Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Open Letter from Vito Acconci

A city exists by means of density and mix – a mix of genders and races and colors and opinions, a close-up of genders and races and colors and opinions. A school exists by means of density and mix – a mix of theories, a mix of systems – a close-up, a swarm, of all the ways-to-live in the world. In the middle of this mix, a person decides, a person lives, for him/her-self.

Both the city and the school are ways to leave home. A city-dweller, a city-meanderer, a student, might choose to go back home, or try to go home again; but the person makes that choice on his/her own, for him/her-self. Neither the city nor the school promotes belief; it might engender commitment, give occasions for commitment, but never belief.

The inhabitants of a city shouldn’t conform to the government of the city; students shouldn’t conform to the administration of the school; the government of the city, the administration of the school, has to twist and warp and morph to fit the inhabitants, to fit the students. People shouldn’t be afraid of their government, students shouldn’t be afraid of their administration; it’s the government, it’s the administration, that should be longing to be afraid of its people, its students – it’s that fear that keeps the government, the administration, alive and changing.

When a city official engenders belief, by punishing the non-believer, that city official turns the city into a suburb. When the provost of a college supports the city official, that provost turns the school into a church. Each tries to close an open system, and a closed system can’t help but die. Conservatism is a last gasp of a dying culture, a desperate attempt to preserve the old world when the new world – the exhilaratingly frightening new world – is just around the corner.

-Vito Acconci


Blogger chris moss said...


11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mention that "A city exists by means of density and mix – a mix of genders and races and colors and opinions". Then you go on to say "Conservatism is a last gasp of a dying culture". As a Conservative Student, my opinion is usually not allowed or shouted down. Conservatism is not dying, it is on the rise. We have to be careful for now since our opinion directly effects our grades, jobs etc. But after 40 years of liberal ideas gone wild. We are making progress and will prevail. Try to at least listen and thing about our ideas. Thank you

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Amen to that ! "a mix of genders and races and colors and opinions"?!! the Only opinions allowed are liberal ones ! I know this first hand since my grades have suffered in the past because of different opinions then my so-called Professor. I have to keep silent for now.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Conservatism is dying, why has President Bush won the last 2 elections?

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


PLEASE go back to your red state.

This situation had nothing to do with the conservative/liberal paradigm. Simply, the BC admin's clutzty handling of not only students' first amendment rights, but also a requirement for their MFA degree.

The administration at BC is famously inept. They seems to have little or no regard or respect for their students on any level.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is simple, and probably a repeat. I will however ask it. Why does Mr. Julius Spiegel specifically say that the exibit was not 'family friendly'? What/who's family is he speaking about? My family of two married men and 2 VERY happy intelligent children, or the family that is not allowed to experience anything other than the mom, dad, sibling, dog and the Church? As much as no one should be allowed to determine whether art is art, as they are to determine what makes a family. Shame on their bigoted points of view. If they can argue that the Ten Commandments should be on every Government lawn, then we should be able to fight for our 1st Ammendment rights.

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