Proxart has always been just as much a sociology experiment as its been an arts organization. For as long as I can remember, those working on the project and I have taken interest in how people react to the idea of us highlighting “the suburbs” for being stale, predictable and boring, alongside our incessant rambling that there is such thing as a “standard” for relevant art. As with anything even slightly polarizing, we have our lovers, and our haters. Of course, we actually believed those things (and still do, on many levels) but, more than anything, we were just curious to see if we could be a part of something bigger than ourselves. To see if some pointed language would resonate with people that felt the same way that we did (after all, centrist statements rarely ignite movements).
Luckily it resonated.
What started as a few bored twenty-somethings sitting in a room drinking beer and complaining about a lack of outlets for artists in Santa Clarita, quickly turned into an international endeavor to shine light on innovative art from suburbs all over the world.
Eventually, though, the Internet made it’s never-ending reach clear to us. And after a while “the suburbs” weren’t really what we were about—at least not in action. As our influence continued to grow, we realized that keeping our focus on the ‘burbs in writing wouldn’t accurately portraying what we were covering on Proxart.org, in our magazine, or on our podcast.
What we’ve been covering is our fascination with place. We want to know (and we’ve always wanted to know) how an artist’s environment affects their work. Why do you live where you live? Do you want to live where you live? Why don’t you own a smartphone yet? Why do you have to have three pencils on your desk at all times even if you’re only using one at a time?
Because we’ve observed the unique in-between-ness of the suburbs influence our art and outlook, we’re curious how different living arrangements affect your art.
So, officially, as of today, Proxart’s mission has shifted from being “Art, Culture, and Community for the Suburbs,” to being “A Survey of the Creative Environment.”
What do you think?
If this wasn’t enough for you, and you’d like to read a little more about it, check out what I wrote on Proxart.