FRAIL was born from a casual conversation between artists, when Geoffrey Shea and Michael Tweed compared their struggles in finding websites that provided the opportunity to view engaging contemporary art online. Though many fields have embraced the internet and applied its numerous benefits to advantage, it seems that most museums and galleries, which claim to be cultural leaders, are lagging behind.
On the other hand, while the open-door policy of sites like Zed provide an abundance of material and an excellent forum for emerging artists, we quickly found ourselves at a loss wading through the sheer quantity of work in search of those which strive beyond amateur noodling. Don’t get us wrong, for what may first appear to be a criticism is merely the result of the amazing reach and success that digital technology has provided the individual – and we applaud this levelling of the playing field. In fact, FRAIL is a recognition of this reach and empowerment as two guys living in a small rural town, working with artists from around the world, have given birth to a truly international artists’ forum.
Plowing ahead we dug through the few resources available, contacted various artists -- both familiar and unknown -- and found ourselves amazed at the generosity and proficiency of those who demonstrated near unanimous acceptance of our proposition. And so it is that we will provide several new exhibitions each year, and when possible physical manifestations of these exhibitions held in conjunction with various galleries and institutions.
As the website developed, we found ourselves regularly confronting the not always subtle hierarchic language and structure commonly used in both the presentation of artwork and the layout of websites. Of course, functionality and aesthetic considerations must always be considered, but we began to accept the challenge of creating an open structure reflecting the democratic, if not true anarchic ideals of the internet. To this end we have sought a design and layout that empowers the spectator to take a dynamic approach to viewing art, rather than the usual passive one. This will allow each viewing to be a unique and variable event, encouraging repeated visits and the discovery of new relationships and ideas.
It is our hope that these variables and the empowerment they afford will stimulate thought as well as critique, and in so doing stir an on-going dialogue concerning art, aesthetics, information, technology, culture and history. So it is that we have provided a forum for comments and ideas from the mundane to the profound, by means of a blog to facilitate dialogue and critique from and between artists, critics and visitors -- hence further eroding, to the benefit of all, the privilege traditionally granted solely to art professionals and academics.
Founders & Curators:
Born 1960. Artist, writer, editor and translator.
Born 1958. Artist, university art instructor, musician (www.gigiminor.com)