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Blah humbus: Scrooged again

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  • #99764

    Darren G.
    Participant

    The following transcript was recited at the Pecha Kucha event held last night (November 21, 2013) at the Columbus Museum of Art. The topic of the presentation was, “The mystery behind the vanishing Scioto Peninsula art complex.” The format consisted of 20 slides, each projected for 20 seconds, providing 6 minutes and 40 seconds of multi-media content.

    1) What I’m going to cover tonight is a subject explored more in-depth in my upcoming e-book titled either U don’t say: The Proof Positive confessions of a cognitive dissident or 10 years in the life of Artist X: Columbus, Ohio’s most proactive guerilla city planner. Obviously, I’m having a difficult time deciding which angle to pursue, the local or national perspective.

    2) One topic of particular interest to me is the social construction of reality. So on the right hand page, if we pinch and squeeze down that entire list of social conditioning mechanisms that exert a negative influence on the human psyche, turn it sideways, and then place it on the bottom half on the graphic on the left, we get a sense of all the dysfunctional social influences that limit our collective potential. In general, ruling class interests dictate the scope and reach of this dominator hierarchy.

    3) To the extent ruling class interests define the past and present, it also seeks by way of its conformist ideology to institutionalize its control paradigm. One mechanism of control it utilizes to maintain its hegemony is the suppressed dialectic, which translates into a form of censorship of the communal critique. This systemic dysfunction in turn produces a positive feedback loop that leads to increased social instability and greater coercive means to try and limit a better, brighter future from gaining too much momentum.

    4) A proof of concept of how this dysfunctional power dynamic operates is the breach of contract decision by the CBUS Establishment to de-invest $50 million into building a new downtown arts complex. More incriminating is the fact that there is not a single reputable city planner in the world that would endorse such a negligent choice. This strategic blunder by Establishment insiders is a slanderous blow to the cultural reputation of Columbus as an emergent Creative Class hub.

    5) In contrast, my guerilla marketing and lobbying campaign to promote the idea of a new art

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    HUB

    began with the publication of this Columbus Alive article ten years ago. Titled,

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    City of Tomorrow,

    my New Eden Project set out with the express goal of serving as a structural transformation catalyst to better fulfill the needs of the local artist contingent. Sound crazy? According to reporter J. Caleb Mozzocco, it

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    …is so crazy it might just work.

    10 years later and here we are knocking at the door.

    6) In terms of developing a new cultural focal point, the ambitious plan I had synthesized for downtown’s Whittier Peninsula included a new concept art center dubbed the

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    HUB

    Stadium smART Complex. In addition to the

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    HUB,

    other components of this

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    Mall of Ingenuities

    included Columbus Zoo habitat, a carousel park, ropes course, boat livery, the nation’s largest outdoor topiary park and sculpture garden, some co-op-owned farm land and artist live-work studio space, in addition to a Columbus Metro Park, Ohio Audubon nature center and watershed preserve (already in the works). A decade later and a variation of this

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    Mall of Ingenuities

    is taking root just north of the Whittier Peninsula, in the Scioto Peninsula and Franklinton areas.

    7) My argument to build a new

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    HUB

    arts complex on the Scioto Peninsula today is the same as my argument was for the Whittier Peninsula ten years ago. Simply stated: The integration of our three main cultural institutions into a single

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    HUB

    environment creates a collaborative business model that allows the entire cultural Establishment to grow and expand simultaneously, producing both a 3 in 1 paradigm shift in organizational dynamics and a 4:1 quantum shift in creative capacity. This type of radical co-operative realignment represents a disruptive innovation in logistics and Creative Class potential capable of transforming CBUS into a world-class cultural hub. Guaranteed.

    8) On the other hand, failure to build the

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    HUB

    represents a real problem to our cultural image, to the reputation of the Columbus Establishment and to whatever civic ambition we have to become the

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    Indie Art Capitol of the World.

    This perspective was clearly stated in the Change.org online petition I presented as part of my 2012 Scioto Peninsula proposal. The last half of my Change.org thesis statement ends with

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    …the potential detriment of not building a new

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    HUB

    concept center will be it undermines Columbus’ effort to become a cultural capitol and targets the Establishment as a candidate for Cultural Creatives to lampoon.

    This presentation marks the start of that national lampoon.

    9) Also included in my December 2012 press packet proposal was an aerial site view of the Scioto Peninsula with the

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    HUB

    Stadium in tact. As you can see my

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    HUB

    design is based off the

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    O

    ring from the Ohio State flag. The striking similarity of my

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    HUB

    design to the design of Apple’s new

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    spaceship

    headquarters, announced but a month ago, is more than coincidental: It’s an archetypal synchronicity that signifies a correlation in symbolic intent. In other words, Apple’s new headquarters is to the #1 corporation in the world what a new

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    HUB

    art center would be to establishing Columbus as the world’s next art vortex.

    10) By any CRX-based MMT estimate the cost of building a new

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    HUB

    art center is coefficient with the amount of money the Columbus Foundation’s exhaustive 2011 Columbus Arts Market Sustainability Analysis determined the Columbus arts sector is undercapitalized. This CAMSA report places support for the arts in CBUS below that of Cleveland and Cincinnati and well below that of other benchmark city averages. In a city that prides itself on being the biggest and the best, this statistic is a cultural embarrassment and a humiliating reality for local artists to digest.

    11) Establishment officials who received copies of my 2012 Scioto Peninsula

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    HUB

    proposal include Mayor Michael Coleman, Councilman Zachary Klein, Michael Dalby of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Kenny McDonald of Columbus 2020, Alex Fischer of the The Columbus Partnership, Guy Worley of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, Sarah Rogers of the CMA, Dominic Cappa of Business First News, Benjamin Marrison, Carol Lease and Tim Feran of The Columbus Dispatch, Mike Thompson and Ann Fisher of WOSU, Beth Stallings of Columbus Monthly, Travis Hoewischer of (614), Justin McIntosh and Chris DeVille of the Columbus Alive, Eric Lyttle and Melissa Dilley of The Other Paper and Gwen Berlekamp of the Columbus branch of the AIA.

    12) The list of contacts targeted by my 2012

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    HUB

    guerilla campaign also include representatives from CEO for Cities, The Congress for the New Urbanism, Living Cities, Penn Institute for Urban Research, Project for Public Spaces, The Urban Institute, Center for American Progress, UTNE Magazine, The New Republic, The Nation, Blindfold, Mother Jones, Commentary, Empirical, The American Prospect, Yes! Magazine, Dissent, Political Science Quarterly, Democracy, The Atlantic, The Futurist, New Internationalist, Adbusters, Harper’s Magazine, Azure, Frieze, Artforum, Raw Vision, Metropolis, Architectural Digest, The Next American City, Architectural Record and Architectural Review.

    13) Then something strange happened. Seven months after my Scioto Peninsula

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    HUB

    proposal and six months after the original plan deadline, the CDDC announces its Scioto Peninsula master plan. According to Columbus Dispatch figures gleaned from their June 11 article,

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    ’New’ plan would bring arts venue, zoo to area near COSI,

    this amounted to a proposed $100 million dollar cultural infrastructure development directly attributable to my lobbying campaign, including a $25 million buy-in investment towards a new art center by Les and Abigail Wexner, two of the world’s top art collectors. That’s the sort of high-stakes success story careers are built upon. But instead I was bent over, sodomized and hung out to dry. And all because I dared to play chicken with the Establishment and won.

    14) This graphic illustrates the process of fragmented reification my Scioto Peninsula proposal underwent in its transvariational reconfiguration into the CDDC’s

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    HUB

    master plan. In short, the CDDC, headed by Guy Worley, stole my business concept and design aesthetic, repackaged it in a plagiarized form, and then fraudulently misrepresented his

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    new

    plan to the public for approval. The Dispatch Media Group then conspired to cause injury to my reputation as a performance artist by robbing me of my involvement and successful meme bomb deployment. This coercive behavior, although consistent as a pattern within the paradigm of dysfunctional power dynamics, is wholly inconsistent with the image of Columbus as a good place to come and do business.

    15) In an effort to reclaim my stake in the Scioto Peninsula project, I next contacted Abigail Wexner, reaching out to her through her rabbi at the Wexner Foundation. In my letter to Mrs. Wexner I flat-out accuse her man Guy Worley, CEO of the CDDC she presides over (as board member), of a litany of potentially libelous allegations, if not true. A coherent deconstruction of the situation was fully articulated as well, complete with an irrefutable cause-effect timeline of events and my intent to seek restitution for the injury caused to me.

    16) I then spent the next two weeks presenting my dialectical argument in graphic fashion before Columbus City Councilmembers and Franklin County Commissioners at open public meetings, the goal of which was to stall the decision over the CDDC’s proposed Scioto Peninsula plan until a full investigation of my public pleading could be heard. On yet another level it was an attempt to mitigate the situation prior to my seeking remedy via legal recourse.

    17) I even went so far as to develop a compromise proposal for the Scioto Peninsula, which included a new disruptive innovation to repurpose Veterans Memorial, a building the CDDC intends to demolish, into an artist owned and operated Indie Media and Artist Residency Co-op Academy. In terms of venture capital, the project would in part be funded by money earned from my civil rights settlement case against the CDDC for their corporate malfeasance and anti-Commons bias. In terms of rationale, giving artists collective control over Veterans Memorial would allow the city’s indigenous culture to function as a media production studio, which would in turn become the foundation for artistic self-capitalization through self-determined arts-based initiatives.

    18) The Establishment quickly responded to my counter-proposal with its negligent $50 million de-investment decision. Go figure. First the Establishment steals from me my idea for a new

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    HUB

    arts complex for the Scioto Peninsula, which their $50 million retraction confirms. Next, because they pulled the plug on their plan to build a new art center, they wind up stealing $50 million worth of cultural infrastructure investment from an artistic community already under served. This breach of contract and devaluation of the arts signals institutional failure on a systemic scale and is symptomatic of the Establishment’s dysfunctional power trip.

    19) Now if Columbus is to Ohio what Ohio is to the nation and the nation is to the world, then what we do or don’t do here actually matters, in a think globally, act locally kind of way. My work seeks to define art as a disruptive technology to position Columbus as

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    Ground Zero

    of a new American Arts and Crafts Movement, the basis of which expands to encompass a Green Industrious Evolution. The Establishment, on the other hand, seeks to extend its matrix of control at whatever cost. We see here tonight that cost amounts to a $50 million dollar de-investment in the arts, a sector previously identified as being undercapitalized by roughly $100 million. At what point do we stop pretending the Emperor is well endowed?

    20) Ironically, if the Establishment invested half as much money into building a sustainable artist-based infrastructure as it does on branding Columbus a Creative Class hub, we might actually become the

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    Indie Art Capitol of the World

    we have the potential to be. To get there, however, we need to follow the advice of Bruce Mau, author of The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth and consultant for the Wexner Center’s International Advisory Committee, and

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    rethink the things we love.

    I love the idea of democracy as a collaborative civic art form. The danger this idea poses to the Establishment is self-evident: If you give artists freedom of expression, soon every American will do more than just want it, they’ll demand it. Give Birth to the Dream.

    Click here to sign the Change.org petition to support a new Scioto Peninsula art

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    HUB.

    #554948

    groundrules
    Participant

    #554949

    UrbanLegend
    Participant

    At the risk of encouraging you, I wanted to address a few of your delusions.

    1) A “guerilla” campaign does not usually entail conventional PR practices of distributing your proposal to “establishment officials.”

    2) You claim that “there is not a single reputable city planner in the world that would endorse such a negligent choice” (that being the Establishment’s choice to disinvest from from the arts complex). Then you basically take responsibility for that disinvestment being a direct result of your public threats. As a real-life city planner, I can tell you that YOURS is the negligent choice that I would never endorse.

    City planners act in the public interest — not for personal gain or recognition. We constantly do work and create proposals (the kinds that “careers are built on”) that get implemented by someone else, with no recognition. While we do not benefit personally or professionally by such implementation, we gain satisfaction that something good happened and the public will benefit from it. We certainly don’t track down the people responsible and threaten them with litigation.

    3) How were you “bent over, sodomized and hung out to dry?” That implies some kind of public flogging. Except, no one has ever heard of you. So I can’t say I agree with that characterization of what happened. Maybe “swept under the rug” works better (although obviously less dramatic).

    So, I’m just wondering what exactly were you hoping would happen, in your best-case-scenario, before they “stole” your idea? Recognition as the Idea Man behind the Scioto Peninsula project? Getting hired as the Project Manager in charge of implementing it? Some kind of cut of the money? I can’t figure out what you actually wanted out of all of this.

    Because ultimately, a) you gave this idea to the people who were able to make it happen, and b) you got upset when they did. What exactly did you want?

    #554950

    M.O.
    Participant

    “Bent over and sodomized” is how TomOver felt when you stole his style.

    But I’m more concerned about the pinching and the squeezing down that entire list of social conditioning mechanisms that exert a negative influence on the human psyche, turning it sideways, and then placing it on the bottom half of a graphic.

    That is quite plainly illegal in the state of Ohio, which is probably the only reason The Establishment won’t work with you.

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