• http://www.facebook.com/jeremybailey79 Jeremy Bailey

    Having worked with Heather personally as a curator I can assure you she will do an AMAZING job. Congratulations Heather!

  • http://twitter.com/benvickers_ Ben Vickers

    Wow AFC as usual you manage to make some pretty unsubstantiated claims based on your ability to google alone. Now I remember why I stopped reading… 

    BUT

    Congratulations Heather! 

    • Will Brand

      Like what?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “That said, we wonder how well Corcoran will fair [sic] in the New York
    fundraising world. Cornell’s shoes are particularly big to fill here,
    and Corcoran has less experience in this field. It will take some time
    to get up to speed.”

    Where is the proof of Cornell’s “large shoes”? How do you know Corcoran has less experience fundraising?

    “We’re particularly interested about what this means for the direction
    of Rhizome, as Corcoran’s interests dovetail with those at Eyebeam.”

    How?

    “That wasn’t always the case with Cornell, whose curation aligned as much
    with traditional museum programming as with the technology world.”

    Examples?
     

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      Hey Tom,

      Those statements can each be backed up. This was a relatively quick post meant to be followed up upon, so we might as well do that in the comments. 

      “That said, we wonder how well Corcoran will fair [sic] in the New York 
      fundraising world. Cornell’s shoes are particularly big to fill here, 
      and Corcoran has less experience in this field. It will take some time 
      to get up to speed.”Where is the proof of Cornell’s “large shoes”?

      How do you know Corcoran has less experience fundraising?

      I actually looked at all of Rhizome’s 990’s for the past few years so you can see that Rhizome’s grown a lot over Lauren’s stay. In 2005 when she started the org brought in 150k, now it’s budget exceeds 360k. That growth is reflected in the size of their staff, which has grown, and their programs. Lauren’s done this, both by maintaining the grant program, and finding new ways to bring in revenue, like Seven on Seven. I’m not sure how much the Rhizome membership program has grown since she’s been there though, so that’s a bit of a black hole.

      All the financial information is available here: http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/13-3995725/rhizome-communications.aspx

      As for Corcoran, since she’s never worked for an extended period of time in New York, she by definition has less experience fundraising. She’s also never held a position as an Executive Director, which yes, involves some curating, but is really, let’s face it, a fundraising job. 

      “We’re particularly interested about what this means for the direction of Rhizome, as Corcoran’s interests dovetail with those at Eyebeam.”

      How?

      Rhizome has a much longer history of dealing exclusively with web-only content than Eyebeam. They modified their mission statement to something a little more inclusive a couple years ago, but that personality remains. Dorkbot, is an example of a festival celebrating electricity that Eyebeam residence often participate in (and they’ve even hosted I believe), whereas Rhizome has not been so closely tied. Corcoran has been heavily involved in that, so that’s why I drew that conclusion. 

      “That wasn’t always the case with Cornell, whose curation aligned as much
      with traditional museum programming as with the technology world.”

      Examples?

      She’s curating the Triennial for the second time. Free, the museum’s “tech” show, was barely about tech imo. The New Silent Series often asked artists to participate who weren’t focused on tech, but used it. Trevor Paglen is a good example of that. Jill Magid – does she even use tech? They both were invited to speak. If anything, I’d say Lauren as a curator erred too often on the side of traditional arts, rather than privileging tech.

      • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

        Actually, I think one of the first things Lauren did when she took on the position was to institute membership fees for use of the archives. That was controversial since of course those archives were built by members, and I didn’t think it was a good idea at the time. I’ve since changed my mind on that because preserving the archives costs money, so it makes sense that you’d pay a small amount to make sure that happens. 

        • http://twitter.com/benfinoradin Ben Fino-Radin

          The paywall was not instituted by Lauren – in fact she made removing it her mission when she came on as director.

          • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

            My bad. The paywall happened a while ago, so it seems my recollection of that was clearly skewed. 

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Corcoran can’t be said to have less fundraising experience just because she’s not in NY. For this to be a meaningful comparison you’d need the UK and Canadian equivalent of those 990s (for organizations where she’s worked). If none of her previous positions involved fundraising that would be relevant, too. Do we know? Cornell had to start from scratch in NY – did anyone question this?
    I’m not sure why Eyebeam is mentioned in this post. Wouldn’t it be fair to say that Eyebeam, Rhizome/NewMu, FACT Center and Corcoran’s other employers were each a mix of web, electronic, and traditional gallery approaches? Rhizome hasn’t been “all-web” for quite some time; I would expect “hybridization” (eeek) to continue under almost any candidate.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      That’s simply not true. Fundraising in New York isn’t just working the grant end of things, but working to find philanthropic sources and foundations. That’s done through personal connections. If you haven’t lived in New York doing precisely that, then you have less experience. 

      In what ways do you see the identity of Eyebeam and Rhizome differing? 

    • Will Brand

      We did. That’s why we felt comfortable saying this.

      What organization’s 990 equivalents are you proposing we look at? There’s no nonprofit whose finances have been so tied to Heather Corcoran as Rhizome’s have been to Cornell. We looked at FACT’s (very detailed) year-end accounts; Corcoran is mentioned exactly once in the past five years, and that’s as having curated a show ( http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends81/0000702781_ac_20110331_e_c.pdf ). If you look at the accounts of SPACE/Art Services Grants Ltd as a whole (of which Corcoran seems to have managed an offshoot), the vast majority of their funding comes from property rental and government grants (e.g. http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends21/0000267021_AC_20090331_E_C.PDF ). I’d also submit that she seems to have never had a title related to fundraising.

      I don’t know Heather Corcoran. She’s probably more than up to the job. I don’t mean this as an attack on her, but just to say that this is the information which is available. If you have some information about her fundraising abilities that I might not know about, go right ahead. We’d like to know.

      • u8yr5ghj

        Reading that document, the Director of that organization is mentioned ‘exactly once’ (outside the header of the accounts), and that’s ‘having curated a show’. Do you know how institutions work?

      • Will Brand

        Also, for those who think looking at a new nonprofit hire’s CV is an odd thing for a writer to do, there’s this from an LA Times article on Paul Schimmel’s firing:

        ‘Deitch, who had no experience courting donors before taking over at MOCA, acknowledged in a public forum at an art fair last month that the difficulty of the task, a crucial and time-consuming one for museum directors, had come as “a rude awakening.”‘

        Obviously irresponsible, slander, etc. etc.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Cornell had 7 years to build all her connections. As best I can remember she started from scratch at Rhizome and no one publicly questioned her ability to do it. Why hold a new director to a different standard now? If it turns out to be Corcoran you’ve saddled her with amazing advance bad PR based partly on research and partly on your gut.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      When Lauren started the organization was much smaller. You hold the new director to a different standard when a different standard is established. 

      All that said, I’m sure she’ll do a great job. We’re just discussing what we know, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. 

      I’m really looking forward to meeting her.  

    • Will Brand

      If saying “[i]t will take some time to get up to speed” is “amazing advance bad PR”, then I guess yeah. I think she’s probably made of tougher stuff than that, though.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I would say you hold the new director to a higher standard when you have a host of qualified eager candidates. As you noted in your earlier post “OK So Who’s Gonna Run Rhizome?” almost no one comes to mind. Then when the first possible candidate is rumored, you make the case in advance that’s she will be an inferior fundraiser. This is one situation where a lighter touch might be called for.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      There are three sentences that mention fundraising in this 300 word post. I think she can handle it.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Yeah but what about all the sentences in the comments? Never mind, I give up.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      None would have been written if you hadn’t repeatedly challenged the idea that the speculation was unfounded. 

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Actually Ben Vickers accused you of unsubstantiated claims, and then disappeared. I would say now they are partially substantiated.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      I think it’s obvious to anyone reading this thread that any question you had about the statements made in this post was fully answered. 

  • Anonymous Anonymous

    This entire post is as hilarious as it is offensive and under-researched.

    First of all, why did you change the title of your post from Breaking! to Rumours! It’s because you are a pack of incompetent writers who have no editorial credibility — Paddy Johnson should be sued for libel, if only for her mus-representation of Corcoran.

    For information, your entire biog on Corcoran is not only out-dated, it’s flat out wrong! a simple search on Linkedin would prove otherwise.

    Corcoran is actually currently Acting Deputy Director of one the UK’s leading commissioning agencies for artist film and video in the UK, overseeing strategic business and operational infrastructure. She’s also produced and managed shows for the Barbican– working on individual projects whose size equals about ten times that of Rhizome’s own operating costs.

    She lives in London (from my research), not in Liverpool, having left some time ago.

    She used to work in a senior post at the national centre for new media in the UK, FACT — an organisation that produces so called ‘museum’ style shows, as well as technology related material. It’s not Eyebeam. You should visit before making any assumptions.

    As to who I am. I choose to stay anonymous if only to steer clear of such poor editorial standards as this!!!

    • Will Brand

      >First of all, why did you change the title of your post from Breaking! to Rumours! It’s because you are a pack of incompetent writers who have no editorial credibility”

      Quoting from above: “It has been changed to better reflect the lack of confirmation from Rhizome.” Wouldn’t want to give anyone the wrong idea.

      >Paddy Johnson should be sued for libel, if only for her mus-representation of Corcoran.

      If you wanna prove obvious harm or malice, go right ahead. 

      >Corcoran is actually currently Acting Deputy Director of one the UK’s leading commissioning agencies for artist film and video in the UK, overseeing strategic business and operational infrastructure. 

      Correct. As Film and Video Umbrella’s website says, for the past four months she’s been replacing someone on maternity leave. As far as I can tell, this doesn’t actually contradict anything in the post.

      >She lives in London (from my research), not in Liverpool, having left some time ago.

      Duly changed. Thank you.

      >She used to work in a senior post at the national centre for new media in the UK, FACT — an organisation that produces so called ‘museum’ style shows, as well as technology related material. 

      Again, I’m not sure what this is meant to contradict.

      Thanks for chiming in.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Anonymous says Corcoran “used to work in a senior post at the national centre for new media in the UK, FACT — an organisation that produces so called ‘museum’ style shows, as well as technology related material.” What is this in reference to? Paddy said that Eyebeam is “electronic” oriented and “Corcoran’s interests dovetail with those at Eyebeam,” unlike Cornell, whose “curation aligned as much with traditional museum programming as with the technology world.”

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      I don’t understand why everyone seems to eager to prove that Corcoran’s interests are perfectly aligned with Cornell’s.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I was explaining the connection Anonymous was making, since there seemed to be some confusion about that. As for me, I hope Corcoran will be a massive sea change from what we’ve had and would give her every benefit of a doubt.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Paddy Johnson

      That, I can get behind. 

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