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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Your race, gender, sexual orientation is not relevant to art. Therefore, selecting participants based on these parameters is discriminatory and absolutely irrelevant to the topic being discussed.
    Hogwash. Take art in a vacuum. There is certain amount to be said about race/gender/sexual orientation is absent, but even the experiences and identity of the artist typically can be found.

    Art outside of a vacuum it would be a bigger thing than you expect. From trying to get a show case, gallery space, or even selling your skills to be on a team. Having a group of similarly identified individuals to help share ideas, stories, experiences, and tips is beneficial if, for no other reason, than knowing you are not alone in the struggle. Seeing folks succeed, knowing success is even possible, and meeting those people is a great thing. Certain that is all hand-waving thirty-thousand-foot fly by.

    To loop back to the original post I say again, big fucking deal.
    It's a mixer...
    At a comic convention...

    Lah-dee-freaking-dah. So the topic was nebulously geared towards women and lgbtq. From what I read there was there was zero exclusion. Anyone could show up, chat, talk, and maybe see things from another angle if they so were inclined. Having been to similarly labeled ‘mixers’ in other settings I can tell you outside of a small handful of far flung folk each was a pleasant and fun time. If that hasn’t been your experience then that is unfortunate.

    If you didn't want to go then you didn't go. It was a single hour event out of a multitude of events occurring the same time over three days. Sometimes making room for others to be heard is not fun, but that is the times we are living.

    Is it unfair the crucible of public opinion would have a swift slap down if you put on a "white, hetro, and/or male mixer"? Nope, but public opinion isn't a straight forward beast.

    Is it fair an artist's work is not judged solely in a vacuum? Nope, but again the world is not a fair or equal place.

    Did this one single hour long mixer at a comic book convention shift the world in some cosmic way? Probably not. Could it do some positive work on the individual level? Hopefully, and that's good enough for me.

    This, of course, is even assuming the mixer was ABOUT "art".. Hell it could have been about comic book shop owners, cosplayers, free boozers, or overran by godforsaken furries. All the makings of a mountain out of a mole hill which is what the OP’s link was intended to do.
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  4. #62
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    Just adding my two cents in: art isn't created in a vacuum. A person's experiences/identity shapes their artwork to a certain extent, and while ideally art would be evaluated purely on its own merits, that's not actually the case. Although I don't have the time right now to search for a relevant fine art study, here is one indicating that when blind auditions were introduced in music recitals, women became 50% more likely to advance through preliminary rounds.

    The purpose of such mixers, as far as I understand, is simply to discuss the impact of the particular identity (whether it be being a woman, LGBT, a PoC, etc) on one's art and work in the art industry, and provide a sense of community based on shared experiences. Then, a mixer for straight white middle-class men can be seen as unnecessary: for many years, that has been the default identity in the industry, and so there's no need to host a separate event in search of community. I can kind of see how it may look exclusionary, but the focus is much more on "How can we bring together people with shared experiences" rather than "How can we exclude certain people".

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  6. #63
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    RE "artwork in a vacuum":
    If you think a bad artwork gains in merit simply because the author belongs to a minority, or a good artwork is less noteworthy because it was done by a person belonging to a majority, I simply disagree fundamentally. We'll find no common ground there then, if that is the case. If you don't think those statements are true I fail to see why gender, race etc. should be a valid parameter when judging the merit of artwork.

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrolline View Post
    I can kind of see how it may look exclusionary, but the focus is much more on "How can we bring together people with shared experiences" rather than "How can we exclude certain people".
    And I'm sure nobody would have minded a LGBT-Mixer, that certainly has every right to exist in terms of freedom of association, and the pros and cons of which we have discussed at length here, had it not been for the fact that there were apparently only such mixers at that particular convention. That just doesn't seem like favourable circumstances to me, not to the LGBT-community that presumably doesn't really want to alienate people and not for outsiders.

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    Why would you focus on art gains or losing merit? The focus should be on art of the multitude being brought to the table to even be considered.
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  9. #65
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    Not sure I understand what you're saying. Are you saying artwork done by minorities isn't "brought to the table", as in, is being excluded for the reason of having been created by a member of a minority? Of course that's not what I'm arguing for. That's obviously wrong. But not doing that isn't the same as labeling artwork and judging artistic merit based on gender/race etc.

    What I'm saying is: one shouldn't give a **** what the sexual orientation of an artist is. Shouldn't even be a topic when looking at the artwork. It's all about the work.

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  11. #66
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    Ok.. so this all boils down to the world aught to be one way, but the actual reality is that it is not. I hear ya, but *shrug* so it goes.
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  13. #67
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    Are you saying that because "the world" on average discriminates against minorities, it somehow makes sense to offset that by bringing artworks done by minorities to the table (to borrow your phrase) regardless of quality?

    To me that wouldn't make sense. Two wrongs don't make a right.

  14. #68
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    Not in the slightest. I am saying folk need to make room for others at the table where traditionally they have not be considered.
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    Sorry for putting words in your mouth there. What it boils down to in my eyes is wether "making room at the table" as accomplished by ceasing discrimination (which I'm all for, needless to say perhaps but just to make this clear) or by some sort of affirmative action, which I'm very much against (perhaps not in every possible context, idk, but certainly in the art context).

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    I hear ya, and certainly that is a risk to be wary of.
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  17. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    And I'm sure nobody would have minded a LGBT-Mixer, that certainly has every right to exist in terms of freedom of association, and the pros and cons of which we have discussed at length here, had it not been for the fact that there were apparently only such mixers at that particular convention. That just doesn't seem like favourable circumstances to me, not to the LGBT-community that presumably doesn't really want to alienate people and not for outsiders.
    (Sorry about the late reply, was at work all day)

    Hmm, so your objection is to the absence of other mixers, rather than the presence of these ones? In that case, I'm not sure if there's much to discuss - perhaps the organizers of this particular convention felt there was a particular need for ones aimed at minorities, or it could've been an organizing issue (i.e. not enough people to run more mixers, and these ones were prioritized)? The article itself seems to suggest thereshould be a mixer for straight cis white men, and I've mentioned in my earlier response why there isn't a clear purpose for it. In terms of a general mixer for professionals, then yes, perhaps they did err by not including one.

    To comment on the current discussion, I think we're all in favour of ending discrimination but we have different ideas as to how it should be done.

    For instance, although it's controversial, I do support affirmative action to a certain degree. It's definitely a problematic fix to past injustices, but I believe it's justifiable (as a temporary measure only) specifically for education. In industry, I agree that art should be judged on its own merits; but for education, I see it as giving the opportunity to succeed (rather than handing out jobs i.e. "success" based on minority status) to minority groups who might not have had those opportunities in the past. Essentially, education gives minority groups the opportunity to "bring their art to the table", as modi123 put it.
    Individuals may find it unfair, but in the big picture, it makes a certain sort of sense. However, I do acknowledge that people have strong personal opinions on this matter and I don't expect to change anyone's mind - just wanted to explain my viewpoint a little bit.

    I'll add the caveat that I don't have personal experience with this in an art context; similar discussions occur in my field of study about minority-focused events/conferences so I felt that I could contribute in that regard, but I may be missing some subtleties about conventions/mixers/art education/art industry, and I apologize if I have erred as a result.

  18. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrolline View Post
    Hmm, so your objection is to the absence of other mixers, rather than the presence of these ones? In that case, I'm not sure if there's much to discuss - perhaps the organizers of this particular convention felt there was a particular need for ones aimed at minorities, or it could've been an organizing issue (i.e. not enough people to run more mixers, and these ones were prioritized)? The article itself seems to suggest thereshould be a mixer for straight cis white men, and I've mentioned in my earlier response why there isn't a clear purpose for it. In terms of a general mixer for professionals, then yes, perhaps they did err by not including one.
    Just to clarify: My objection is two-fold. The primary objection, which I'm sure is also the reason why this has become controversial in the first place, is that there was no non-minority mixer at that particular convention, and I didn't at all understand the article to mean that there should be a "cis white male" mixer, that's patently absurd, who would demand such a thing in 2018?
    That being said, I also do believe a mixer/panel with such exclusive (wether or not they are exclusive we have argued at length) title/premise is misplaced at a convention. There are times and places for safe spaces, but at such a convention I don't think selection based on race, gender or sexuality is helpful to anyone. Others have mentioned that the situiation "on the ground" plays a major role here as well, as in how the title is worded or how it is communicated. That's probably true, but in my eyes it is still playing with fire in a society that is already polarized and increasingly growing more so.

  19. #73
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    Guys..... The ECCC program is huge!

    https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/...3D1%26rpp%3D12

    How can anyone be offended that these minority groups have a few meetups of their own with all the other stuff going on? If they do it right, it's not gonna be a mudslinging but rather a source of information and good discussions. Even though I'm not sure this was the right way to go about it, it also kind of makes me wonder if it just proves it was a bit necessary if it can spark such offense.

    It doesn't have to be overall negative to be a problem that deserves attention, if anything then just to eliminate the problem and it will never be brought up again.

    So, it would be nice to hear from someone who actually attended those events clearing up what exactly that stuff was about? Like, what was their point in doing it?

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  21. #74
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    I’ll throw in an example:

    a musical artist I really liked and who was well established under a previous name/band came out of the closet in 2014 and changed their name to Laura (from Tom), grew out their hair and made it clear they were a woman. She then released an album called “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” which had many songs about struggling as a trans person. The album did extremely well critically (both in and out of LGBT circles) and she has been propelled to the spotlight for her ability to express her experiences so powerfully.

    Now, I think it would be naive to assume any random trans woman who walked into a music studio with album about trans experiences would even be given the opportunity to record. We would hear a lot of the same rhetoric used here, like how art shouldn’t be about gender and it’s too exclusionary to most demographics. If Laura wasn’t already an established musician, that album likely would have never been made because the studios would assume it would be a loss. Is it affirmative action to give amateurs the opportunity to have their work seen or heard by studios who are open to alternative experiences?

    on the same note, Black Panther has been out for ages but wasn’t produced into a movie until Disney felt they could take a financial risk on the superhero movie demographic. The story hasn’t changed, it’s not a new property. It was only now given a chance at the mainstream and now it’s doing gangbusters.

    I’m not saying all minority art is inherently good. But I am saying I think a lot of stuff gets dismissed initially because most demographics can’t related to it, and god knows how much good art we’re not seeing because people don’t think it should be about race or gender or sexuality.
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  22. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by octopuscats View Post
    because people don’t think it should be about race or gender or sexuality.
    What's "it" here? The art? nobody said that. "It", as in the question wether art has merit, shouldn't be about the race, gender or sexuality of the artist, only about the quality of the art. That includes discrimination against artwork produced by minorities as well as favoritism towards artwork created by minorities. Still doesn't fly well with progressives, of course, and "fine art" today pretty much doesn't work like that either since most of the "art" that is being produced doesn't have any objective merit anyways, being entirely devoid of technique.

    e/ What you're describing isn't affirmative action, by the way, quite the contrary. Affirmative action, by definition, means giving members of a minority preference over others despite lower qualification/skills.
    Last edited by Benedikt; March 8th, 2018 at 03:56 PM.

  23. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    e/ What you're describing isn't affirmative action, by the way, quite the contrary. Affirmative action, by definition, means giving members of a minority preference over others despite lower qualification/skills.
    That's literally not what affirmative action means, "by definition" or otherwise. Affirmative action means people are to be judged without bias against their skintone, gender, etc.

    A quote from Wikipedia on Executive Order 11246, the most recent order to influence "affirmative action" in America (where I'm assuming most people on this board are from):
    'prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also requires contractors to 'take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.'
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    This is from Encyclopedia Britannica with red emphasis by me:

    Affirmative action, in the United States, an active effort to improve employment or educational opportunities for members of minority groups and for women. Affirmative action began as a government remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against such groups and has consisted of policies, programs, and procedures that give preferences to minorities and women in job hiring, admission to institutions of higher education, the awarding of government contracts, and other social benefits. The typical criteria for affirmative action are race, disability, gender, ethnic origin, and age.
    People's skintone and gender most certainly do matter when determining who gets what under affirmative action.

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  26. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by octopuscats View Post
    That's literally not what affirmative action means, "by definition" or otherwise. Affirmative action means people are to be judged without bias against their skintone, gender, etc.
    That's just "no discrimination". Affirmative action is exactly what I explained, or, in the less heinous variation, that minorities are given preference when equally skilled or qualified. They are always favoured over non minorities though in either iteration of the policy.

    To give you an example, "Caucasians" and Asians need a higher SAT score to get into college in the US than, say, African Americans. That is affirmative action. That's also why it is banned in the UK, for instance.
    Last edited by Benedikt; March 9th, 2018 at 01:37 PM.

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