Even though it means I have to travel most years to attend The College Association conference, I like that they hold it in a variety of cities to democratize the amount of time their members end up spending on a plane or car. I also like that this year the conference takes place in New York, so I only have to worry about what subway line I will take.
The event itself tends to be something you know about if you teach since their fair is a networking heaven for academics and a high profile venue to present important papers. Outside this professional circuit though it seems like the conference flies under the radar of those involved with art, which is a shame because I think arts culture as a whole would benefit from seeing a little more integration between the fields of academia, gallery spaces, and journalism.
Not that the following panel speaks specifically to that sentiment, but it certainly looks like something to put your calendar for the 17th. A Faustian Bargain? Emerging Artists, Critics, and the Market, chairs Amei Wallack, an independent critic and filmmaker, and invited panelists Jeffrey Deitch, Deitch Projects, Mera and Don Rubell, private collectors, Miami, Jerry Saltz, critic, Village Voice, Peter Plagens, independent artist and critic, will all speak.
Given the amount of written material Saltz has been generating lately that is critical of the art market, and the fact that Jeffrey Deitch not only represents this, but in my encounters with him has proved to be an ass, I can’t think of a discussion I want to see more. Throw in the Rubells, a family that holds one of the most important and controversial art collections in the world, and have even been labeled taste makers into the mix, and you’ve got some very interesting points of difference. However, there is a cavat: The price of a one day pass to the conference will set you back $150 bucks. For all of us poor people, that means if we see it, it will be because someone decided it was worthy vlog material and posted it.
Full disclosure: I worked at CAA during their 2005 conference in Atlanta. Feel free to dismiss my opinions if you feel my brilliant management of slide carousel loans makes me impartial.