Saturday 17 December 2022

"Values" and "Codes of Conduct" as cudgels to knock ya teeth out.

 I wrote twice to the Surface Design Association seeking to find out why I had been removed from the Holding Space Zoom seminar, Dec 3rd and 7th. They did not respond so on the 8th of December I decided to become a member and paid US$75 for a years membership. After receiving confirmation of membership I was unable to actually activate my account for the next few days through some sort of technical problem that I had to email them about several times, asking for help. On December 13th I included the Executive Director of the SDA, Karena Bennett, in my email explaining I couldn’t activate my account and a few hours later I was sent a special login link that allowed me to do so. In the next few days I put some images of my art onto my profile page and provided promotional information for my upcoming exhibition “Garb Age”, April 1st – 23rd, 2023. I still hadn’t gotten any response to the emails I’d sent seeking to find out why I couldn’t participate in the Holding Space seminar.

On Dec 15 I posted a couple of messages on the SDA Facebook page, asking when the transcript for the Zoom meeting would be released. The messages were published about an hour apart and both disappeared within a few minutes.

On Dec 16th I sent this email to the SDA, cc-ed to Karena Bennett, Ilana Short the Membership Manager and to the Equity, Access and Integration Committee.

Hi, I’m wondering if theres a process to make a complaint how I’ve been denied equity, access and inclusion within SDA?

I’ve sent at least 3 queries by email, since December 3rd to find out why I was I intentionally removed from participating in the international Zoom seminar “Holding Space: Unraveling Appropriation in Fiber Art”, but none of my messages seeking clarification over that issue have been acknowledged.

Two comments on the SDA Facebook page were removed in the last 24 hours when I asked if the transcript to the seminar is available yet. I believe I may have been treated in this disrespectful way due to my racial identity. Can you advise what recourse there is to follow up in finding out why my dismissal in this way has been acceptable? Should I be prepared to be treated like this ongoing by the SDA into the future?

As an aside, I value to be involved in the international discourse about appropriation in art. I am a textile artist who had 14 images of my artworks appropriated and crude reproductions, in the tens of thousands, were mass manufactured for the profit of a China based business. It occurred over 2 years and I was powerless to stop it but I learned a great deal about how to cope as an individual with being exploited, unheard and literally robbed.


In less than 24 hours I received this reply from Karena Bennett

To which I immediately replied

Hi Karena

Thank you for your very prompt response. 

I've attached a screenshot of the advice I was given by Ilana Short regarding a recording of the seminar becoming publicly available. 

As SDA "values" are clearly applied only to select members that meet your fanciful criteria of being sufficiently oppressed I cannot say I'm particularly disturbed to be given the bums rush. When I was speculating joining your organisation and asked around amongst textile artists I know in Australia/New Zealand/USA they uniformly curled the lip in disdain and suggested the organisation has lost its previous prestige. One person prominent in Australian textile art (I won't name) didn't even realise she is still listed as a member. Regrettably for SDA it seems the era of virtue signalling equity, access and inclusion has attracted a lower quality of artisan. Feelings of being oppressed and aggrieved do not always align with talent and vision.

Go woke, go broke. If you take seriously the extremist babblings of Social Justice warriors like Emily Ito the SDA will likely continue losing members and its inexorable slide into obscurity. She is not even an artist, just an angry woman with identity problems. If discourse is censored the art will become visual dead dogma.

Thanks for the refund

Consequently, 2 weeks after Holding Space:Unraveling Appropriation in Fiber Art, I still don't know what claims Emily Ito is making about cultural appropriation. Its bizarre that people are actively preventing me from finding out! Its my strongly help opinion that any activist whose argument cannot be publicly critiqued by the community they are talking about then their argument is likely weak and flawed. I have been writing for years why I think Emily Ito does not have a credible opinion on what is genuinely cultural appropriation. I think her fatuous argument is damaging the textile art community, both the hobbyists and professional artists. 

Ito is a Critical Social Justice activist, not an artist. Any arts organisations (ie SDA) - who offer their resources to platform social justice ideologues for expounding political opinions about how visual artists should be allowed to express themselves; who are demanding to set parameters on what should be regarded as acceptable or unacceptable expression for artists - any such arts organisation has seriously confused the priority of their mission. Their mission is empower artists to free and provocative expression. Healthy societies benefit from visual artists challenging mainstream ways of seeing things. That the SDA has allowed itself to be captured by Critical Social Justice and its regressive agenda will lead to it endorsing and teaching its young inductees that there must be limits on what artists are allowed to do, say and produce.

Woke ideology (Critical Social Justice) turns everything it touches to shit. Its modus operandi is to divide every group of people into the haves (privileged) and the have nots (oppressed). Then they encourage the polarised to club each other senseless in the name of diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE).

Adult Human Female

This is a link to the documentary "Adult Human Female"

Its the film Trans Gender Ideologues don't want anybody to see. 

You may need to watch it secretly in case somebody who really, truly believes men can become women tells you you are a bigot and transphobe and tries to get you sacked from your job for wrongthink.