Letter to a sunken ship

Please let us get on with our lives.
The rest of us

Recently there has been a lot of hate being dished around our little art world of Philadelphia via several contentious blogs. Most thought it to be over months ago. Suffering the fate of most Internet trends, it went away as interest waned and attention spans dissipated. We all moved on with our lives and put the issue at our backs. Unfortunately it seems that this sunken ship refuses to stay sunk.

All metaphors aside- I am speaking of artblahg, a site that has been spewing out slander and lies about artists, writers, and bloggers in Philadelphia for almost a year now. It came about claiming to be a satire or parody of the site you are reading this post on right now, but soon showed its true colors as an ill tempered soap box for a disgruntled author. I am writing this partly to clear my name and that of my friends, who have been wrongly “outed” to be the authors of the blog, and partly to voice my own opinions on the situation. So I will get the first part over with here: I, Dustin Metz, along with Shaun Baer, and Jong Kyu Kim are not, nor have we ever been, a part of artblahg or theartblahg (or any other spin-off blogs for that matter).

The three of us, along with a few others, were the primary authors of Funnel Shaun created the site because he saw a hole in the Philadelphia art scene, the lack of a well-designed weekly listings site, and thought he would do his best to fill it. The site slowly grew until its final incarnation: what we hoped to be some sort of internet art magazine for Philadelphia, with studio interviews, curated web shows, reviews, and the occasional podcast. The way in which we could do all of this was through effort and love. I would venture to say that these two elements are what hold the art in Philadelphia together. Since there are little to no monetary rewards in the “DIY” or “independent” venues, which make up around 80% of the scene, the only reason to go forth is love. Love for art- whether it be making it, showing it, or seeing it. This structure has made it so ANYONE who puts the time, effort, and love into a public project will eventually get noticed. This isn’t to say these artistic ventures are frivolous, unintelligent, and free from criticism. I simply wanted to state the obvious- if you want to be involved in the art scene of Philadelphia, you don’t need a fancy education or gallery representation or even money, all you must do is make it happen yourself with whatever you have.

While Funnel Pages was a site that gave a light-hearted edge to its listings, it was never meant to be malicious. It was an attempt to make the arduous task of reading through dry press releases a little more entertaining. It saddens me deeply that someone would put so much effort into destroying a humble operation rather than attempting to produce something of basic value. We have since let the site rest since we have all been working on new jobs, in new cities, on new projects.

While talking with Jong about the recent snafu, he said- “You know what? The people who know me, know that it isn’t me behind either of the ‘blahgs’, so I am just going to keep ignoring it”. Unfortunately while I was taking his advice I have received emails and questions still. So hopefully this will help clear up any misconceptions of the matter, and we can all move on to that which is most important to us: art– making, showing, or seeing it– not destroying it.

Missing you all dearly,
Dustin Metz