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The Estate Project's website (www.artistswithAIDS.org) announces the launch of an important new component - Artery: The AIDS-Arts Forum. Artery's mission is to examine both the history of the AIDS crisis and its changing face as reflected in the arts.
This week Artery launches with its spring "In Motion" theme. New features include a reunion (via email) of the NEA 4, a Symposium about the unfashionability of AIDS-arts today, an Artist in the Archives interview with Jack Waters, the film program's only living (and African-America artist), a memoir by Philip Lopate about filmmaker Warren Sonbert, never-before-published images of dancer Bill T. Jones, a look at recent AIDS-photo books, and an essay about the landmark, San Francisco AIDS-theatrework "The AIDS Show" (1984), among other features. We expect online activity to now increase dramatically with the inauguration of the International Events Calendar (information can be submitted on the site's calendar section or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Artery is also proud to announce an invitation to participate in the AIDS-Arts Timeline that will be launched this fall. This searchable, double timeline will chronicle both AIDS events and AIDS-arts events of the past two decades. In each case audiences around the world will be asked to contribute information (in the form of text, image and sound) about events with which they are familiar. Just as it is a truism that every locale and society has its own AIDS epidemic, so too does every locale have its own history of the epidemic. It seems especially fitting that the AIDS crises, the cause of so much contention in so many places, be chronicled in a "people's history." The AIDS-Arts Timeline is expected to debut next fall, prior to December 1st, Day Without Art/World AIDS Day.
"Artery has grown organically out of The Estate Project's work preserving artworks created during the AIDS crisis," Patrick Moore, its director noted. "Artery can help us examine important issues raised by the artworks we preserve: What have we learned from AIDS? What do today's artistic responses, and yesterday's, tell us about the epidemic and ourselves? How do artists respond to crisis?" Atkins also believes that the epidemic remains a wellspring of unresolved emotion-on all sides. "As one of the participants in Artery's first symposium observed: 'The influence of AIDS-related art is huge - too large to see clearly and yet pervasive.' It's the Vietnam of the eighties," he said. "We need places to discuss such issues and express those feelings."
Robert Atkins, Artery's producer and editor, is an art historian and writer who has been an innovator in the areas of both digital culture and AIDS activism. Currently, Atkins is a research fellow at Carnegie-Mellon's Studio for Creative Inquiry and art editor of the Media Channel (www.mediachannel.org). In 1995, he created TalkBack! A Forum for Critical Inquiry (http://talkback.lehman.cuny.edu/tb), the first American online journal about online art, and from 1996-98 he was editor-in-chief of the Arts, Technology, Entertainment Network, a start up company producing arts programming for television and the Internet. Since the beginning of the epidemic, Atkins has written widely about AIDS and in 1990 co-curated, "From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS," the first travelling museum exhibition surveying art about AIDS. He was also one of the four founders of Visual AIDS, the New York-based organization responsible for the annual Day Without Art, the Red Ribbon Project, and many other educational activities.
Contact: Robert Atkins, Editor/Producer