1997. Link

I lived in Baltimore City & Baltimore County from the time of my birth in 1953 until I moved away for good in 1994 - with the exception of one brief foray into Anne Arundal County in the summer of 1974. During all that time, I don't remember there being a well-funded cultural periodical. Instead, every such publication always had the feel for me of 'how-long-will-this-last-before-the-lack-of-support-for-culture-in-Baltimore-burns-it-out?' As such, these periodicals probably had a touch of optimistic heroism to them.

The 1st one I ever had anything to do with (by having a review published there in February, 1979) was Hard Crabs, the publication of the Maryland Writer's Council, a very small thing that was mailed out to Writer's Council members.

Alas, I'm not really an expert on what publications were around, partially because I disavowed the arts context by 1978, but I remember Aura, which was "A Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Visual Arts Publication" that Kirby Malone & Marshall Reese published a great article in called "Mad Science & Folk Math" in the Spring, 1980, issue.

There was Maryland Musician, which isn't quite the type of publication that I'm talking about but which did have an article about instrument inventor & builder Neil Feather in issue #74 (November, 1990) called "Neil Feather: The Mid-Atlantic's Harry Partch" written by D. C. Culbertson.

There was the CoBalt Newsletter, from the Collective of Baltimore Artists that was in existence by 1988. Then there was Influence, Art & Design which probably also started in 1988.

It was with Influence that an attempt seemed to be made to make something more sizeable. The 1st issue I have in my aRCHIVE is the "Fall 1989" one, "Volume 2, No. 1". On the front cover there's a picture of my old friend, the filmmaker/artist Steve Estes. Also pencilled on the cover, by me, is a note saying: "I read as much of this as seemed worth bothering w/ - wch wasn't much..".

Now, in retrospect, that seems entirely too harsh of a criticism but it gives you an idea of my dissatisfaction w/ such publications in B-More at the time. I wanted something that was 'world class', I wanted something that could 'rival' my own publications (such as DDC#040.002) & something that would be in the same league as the truly excellent lightworks, from Ann Arbor, that had been around since the 1970s. Why settle for less?

One of the many things that Influence had going for it was that Peter Walsh was the Film Editor. Peter was, by far, one of the more scholarly, talented, & alert cultural figures around town in those days. Peter was on the edictorial board of Link when it was founded in 1996, as was Megan Hamilton, another serious observer of BalTimOre culture. I mention them because they're the ones I knew personally but I don't mean to neglect all else involved.

The American Visionary Art Museum was founded in 1995 & they started their own magazine, Visions, soon thereafter. That, too, is important to me because I've always had a deep interest in Outsider Art. Being designated an Outsider Artist or a Visionary would be considerably less offensive than being an Insider Artist.

I left Baltimore in 1994, Link started 2 years later. Link came closest to what I'd been waiting for in an arts periodical. It was a journal, calling a publication such promises scholarliness, something that I feel is needed in any cultural community if the community is to take itself seriously & be taken seriously by others. & by taken 'seriously' I don't mean turning pompous, I mean caring about the deepest levels of one's production & articulating that those levels exist.

By the time Link started & by the time its 2nd issue came out, I was living in Pittsburgh &, as usual, was on a different trajectory than anyone else that I knew. For one thing, I was organizing the Anonymous Family Reunion, something that's taken on fresh significance since the Anonymous Movement has started, even though I had nothing to do with that (although I certainly admire it!). The purpose of the AFR had nothing to do with the art world & I wasn't interested in furthering my non-existent 'artist career' with it.

Nonetheless, I was happy to discover that 5 separate articles in Link 2 referenced &/or reproduced work that I'd created in BalTimOre before I lef. Since I'd generally felt like it was open season on me when I was a BalTimOre-an & that no hunting licence was required (just take pot-shots when yer ready buoys!), it was nice to feel appreciated in retrospect. I never wanted to write for Link because, after all, it was an arts magazine & my cultural revolution revolved around recontextualizing the world along the lines of DDC#040.002's self-categorization:


Not Used


Nonetheless, it would've been, & was, an honor to be connected with such a substantial publication - even if it was a tad too academic at times & had advertising. KUDOS to those responsible!

- tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE note, March 27, 2018E.V.

















idioideo at verizon dot net


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