Gosh, wouldn’t it have been smart to come up with a visual art event that would promote Denver’s burgeoning culture and higher national profile in the arts during the Democratic National Convention? Doesn’t that make it dumb to instead bring in a bunch of second-tier art stars from around the world who mostly don’t have anything to do with Denver?
Well, that latter idea — the dumb one — is what’s going to happen from August 21-29 in a series of displays around town to be collectively entitled Dialog:City. The concept is to “leverage contemporary art and design to catalyze civic engagement” — you know, that kind of crap.
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Dialog:City is being officially sponsored by the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee but, of course, the dumbness came in via the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, the bureaucracy that’s organizing the disconnected and essentially irrelevant extravaganza.
The whole sad story will be announced today, May 5, by Mayor John Hickenlooper at 11:30 a.m., at a press conference at the Starz FilmCenter (900 Auraria Parkway, Gallery 30).
The morning’s festivities include a talk by D.J. Spooky (Paul Miller), one of the Dialog:City participants (pictured) and a screening of a trailer for his latest multi-media production. Spooky will also be doing a public event at 5:30 p.m, today at the Davis Auditorium in Sturm Hall (2000 East Asbury Street) on the University of Denver campus. The artist will lecture on Rhythm Science, a collection of his essays.
The different artists coming to town will be getting hundreds of thousands of dollars to present their work here, with most of the cash coming from the Host Committee and from Kroenke Sports. Imagine what that kind of dough would have meant to artists from around Denver. And imagine how many more people would be interested in checking out something as relevant as a Denver showcase -- and conversely, how few will care about the ill-conceived Dialog:City during the couple of days it will be in town. — Michael Paglia