Thoughts about the website
March 10, 2010
posted by caroline picard
I’ve started talking to a friend of mine who’s helping with the new website and thought it might be interesting to post some of those thoughts. We’ll see where this leads, but it’s a beginning, I think.
And then website:
I’m presenting the new Green Lantern incarnation as an art project. The project is intended to investigate the relationship between for-profit and non-profit business structures–trying to create a better means of sustaining art practice and community by integrating those otherwise prescriptive modes. (the gallery/press being non-profit, the cafe/bar/performance space/bookstore being for-profit. i also imagine there being offices with independent though like-minded organizations.) My concern is that this could very very easily become, simply, a business. It also get very messy. That’s why I want to be very careful (obviously) about the style and presentation of the material.
I started thinking about this, in some respects, with Kraftwork. I feel like the packaging of their project and how it complements their music/vision is brilliant. I would like to create something as aesthetically tight as that. (A tall order, I know, but I think it’s a good place to shoot for).
With that in mind, it also occurred to me that it might be interesting to switch the main color from green to red, to mark the transition from domestic space (green) to public space (red). I thought maybe the red should be slightly “deteriorated” or rusty, to suggest that the original framework of idealism (its reference to the urban individual, socialism) had deteriorated a little bit…?
Developing the frame work for the above, I’d like to visually center the idea of business practice as art practice. It seems like it’d be worth amping everything so that Business is the visual frame. My idea of business comes primarily from the 80s (wallstreet, robert longo, american psycho, morgan stanley, and Japan (the Japan reference is part personal–I was born there, I don’t know if you know, but also Japan really came back from WWII in the 80s–it was the first time that they opened up and began trading with the world. I think they celebrate that time culturally the way we do the 50s (I remember being in the airport a few years ago and they played concerts from Journey and Lionel Ritchie on the diner television), but their aesthetic, mixing the old-style pattern and ceremony of their culture with a new western readability is pretty fascinating).
I think it would be really amazing if the on-line space looked something like what we’d imagine a Private Bank’s website from the 80s would look like, only a little tweaked, a little off. (Because I see this project as a means to try to create an answer (via community) to that style of business. To suggest something disquieting about the authority that such institutions boast). I was thinking specifically of early 80s business profiles, like the original IBM logo/font, for instance–blocky, authoritative, clean. So that each page (as I imagine the architecture there would be 1) a main page for “Lantern Projects” which would also feature my artist statement with links to the other pages, 2) Green Lantern Gallery 3) Green Lantern Press 4) Performance Space 5) cafebar 6) Bookstore and then possibly a list of links? ) would have the same template but then feature different kinds of information (i.e. the gallery would feature the press release for the show, with an image of the show, a calendar of upcoming and an archive, as well as a link to the old site with the old archive etc; the performance space would have a calendar of events, probably more like a music venue, the bookstore would have reviews and a link to the store, say–all this stuff is probably going to change a bit, but…)I’d like to have a place that also features annual reports (I’m interested in making the financial stuff as transparent/accessible as possible), essays about the project, charts (if i can figure out what to chart). I think it’s additionally important that each different aspect of the whole space creates a way to connect back to the other spaces, so for instance if you are on the gallery page you could click over to the bookstore page no problem.
I don’t know if this would work or not, but I was thinking about the NASA logo, or the UN logo (even their entry page I think is wonderfully ugly…?) and was thinking maybe it could be a globe-like image with different points on its surface, those points being the different sub-elements…(i’m trying to figure out a way to really underscore that all of the sub-elements are interconnected and support one another); then too, maybe satellite organizations that rent space from us could be like points outside of that globe? maybe too cheesy, but that’s the beginning. While I get a little nervous referencing the “globe” in any specific way (since I don’t feel like this project can boast the import of outerspace or world politics (obviously) yet I’m not sure how else to illustrate that interconnectedness: a gesture which I hope would have a greater metaphorical carry-over/resonance in other aspects of life. i.e. if we make sustainability rather than profit the aim, we might better serve our world/preserve resources etc.