Under the Spell

“You might say I work under a spell. I truly value the spell. I have the privilege of being able to enter the spell, to enter this very arid land where you are likely to find your birthright. To express yourself is your birthright. In the spell I can express myself…”
– Louise Bourgeois*

Your participation is requested for a new anthology  This is a record of this time, this place, our thoughts and words.

In order to answer these questions, we ask you to step away from the immediate series you are working on and look at your overall life and practice as an artist.

Texts included can be prose, interviews, random ramblings, your to-do list, the dream you had last night, a conversation with another artist-  anything that you think best answers any of  the questions above, or anything you feel about being an artist or your process. It is open ended because as a creative, you bring the dynamism that will make this book fantastic.

What this text is NOT, is your artist statement, an explanation of your process or your career aspirations. Let the text be a lyrical companion of your work, not an explanation of it.

The goal of this project is to gather together as many voices as possible to let this book be a time capsule of this moment of Los Angeles art, as a vital participant in the art world at large.

Please read Criteria and FAQs below before submitting

You must be a Womxn Identifying Visual Artist
You must reside in Los Angeles County or have relations to the Los Angeles Art Community
You must be a Professional Visual Artist, Arts Writer, Curator or Gallerist
Your statement must be 2000 characters or less**
Your statement may be as brief as you’d like
You must own the copyright in your text including any underlying material

Deadline is December 1, 2020  delayed until further notice!!!! It is currently a rolling deadline but a final deadline will be updated in 2021! 

Accepted Visual Artists and Arts Professionals are those that work in areas such as painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, performance, printmaking, sound work, new media, and others, as well as those curating art, writing about art, and representing artists.

While respecting their importance and contributions to the societal and cultural fabric, there are many kinds of artists/creatives who will not be compatible with this project. These artists include musicians, filmmakers, writers, poets, illustrators, special effects professionals, make-up artists, fashion designers, DJs, editors, and so on.

**ATTN: If copying a text passage from MicrosoftWord (even if under the 2000 character count), Word often adds invisible extra characters, and the form will not submit. If this is the case, try cutting and pasting from a .txt document and then into the form.

Have a question? Email Sydney Croskery at submissions@sydneycroskery.com.

Why only Womxn Identifying Artists?
Great question, with a twofold answer. The first is that the idea for this book came from revisiting the fantastic and gigantic anthology of artist writings in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art (from which inspired this project and where the above quote was taken.) Shocker to all, it is mostly comprised of men. While the scales are moving, it is clear that this is still the case, and we still must take action to carve out our voice.

The second reason is that this has the potential (and aspiration!) to be a very large book even with these parameters, and limitations must be established to make this a reality.

This project does not seek to exclude, and regrets are surely there for those that are unrepresented or ignored in this particular volume. With its focus, this project does not seek to divide, but rather to highlight, distinguish and amplify. Companion volumes are encouraged! If you have an idea for any compilation(s) of artists you feel intriguing, I’d be thrilled to assist you, while allowing you to be the driver of the project.

What is defined as a Professional Artist?
Professional here is not defined by success, but by dedication, rigor, a consistent studio practice, and involvement in the art community at large. You must have a website to qualify, or be included in a website for a gallery or organization;  this website must have images of your work, a CV and/or Bio listed to demonstrate your diligence in engaging in the Los Angeles Art Community.

This project is about giving voice to those contributing to the Los Angeles Art Landscape and thus the national and international art landscapes.

What kind of text?
Similar to the Louise Bourgeois above, texts included can be prose, interviews, random ramblings, anything that you think best answers the questions above in as formal or non-formal way as it suits you. It is open ended because as a creative, you bring the dynamism that will make this book fantastic.

The question seeks to find more philosophical reasons to make and look at art. It can reference topics and themes you have dealt with over your life as an artist or artist professional, but I encourage you not to get too specific about the work you are doing right at this moment.

What this text is NOT, is your artist statement, an explanation of your process or your career aspirations. Let the text be a lyrical companion of your work, not an explanation of it.

Do not feel you have to write a text of 2000 characters, a clear and succinct shorter essay is more beneficial and more engaging that a long drawn out essay.

Do I retain the copyright to my text?
If this text has never been previously published and you wrote it, you retain the copyright to your work, and your individual text can be used wherever else you wish. You are granting us a non-exclusive license to incorporate your work into the Anthology; you will retain the copyright in your work and may republish anywhere else. If you are submitting text (even if you wrote it) that has previously been published (either in print or in a podcast), is it your responsibility to obtain a copyright license/permission from the publisher. If you need help or have questions regarding this, please reach out to submissions@sydneycroskery.com.

Does my text have to be about being a womxn?

Will there be images?
There will not be images for multiple reasons. While visual representations are important, including images in the book would make the book way too big; it would be untenable as well as expensive. Additionally any artist in this book’s work should be easily accessible to research online. Think of this as an encyclopedia not to be read from cover to cover, but as you find artists of interest, you may look them up and read a more personal and lyrical text about who they are and why they make what they make.

Why are you including Curators, Arts Writers and Gallerists?
Artists and Arts Professionals are all essential participants in the Los Angeles Community and the greater art world. Part of the book is to document this exact time in the world, and include those that shape this environment. To have words by some of these gatekeepers and critics would be impactful to us artists, as well as reinforcing the ethic of community of which we are all part.

Will this book be edited?
The text for the book will not be edited, so please ensure you have properly edited and spellchecked your text as it will be printed exactly as submitted.

How much will the book be and how will it be published?
The book will be self published by an online outlet, and every attempt will be made to make it as inexpensive as possible while retaining quality. Since it is free to submit, a minimal cost will be passed on to the consumer on the purchasing end to cover labor, adding a few dollars to create a very modest profit margin. Once the book is created samples will be made from different providers and the highest quality book will be chosen weighed with the cut the online printer will charge. Every attempt will be made to have the book be very affordable.

*Interview with Donald Kuspit in Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, A Sourcebook of Artists’ writings, Edited by Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, ©1996