Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thanks, anonymous

Art collectives and spaces come and go and are always intertwined with the real estate market. CSAW is no different. Its demise will make room for new spaces in other places that will follow a similar trajectory.

New exciting work will be made in these spaces and it will attract other artists, new ventures, and ultimately more investment. Property values will increase and the artists will be squeezed out and move elsewhere. It has happened in Shoreditch in London, Chelsea and the lower east side, hell, it even happened in Soho although its hard to remember that far back.

The strategic mistake (if there was one) made by the collective known as CSAW was obvious. Unfortunately, the collective (CSAW) did not have a single master lease with the owner and so it really was no more than an apartment building with an ad-hoc tenant organization. Sadly, this does not really mean anything in the eyes of the law.

In future endeavors, a group like CSAW would be wise to find a landlord and have the organization lease the building and then allocate space/leases and manage as the organization sees fit.

You might not like her, but Maggie works for the building’s owner and manages the property as she sees fit. Her overriding concern, and rightfully so - is protecting their rent roles – period. Its her job, no different from any other job.

My guess – only a guess rumor mongers - is she is currently incented by the owners to clear the building out by a certain date for new owners. In watching this whole thing unfold, it seems obvious there have been other efforts to do this very thing under different guises (remember the guy setting up a foundation – what exactly was he doing again??? Who exactly was he working for again??? Come on folks!)

Its too bad about CSAW but the possibilities of new spaces in new places with new work being made is exciting and that’s what I will be watching for.



Anonymous said...

I'm not sure you have the facts right: not about the lease agreements, not about that maggi person, not about the foundation guy. However the chips fall, new and exciting work will be made. The artist who leave CSAW will find new homes, as those who move into the old/new CSAW blding will find their new chapters. If anyone should choose to be critical, there is only one arrow to follow. The one that leads to a person who has lied, manipulated, strong armed, and stolen from an organization that has helped blossom many on their journey.

Anonymous said...

Word. Another one bites the dust. Moving On...

Anonymous said...

After having lived there for a year and a half, I always half expected the place to burn down before we were evicted. Anyway you look at it it was an unstable environment. You know somethings wrong when you have to bribe the fire marshall with liquor every year. Too bad though, I have a lot of great memories there.