, supported by a sole funder (thank you Davis/Dauray Loved ones Fund!), it is generally at most been a 50 percent-handful of persons inside SFMOMA (Grace Ambrose, Gordon… I see your deft arms in so several of these stunning webpages, and in so a lot of recollections of our by-the-seat-of-our-pants events), and a number of sort souls borrowed on celebration from other departments (thank you Gillian Edevane, thank you Noah Biavaschi, thank you Sam Mende-Wong, thank you Bosco Hernández — and thank you Sylvia Castillo, pricey Sylvia, without whom this page, together with myriad other folks generated in the last couple of years, would not search approximately so spiffy). But the total position — the possibility and the rub — lies in hunting beyond the edifice, and then: so several contributors! So a lot of espresso and cocktail dates, studio visits and tech rehearsals. Conferences and showings and consultations and collaborations, notebooks full of plans realized and neglected. And edits, edits, edits… constantly edits.

Additional than everything ultimate, it is this earning-of that feels essential now: the determination to striving a thing, potentially a thing one does not know really how to do, or why, and viewing how much one particular can acquire it. The wondering and wrangling and debating and eye-rolling and laughing and seeking once again next time. That’s how art has constantly made perception to me, as a generating feeling of this earth, employing the resources and means at hand, and then sending whatever success out into the exact entire world, in vanishingly uncommon occasions transforming it, each and every as soon as in awhile connecting, and extra frequently than not basically staying reabsorbed. Nothing at all really worth maintaining lasts by keeping the identical.

Is that legitimate? It’s possible. Maybe not. Let me say as an alternative, at 11:22 a.m. on November 9, 2021: I have these kinds of gratitude for all of this, and all of you. For the messy, uncomfortable, imperfect, superb present that was and constantly will be Open Area.

And so (now! November 29, 11:32 a.m. — no, wait around, make that December 1, 3:57 p.m.!), ultimately: So extensive, and thanks for all the fish.


When I left SFMOMA five yrs ago, it under no circumstances transpired to me I’d remain so included as to be composing a final submit, as (un)certainly as I penned the initially. I must have regarded, probably: It speaks to the beliefs of the publication. See, you leave a position. You do not preserve carrying out it! But what you can’t leave — even in a break up — is a relationship. And Open Room describes a internet of relation.

Open up Area was (previous tense!) an experiment, a challenge, an architecture, a lark. (Also, a thing that sings.) When I talked my way into the predicament that would develop into this publication, I promised myself that, for a length of two decades, this by yourself would be my poetic experiment. 13 years on I’m startled when I consider the macro view: so many palms, so quite a few minds, so numerous traces! A large amount happens in a ten years-moreover, as Claudia factors to above I have reported farewell when already and I have even summed up.

This feels like a moment to just say thanks.

To Gordon Faylor, for editorial companionship and his expansive curatorial intelligence, whose care for the esoteric, the wildly experimental, and the historic introduced new texture and dimension to Open Place, not only but particularly wherever poetry is anxious.

On behalf of all of us (writers, artists, readers!) to Cody Carvel, poet and electronic fellow at Brown University, who extensively recommended and supported me as we labored difficult to protect achievable futures for the Open up Space archive. A lot of clever and caring people today are section of this effort, and I sense confident our work is protected.

And, comprehensively, to Claudia, from whom I’ve figured out so much. When I passed editorship of this unusual experiment to her I couldn’t have identified she would become pricey friend, confidant, collaborator. This artist, so generous in developing house and time for many others, who — knowingly! — took a job that intended she’d be privileging others’ get the job done about her own. She invited me to sign up for Open up Area as author myself, making it possible for me for the to start with time to truly feel what so several contributors had expressed to me in excess of the a long time: The flexibility to create, unconstrained, in so general public a platform, is a transformative creative and important working experience. And it will make the decline of this one of a kind publishing endeavor sense all the a lot more poignant for me, and just a very little little bit tougher to bear. And as to all those edits, edits, edits: not only supporting, but carefully, elegantly, creating others’ do the job better—this present, this distinct form of treatment, so often invisible.

I would like to mention some of Claudia’s other achievements on behalf of this community of artists as effectively. Her very first work as editor-in-chief was to guarantee that contributors no lengthier desired to seek out permission from SFMOMA to republish their individual function. In advance of the end of her initial year, she observed that Open up Room was W.A.G.E. accredited, which meant that contributors would be compensated a honest wage scale calculated in relation to SFMOMA’s whole functioning expenditures — the only outlet of the museum that could declare to be so transparently equitable! Claudia expanded Open up Space’s reside, in-particular person component to contain dance, functionality, and seem collaborations and jointly with Gordon began to commission poets not only for essays and commentary, but for poetry basic and straightforward. Critically, crucially, they expanded access and invitation to so quite a few men and women and voices traditionally marginalized, not only in arts publishing, but within just the walls of the museum alone.

Open up Space was usually inside, and towards. This stress and contradiction was developed in from the beginning, designed it what it was. If the platform is missing, I like to assume the probability isn’t.

At last, and especially, to each and every of you who have at any time had a hand in this thing, and you know you who are: for your pondering, generating, and speaking within just and for Open up Room, and for your friendship, awareness, and dialogue. We — collective we — produced some thing intense, unkempt, anything alive. Open Place, never a selection of things, often a constellation of men and women, suggestions, expressions —




How does one particular do justice to these an ever-growing entity, to get at its density and its achieve? We questioned Lenny Gonzalez to check out. His answer, in collaboration with animator Chris O’Dowd, is this movie, the remaining Open up Room commission.

We suggest whole display, sound on:










Leave a Reply