Ciara Ennis, the curator of Pitzer College Art Galleries, interviewed Pato Hebert and I about our upcoming YouTube art show, PerpiTube. One of her questions was about the differences between our show and two recent attempts, at the Guggenheim and Irvine University Art Gallery, respectively.

Pato keeps reminding me that art galleries can and have held most anything. But there’s something critically different for me when I think of the chaotic, open, uncurated, and in large part unschooled body of work that is YouTube, and whatever ends up in a white room because someone connected to the art world put it there. Our show raises these questions, by design, by placing itself in and across both kinds of spaces, and I hope you’ll watch it unroll on YouTube!


I am very pleased to announce the art show that I co-curated with Pato Hebert, PerpiTube: Repurposing Social Media Spaces. It will be held July 12 – September 6, 2011 at the Pitzer Art Galleries, where I work in Claremont, CA and in perpetuity on YouTube. Your purposeful participation is anticipated, including passing this on to others who might be interested in following the show’s head-on approach to considering how various spaces, on and offline, amplify the connections and contradictions between local place and digital mobility, the reception and production of social media, the tension between the ephemeral and the archive, and the “artist” and “amateur.”

Corpus of Corpus

January 23, 2010

I was on the opening panel for “The Corpus of Corpus: A Symposium on AIDS, Arts, and (Counter) Public Health” held at UC Riverside, Jan 22-23. Jaime Cortez, event co-organizer Keith Harris (with Ricardo Bracho), and I joined Pato Hebert (via Skype from London) to discuss the seeming-ever-to-be-waning role of art in HIV prevention and harm reduction, given the demise of CORPUS, APLA’s glossy yet messy (according to Cortez) arts publication that modeled a sex positive, “soulful communion between art and HIV” (Hebert), through a mix of voices— seasoned and developing, male and female, young and old, and of all races—dedicated to representing the sexual and emotional well being of gay men of color.

Jaime Cortez, Another Hero – Wonder Human

We talked about how the AIDS industry, public health, and social services have required didactic, directive, prohibitive communications aimed at enforcing gay men of color’s sexual health, while artists and activists (from the very beginning of the pandemic) have insisted upon complex and contradictory representations that represent “what surrounds that choice” (to use a condom), “what leads up to it” (Cortez.)

Pato Hebert, No Haters Here

While artists and activists have made representations of the multiple ways our lives have been effected by HIV—including our sexual blunders, messy desires, feelings of anger, shame, community, loss and pride—we have rarely been so well supported to do so (Corpus was funded by APLA, and 5,000 copies of each editions were distributed for free to its diverse audience of clients, educators, scholars, and artists). This we will surely miss.

Did Corpus fail because it could not last? Were dollars for art well spent given the material needs of gay men of color? Was Corpus even HIV prevention? This we debated. I suggested that while I do not think art saves lives, or even “stops AIDS,” it does make life worth living, it does mark the heart and soul of how we lived, it remembers those we lost, and it brings us together. Art makes life (worth living), as we were so gloriously reminded when the evening ended with a reading by Harris, Laurence Padua, Ramirez and Cortez.