Past Posts

January 2010
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Explaining artspeak to artists

We are always telling artists,”Don’t use artspeak”, most people don’t have any idea what you are talking about. The problem is that when wetry to illustrate this using an example of artspeak, artists already know the meaning, so they can’t imagine the befuddlement of those who don’t know. Nor the fact that you can be percieved as talking down to them. Not a good way to make connections.

So how can we illustrate how artspeak sounds to the non-artist.

Here is an example from another field, not connected with the art world. I came across the following descripiton of a sailboat available for charter. Of course, if you are a sailor, it reads just fine. You will understand everything and it is very specific. But if you are not and you are just looking for a boat to charter for a couple of weeks what does this tell you?

Measuring 63′ 5″ x 47′ 3″ x 15′ 1″ x 9′, plus bowsprit and boomkin, …. displaces 43 tons and carries about 1700 square feet of sail area.

….is Coast Guard licensed and inspected to carry 6 guests and 3 crew on near shore routes during day light hours, from XXXX N to Calais, Maine. Coast Guard permission can be obtained to sail to the Canadian Maritimes, and further south as well.
Accommodation: Chain locker forward, foc’s'le with crew accommodations (single and double bunk plus lockers), aft to port is a bosun’s locker, aft to port again is a head with basin and toilet, to starboard is a double cabin with large hanging locker and book shelves plus drawers, aft and full width is the main salon with two pilot berths, table and seating for 6 to 8, aft to port is the galley with propane 3 burner stove with oven, and sink, to starboard is the icebox and dish locker (ample storage in lockers and bins) to aft to port is a large head with basin, toilet and shower plus linen lockers.

To starboard is a foul weather gear locker. Aft is the “general’s cabin” with a single and double bunk, settees, bureau and hanging lockers. The engine room is under the dog house which has the chart table and a bunk plus a settee.

Lighting is a combination of electrical and kerosene lamps. She has portholes and a skylight plus two hatches, for ventilation and light plus several dorade boxes with cowl vents.
Sails, rig and rigging: Main, foresail, staysail, jib (yankee, genoa), fisherman. All standing rigging renewed 2006.

Safety Equipment: All Coast Guard approved: Life Raft, EPIRB, Man Overboard Pole and light, MOM equipment, Fire extinguishers, flares, etc.

Electronics: VHF, GPS, RADAR, Depth sounder, and FM radio/CD player.

Comprehensive refit during the winter of 2005/2006 includes installation of generator, new standing and running rigging, engine overhaul, complete cosmetic refinishing on deck and below.

Do you know where is XXXX N?

Can you visualize the interior of this boat? Do you want to spend time aboard her?

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