Survey: M/E/A/N/I/N/G

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$0 - $50,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Printed Periodical / Publication
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
M/E/A/N/I/N/G, a journal of contemporary art issues, was founded by Susan Bee and Mira Schor in 1986 and published between 1986 and 1996. We are both painters. Bee had extensive experience in the design, editing, and publication of small press journals and books as well as degrees in art history and art, Schor’s teaching practice and early training as an art historian had led her, in the early 1980s to begin writing about contemporary art. We felt the need for a discursive space for viewpoints and critical approaches that were not being published. We were committed to creating a zone of critical discussion that was independent of academic or commercial art interests. In addition, M/E/A/N/I/N/G combined critical engagement with the variety and intimacy of artists’ voices. We provided a space for artists to write about issues of importance to them and for art historians and critics to be able to write about art not favored by the glossies. And we provided a space for writing that is individual even idiosyncratic. The mix was accessible, personal, and sometimes volatile. Our emphasis was on artists’ perspectives on aesthetic and social issues including many hotley contested art issues of the time: the visibility of women artists, sexuality and the arts, censorship, art world racism, the legacies of modernism, artists as mothers, visual art in teh digital age, and the rewards and toils of a lifelong career in art. Artists and art writers published included Nancy Spero, Richard Tuttle, David Humphrey, Thomas McEvilley, Laura Cottingham, Johanna Drucker, David Reed, Carolee Schneemann, Leon Golub, Charles Bernstein, and Alison Knowles.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
Susan Bee and Mira Schor met first as children through their European artist parents, Sigmund and Miriam Laufer and Ilya and Resia Schor, and remet as artists in the 1970s. Bee had experience in publishing and book design, and had designed and edited many small press and commercial publications as well as having designed L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, an important avant-garde poetry magazine. In the early 80s, Schor had begun to write about gender representation in contemporary art. In the fall of 1986, our disgust with the increasingly overhyped art scene was the final spur to publishing a journal. We quickly found material for a first issue and invested our own money. We typeset and pasted up the first issue ourselves. We continued to publish regularly, twice a year, for ten years. M/E/A/N/I/N/G was independently produced with both of us assuming all fo the editorial and production tasks. Our very minimal funding came from subscriptions, sales, and after two years, from small individual donations and from grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We preferred this intimate, small cell structure to the weight of a more developed institutional structure, in keeping with an artist’s run intervention into contemporary art discourse. Our final issue was an all visual, double issue in May 1996 including original artwork by most of the visual artists who had ever published in our journal. Up to that time we had not published any photographic reproductions for visual art and focused our writers and readers on meaning and opinion emerging from attention within the text to the visual appearance and materiality of the work. We had a simple elegant design and distinctive cover colors.
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
M/E/A/N/I/N/G was published two issues a year, from 1986 to 1996. #1-19/20 During the time of our publication we curated one exhibition and hosted a number of panel discussions: Exhibition: 1987 "In Pieces: The Figure Fragmented," P.S. 122, New York, curated by Susan Bee and Mira Schor Panels: 2001 "Is Resistance Futile? A M/E/A/N/I/N/G Panel," A.I.R. Gallery, NYC 1997 "Realities of Feminism &/or Activist Practice," A.I.R. Gallery, NYC 1988 M/E/A/N/I/N/G Presents Artists’ Talks, Sorkin Gallery, NY Editorial projects: "Ripple Effects: Painting and Language," New Observations Issue #113 Winter 1996-1997, guest edited by Susan Bee and Mira Schor M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online on, edited by Susan Bee and Mira Schor Issue #1 (August 2002) Issue #2 (March 2003) These issues will soon be re-archived online at Anthology: 200 M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism, co-edited with Susan Bee, Duke University Press
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Mira Schor
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Susan Bee
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Charles Bernstei
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Daryl Chin
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Collective / Unincorporated Association
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Our organization at this point consists of the original editors occasionally collaborating on editorial projects, with the support of some of our original contributors.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Drain on Existing Staff Time
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Where are these locations? [I.E. Home / Office of Private Individual(s) (i.e. Former Board, Staff, Funders, etc)]
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
We each maintain our own archives as individual artists. Susan Bee is involved with the preservation of the work and archives of her mother, Miriam Laufer, a painter, and Mira Schor is involved with the preservation of the work and the archives of her parents, Ilya and Resia Schor, both professional artists.
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10d.
10d. Would you allow access in the future?: 
Part 10e.
10e. Under what circumstances would access to archives be allowed.: 
Our archives are not currently in good enough order or in one single space that would be allow for clear reserach or easy access for researchers. Our long-term goal is to get the archive into better order (time, space, and money have prevented this from happening yet, espeically time), and to either sell or donate it to an educational institution to allow for such access.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Other Digital Materials
Other Artwork
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials - Please describe below.
email announcements
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Broadsides / Small Press
Commercially Published Materials
Publication or Merchandise Catalogues
Other Printed Publications
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Other Boxes
File Cabinets
Flat Files
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
21 - 30
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
1 - 10
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
1 - 10
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
11 - 20
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Written or Typewritten Inventories
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Not Applicable
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
The co-founders and editors Susan Bee and Mira Schor
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Manual System (Card File, File Folders)
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
None or Limited
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
Limited climate-controls
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
get website online that will archive our online issues and some other older material
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
getting the archive into better
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
Time, since we have active professional and personal, lives and continue to work on new editorial projects
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$15,001 - $20,000
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$20,001 - $25,000
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
We feel that archiving materials documenting alternative art organizations is crucial, espeically in the case of smaller organizations whose very nature defines alternative practice but who may get passed over in many instances, in favor of the larger, best known alternative organizations. All the technical issues you list in your previous question are important. Also perhaps it would be useful to establish some lists of institutions that are interested in acquiring and have a good record of hosting archives of this type and some protocols for how to go about transferring an archive to such an institution. Certainly grants that would specifically help to facilitate the archiving of alternative art organizations would be helpful, as indeed it would be helpful for individual artists.
Who executed this survey.: 
I am the co-editor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: