Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mad. Mike goes Post-Playa

Check out studio-mate Mad. Mike [Ross] in last week's Voice. He didn't want this blog to break the story six months ago, but now that it's in the nation's largest weekly, I suppose it's fair game. Read it, then come back here.

For the last few months, I've been pondering Burning Man's demise--er, I mean, evolution. Please forgive one quick digressive musing in that direction.

The Playa has always been a venue for artists to strut their stuff and to try out their most audacious schemes. But is there an imaginary line, where artists may not be making their work for the playa and for its visitors at, but rather using it as a show room for their ambitions with eyes fixed on a decided more commercial future? Of course intentionality is impossible to measure, but could a subtle shift be underway? And of course, intentionality, though unmeasurable, is of supreme importance at Black Rock City. It's a community that is united only in its huge (sometimes oversized) good intentions.

Don't get me wrong: Mike is not a cynical guy at all; quite the opposite. He might be the most earnest guy I know. But, should the moment come when the art on the Playa stops being for the Playa, do we lose something precious?

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