July 26, 2018

Editor's Note

Open space party goers listen to Suzanne Stein at The Lab. All Photos: Lenny Gonzalez

Open Space partygoers are such good listeners. All Photos: Lenny Gonzalez

On Monday, we’ll go dark for our annual August break, in order to handle some behind-the-scenes maintenance and gear up for the fall season.

We’ll also look back at another full year, which included the Limited Edition collaboration, three new issues of our magazine, and, as always, myriad contributions from artists near and far. We’ll post periodic reminders of those contributions on Twitter and Instagram in the coming weeks — please follow us there if you’d like to stay in the loop, or sign up for our newsletter (which you can do at the bottom of this or any OS page).

The newsletter, by the way, is where you’ll get an invitation to our annual summer art party. We held this year’s gathering at The Lab a few weeks ago; thanks to all who came out — it’s been great to see so many of you wearing your “CHANGE everything” pins around town.

The text of my toast is below. See you after Labor Day!


Toast action shot.

Toast action shot.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy lives to spend the evening with us. We’ve been in touch with many of you throughout the year, of course, but it’s not the same as being in the same room. And this year is particularly special, as we’re also celebrating our tenth anniversary! April 16 marked a decade of Open Space: As of today, nearly 550 people have collaborated with us, whether as contributors, guest editors, or columnists. I’ll wait a moment to thank our founding editor, and for now want to thank my SFMOMA co-conspirators, Bosco, Chad, Gordon, Grace, Jay, Talia, and Zach. Gordon I have to thank twice: Open Space is lucky to have such a thoughtful, dedicated, and congenial co-editor.

I’d like to also thank Dena and co. for hosting us: we love being at The Lab, one of the great independent homes for artists in the Bay Area. Long may it live!

As has become our habit, we built this party around several art offerings, each created by artists who we’ve worked with in the past year. I’ll say just a few words about each of these.

Two of the three artists we commissioned tonight made their Open Space debut this year through Project Space, a program in which we ask artists to make works that can be freely downloaded. Our fall Project Space was How to Vol. 3, an artist book by Oakland-born Sadie Barnette. And our spring offering is Oaklander Esra Canogullari’s ambient sound piece lavender, fake gold, salt. If you haven’t yet, I urge you to download both of these gems when you get home.

Sadie unfortunately couldn’t be with us tonight, as she just embarked on a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. But! Before she went, she handed off to us these magical pins, made specifically for tonight: Unlike Project Space commissions, Sadie’s “CHANGE everything” pins are a limited edition: there are only 320 of them in the world. We would love for you each to have one, and just ask that you not take more than that.

Esra, however, is here, and will be DJing as 8ULENTINA: I know that many of you know 8ULENTINA’s various interdisciplinary ventures as visual artist, curator, music producer, and DJ. We’re super excited to offer you their live set, which will commence in about fifteen minutes and run till the end of the party.

And before that we have a very special guest, joining us from San Diego: the poet Suzanne Stein, who is also the founder of Open Space. Gordon and I both felt that we couldn’t celebrate our tenth birthday without Suzanne: as I have said many times, this vibrant and unruly home for singular voices would not exist without her vision, and her years of hard work. What I don’t say often enough is what a singular artist she is: Her writing is finely honed, generous, wry, and whip smart — I am grateful for it, and for her.

So. Please raise your glasses, so that we can toast Suzanne, Sadie, and Esra. Here’s to a decade of Open Space!

Now, it’s my great pleasure to hand the microphone over to Suzanne.

The singular Suzanne Stein.

The Suzanne Stein.


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