apathy and integrity.

i've spent some time thinking about the department i'm in and how frustrating it really is. it's sad to me that we haven't created and cultivated a better environment to work in and the amount of apathy or disregard that has taken its place. we would be much bigger artists, and people in general, if we invested the amount of time and focus we should into where we are and what we are doing. it's only as much of a joke as you make it. take a second and think about the money you're spending and what you plan to do when you leave. i can't help but feel as if photography is just something people do here on the side. a hobby or some kind of obligation for what they have to do to get a degree instead of something that they are passionate about. this isn't high school. this isn't community college. this is supposed to be what you're doing with the rest of your life. so don't walk out of critiques, talk during them. don't spend your night off on facebook, research something. don't give me excuses about being so tired your brain can't work during your critique. don't sit around and complain about how much you think our department sucks and then cut class and not contribute. you're supposed to be here for a reason. take a second and really think about it. what's yours?

now do something about it.


  1. Well said Steve.

    on Tuesday night i sat at the incoming freshmen lecture in Epperson. Patrick gave a talk about how our department is such a community and how we have this great communication between the video students and other medias. I sat and thought about what he had been saying on whether or not actually believed that our department is anything remotely close to a "community." Id say sure of course there are about 10 of us who work really hard and who are dedicated to our work as well as to our peers, but there are some kids here who just make me feel discouraged and disappointed in the school in general.

    I feel that if anything is going to change, we really need to band together and make the change ourselves. our faculty isnt going to do it for us, we need to show THEM that we can be each-other's educators.

    Hows all this for blog comment content?

  2. I'm writing this as someone who is an outsider to the department and KCAI as a whole. Well I as at the start of last semester. Anyway, Steve, i completly understand how you feel. Its been like that in NZ for years and years and is incredibly frustrating. There was no community within my art schools photo Dept except for a few of us who banded together. But it was interesting because we pay sod all compared to you guys and polytech has a reputation in NZ as...well the place you go when you dont go to Uni, its the 2nd choice. Not syaing our art school is but it is part of the polytech and is tarred with the same brush. Therefore the attitudes of the people there were...average to say the least.
    Community is hard to create if the attitudes of the people involved are crap. When coming to KCAI i was initially blown away at the way the Dept kinda worked as a whole unit. People turned up, stuff got said, crit's were held with like minded intelligent people.
    And then the semester went on, people would leave crits for hours on end. People didnt turn up to classes, attitudes dropped and suddenly i was struck with the familiar feeling that art school was what you did between working your job and eating your dinner at night. There seemed to be the again familar feeling that people had no forsight, they didnt know what would happen at the end of four years. Attitudes again.
    I dont really know where this rant is going. But i agree with Cory totally, there is a dedicated bunch within the KCAI dept that i miss because they work hard, dam hard, and have the right sort of attitude, they have the talent and the skills to go a long long way with what they are doing.
    This is the sort of thing that will create a string dept.

  3. I KNOW, RIGHT?!

    i'm not going to pretend that i'm a perfect student. i could do a LOT more.

    but... there are some people in this department that depress me, embarrass me, make me angry. i cannot believe how disrespectful my peers can be. even those who care about their work rarely care about anyone else's.

    i think the sense of community that patrick gets does exist. i'm torn between an idea of "screw them! if they don't wanna participate, good riddance" and the thought that ALL of our work is important and we need to pay attention to everyone because we're all equal in the fact that we are young people going for a BFA in photography.

    but falling asleep in class? leaving while discussing a fellow student's work to get a bagel? ugh. it's disgusting. how can i not be mad about this?

    i don't want to contribute to the problem by ostracizing those who i feel aren't dedicated enough. i just wish there was a way to force everyone to care.. or at least participate and then maybe they'll start to care.

    cory and i were talking about coming in to the class every morning and re-arranging the desks in a circle. last week we did that to look at some of cory's prints, and i really liked it because we were all facing each other and the work and couldn't be distracted by laptops or anything of that sort.

    FORCE 'EM, i say.

    patrick needs to get a little tougher, too. i mean, i agree with cory, we have to make the change ourselves - but it just doesn't make sense to me that certain people are going to have the same degree as me when they put in a tenth of the effort i do. but maybe i'll just be the one to say something next time i see lizzie snoring.

  4. This has been a constant frustration of mine being in the department. Of course I cant point at anyone else without saying that I too am guilty of not doing as much and being as active as I should be.

    It seems like holding the momentum up is really hard, and its difficult to make people even be interested in class it seems like sometimes. All I ever hear is complaints about how we dont do anything in class, but there is no active participation so therefore the void will be filled by lecture instead of a more engaged discussion.

    But it really is all about what you put into school, your art - and whatever else you do in life.

    This is an opportunity to really get stuff done, be productive, utilize resources, and possibly become successful at something you love. We will never have this kind of freedom as we do here, so we should embrace it and not take advantage of it.

    We have huge potential as a department. But its time to get serious about this, if you truly do care about what you're doing.

  5. That should of course read take advantage of it....not "not take advantage of it".


  6. lately i have been feeling like i am actually involved in something larger than myself. we have a chance to do something great with the time we have here and better each-other not only as artist but as individuals. we all can do more. i like the idea of banding together. i sorta feel like some sort of outlaw . . . . thats maybe wearing a trench coat . . . and a giant bullet belt thing. i know that everyone here cares about what they are doing, whether they are sleeping, or eating bagles n stuff. i think that getting people to care about our department and our photo community as a whole is a diff thing. i think that we must start a change and those that care will follow. if not . . . we will make them . . . . we will make them by forming gangs and initiating members in with socks full of quarters. people will always complain. i know i have done my share. but we are banding, powers are combining, ideas are being made, i can hear some sort of ball being constructed that is almost ready to roll, i might buy glasses to prepare for the light that is ahead. steve, you are a wonderful individual. reading what you wrote was great and i think that there are plenty of people that want a change. and just writing about starts that. lets break stuff and i bet everyone will care

  7. Jason, maybe we can all get matching tattoos, or colored switch blades so we can be a legit gang.