LOCAL Table of Contents:
Lost in the Local | James Pepper Kelly
Bottling Local | Edo Dijksterhuis
The Place of the Museum | Joel Kuennen
New York State of Grind | Darren Jones
We Are All Synecdoches | Himali Singh Soin
Relocating Home | Nicole Rodriguez
The latest issue of Editions was inspired by the preponderance of “local” movements—particularly in food and craft culture. We so often hear this heart-warming, feel good idea that local is somehow better, more sustainable—and we’re not arguing. We do love a good organic, locally grown and prepared kale smoothie. But it made us wonder how the idea of “local” fit into the contemporary art world—a “world” so commonly prefaced with the epithet “global.”
“There is no such thing as local anymore,” said artistic director Maria Hlavajova at the opening of Anthropocene Observatory at BAK in Utrecht recently. “Everything we do has global effects.” Local might disarm you with its down-to-earth, neighborly aura, but Local is complicated and dynamic. It expands and contracts, everywhere and nowhere. Local needs to be interrogated.
In this issue Himali Singh Soin zooms out past global, considering the relationship between the local and spatial—outer spatial. Is local intergalactic? How do the structures of the universe fit into our palpable here and now?
Darren Jones also picks up on the outer space metaphor, writing about the art world’s biggest black hole: New York City. For a “global” city, he argues, there are few prescribed pathways for artistic success. Does this ostensibly cosmopolitan city actually have one of the most parochial art scenes in America?
Locality is ultimately about more than just a physical place; it’s a feeling of being accepted, it is a site of belonging. Joel Kuennen takes a trip to MoMA and examines the sites of marginalization within the context of the museum.
Sofia Maldonado lived and worked for years in New York City, but recently moved back to her native Puerto Rico. Nicole Rodriguez speaks with the artist about going “home.” Getting at the tensions between local and global—from the unique position of an island—they question whether non-local perspectives are essential for a healthy cultural economy.
Can a place be captured or exported? Senses are a key part of how we locate ourselves and experience the world. Edo Dijksterhuis sniffs Eau d’Amsterdam, an elm-scented perfume at the heart of a homegrown festival dedicated to celebrating a unique place and time: Amsterdam in the springtime.
James Pepper Kelly goes looking for community and a conversation about regionalism at an artist-in-residence-organized symposium at a quirky Milwaukee hotel. In a Scooby-Doo-like adventure, Pepper and his gang of art critics encounter the difficulties of being an artist and meet a ghost.
This edition’s original artwork is by Laura Hyunjhee Kim. For digital natives, is “local” necessarily tied to a physical place? Content produced the world around is collapsed into wherever you (and your device) are. The local side of digital means having both a deep dependency on your physical location while retaining access to millions of other localities.
Wherever you’re reading this, you aren’t far.
(Image at top: Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Gif Commission for LOCAL Edition)