[dorkbottoronto-blabber] Apologies and proposals
director at interaccess.org
Thu May 3 07:22:58 EDT 2007
First, I¹d like to offer an apology to Kristin.
Kristin, I did not mean to start what you've perceived as a ³witch hunt² or
have people take sides. I was hoping to invite discussion on a community
event which had not been very active. I never asked anyone to post nasty
things about you; I was encouraging people who¹ve experienced and been
missing Dorkbot to share their views. Heather has apologized for her
comments; I am now apologizing for starting this discussion which has
obviously been painful for you.
I feel badly that Heather¹s comments hurt you; ultimately, though, I believe
that people are responsible for their own actions, and I hope that you will
see fit to call off any legal threats and actions against me and
I also hope that you can accept the apologies offered to you from both
myself and Heather. Escalating the situation to a legal battle doesn¹t serve
the interests of the community at large; it would be uncool to pursue legal
action against the only centre in town that can support this kind of art. As
you know, just speaking with a lawyer for advice costs hundreds of dollars,
money better spent on art. I hope this does not have to go any further.
Please let me know what you decide in this regard.
I have also spent some energy having Heather's post removed from any list
subscription services, to avoid having the google-cache spread around.
Sincerely, Kristin, I have always supported your art practice; I have
offered you a reference and work contracts; I have supported your
involvement at IA. I truly did not mean to hurt you. My sincerest, humblest
Second, Kristin and I have been corresponding with Douglas Repetto behind
I¹d like to offer an excerpt from one of his notes (hope you don¹t mind,
Douglas). I¹ve quoted his message below, for those who are interested. In
short, he acknowledges that we both have an important role to play, and
suggests that in order to resolve things, that we share Dorkbot, and
alternate organizing responsibilities between Kristin and IA.
While I like this idea, I worry that it supports splitting the community.
What I like about it is that it spreads the work around, making Dorkbot more
likely to happen more often.
Putting individual positions aside, I¹d like to focus on our shared
interests: we each want acknowledgment from the other as to our roles; we
each want DBT to happen and with minimal fuss; we each want to encourage
dialogue in the dork-community.
So, I have some possible proposals I¹d like to offer here.
1) My first choice: If Kristin accepts my apology, I¹d like to propose that
we start fresh, with both of us acknowledging the other¹s importance in
making Dorkbot happen. We each share both web and list passwords with each
other, and set some practical ground rules on paper, like how often DBT
should happen, how far in advance we need to decide things so we can reserve
the studio and equipment, etc, without conflicts. This doesn¹t mean that
every bot has to happen at IA only that you acknowledge our role in
Dorkbot as more than simply a venue. Of course you can and should travel
Dorkbot around, if you find that to be an interesting idea. Spread the love.
Kristin, you may continue to work with Jeremy Bailey, as that is his job, to
coordinate such public events on behalf of IA, but you will still have to
meet with me to clear the air, and I can¹t guarantee that you won¹t have to
interact with other staff from time to time when Jeremy B is not in the
office. I highly recommend finding a collaborator, like Liav Koren, who
seems so enthusiastic. Dorkbot is about sharing, so why not invite someone
else to help out just as you began collaborating with Jeremy Rotsztain.
I've met Liav, and he seems like a sweet, smart person with a genuine
curiosity about art and electronics.
I¹d also like to offer you a studio membership in recognition of your
dedication regarding Dorkbot. This will also allow you to continue to
participate in other user groups that I know you are involved in and value.
2) If Kristin accepts my apology, we can continue as Douglas suggests with
alternating responsibilities. We will still have to have clear communication
though, to make sure we can promote all activities well.
3) If Kristin does not accept my apology, IA will back out for the time
being, with the understanding that Dorkbot and Kristin are welcome back any
time, no questions asked.
4) We have the community meeting as suggested, turning it into an
opportunity to think about structure of such an open ended thing as dorkbot,
and we have an ³open dork² event, where people can talk about a project for
5 minutes each, and have a bit of a party.
I hope we can resolve this amicably -- and come to an understanding that
satisfies everyone's interests.
------ Forwarded Message
From: douglas repetto <douglas at music.columbia.edu>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 14:20:16 -0400
To: Dana Samuel <director at interaccess.org>
Cc: Kristin Trethewey <tretheke at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: dorkbot-toronto issues
Dear Kristin and Dana,
Sorry for the delay in responding, it's the end of the term here and
I've got a lot going on (as I'm sure you both do as well). Some thoughts:
* There is no "normal" way for a dorkbot to operate. We purposely have
no rules, no guidelines, no policies. Each dorkbot makes these up for
themselves. There's really nothing that holds the worldwide dorkbots
together other than a general spirit of sharing our work with each
other. So I can't really "make a ruling" about what you should do in
Toronto. Kristin has asked a couple times what the standard dorkbot
policy is, and the answer is that there isn't one. There are some
dorkbots where one person does everything, others where it's a group or
a committee or an institution. Each dorkbot is different.
* Dana, it is clear to me that Jeremy handed over leadership of
dorkbot-toronto to Kristin. He wrote me an email saying as much, telling
me it would be in good hands, and asking for me to give her full access
to the server and mailing lists, which I did. So it certainly makes
sense for Kristin to feel like she's in a position to make decisions
* Kristin, it is also clear that Interaccess, as an institution, started
dorkbot-toronto. I just re-read Jessica Fung's original email to me, and
she clearly said that Interaccess, as an arts group, wanted to start a
dorkbot. So it makes sense that Interaccess feels like they should also
have a say in the direction that dorkbot-toronto takes.
* It's clear from reading the blabber list that 1) people don't
particularly care to know about the behind the scenes details and 2)
people want _more_ dorkbot in Toronto, not less.
Share the workload. Get together and make a dorkbot calendar for the
coming season. Decide who is responsible for producing which meetings
(maybe you can alternate months?) Let people know there will be a
dorkbot on dates x, y, and z. People want these meetings to happen, and
they want to know when they will be.
Kristin, if the house-party dorkbot works out on May 4th, maybe you can
continue to do that every other month or something. Dana, maybe Jeremy
can produce the Interaccess dorkbot meetings if Kristin feels
uncomfortable continuing to work with Interaccess.
I don't think that this needs to be a fight to the death over control of
dorkbot-toronto. First of all, it's not worth it -- it's just a simple
meeting to share work with one another. It's meant to be a friendly,
informal, DIY affair, not a big, high pressure production.
Unfortunately things did get personal and rather nasty yesterday, and I
really don't know what to do or say about that. Feelings were hurt, bad
decisions were made. I believe that apologies have also been made.
Kristin, if I were you I would accept the apologies and move on. Surely
you have important, creative things to spend your energy on.
I hope this is somewhat helpful. Again, I can only try to give you a
balanced perspective. I don't know either of you personally, although I
can only assume that you're both nice, well-meaning people who are
caught up in a complex situation.
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