photo by Josh Bellfy

photo by Josh Bellfy

photo by Josh Bellfy

photo by Josh Bellfy

First and foremost: Thank you to all those who participated and made Art Tap Out a success.

Thank you’s to:

Kevin Freitas – critic

Omar Pimienta – artist Round 1 presenting “Lady Libertad”

Suzanne Wright – artist Round 2 presenting “The Whole Future”

Micha Cardenas and Elle Mehrmand – artists Round 3 presenting “technésexual”

Also thank you to:

Megan Willis, Eddie Miramontes, Il Young Son, Josh Bellfy, Joy Boe, and Mike Lohr

and  of course the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego

Also, as usual, the audience played such an important role in this event.  Thank you all who participated.


Art Tap Out 3 is over and in post-event conversation there seems to be some ongoing dialogue about some of the issues raised during the event by each artist’s work.  This dialogue also raises questions about the positive aspects of Art Tap Out as well as it’s limitations. Each round contained interesting questions. Some of these, from my point of view in the ring, were:

Round 1

In practices that purport to create works which are socially beneficial to a certain group, would those resources used to create that work be better allocated by the people within the targeted group rather than filtered through an artist? Does this create a heirarchical situation? Is the role of the artist to create conditions rather than simply distribute resources?

Round 2

Is amateur psychoanalysis a good starting point for the critique and defense of a work of art? Should childhood experiences be so thoroughly examined and expounded upon when what is presented is clearly addressing issues other than this subjective interpretation?

Is it still an effective strategy to use the image of an “idealized” woman in the critique of the representation of women?  Does this continue to perpetuate these stereotypes?

Round 3

In a culture where violence is so prevalent that the form of the “ring of combat” is so easily recognizable and accepted, why does the performance of two naked, embracing bodies still create such visceral reactions? What is the relationship between virtual embracing bodies and material embracing bodies? Can the virtual (second life and performance) convey the intimacy of two beings together? Was this gratuitous sex or an intimate moment made public through performative actions? or both?

If the safety of institutions removes the possibility of a work of art engaging an audience at the level of the social and/or the political in any real, lasting terms, doesn’t that make the forum of Art Tap Out itself redundant?


All interesting questions and of course not comprehensive.

Additionally, people continue to call for the declaration of winners. In my opinion deeming one side a winner circumvents the underlying idea of what Art Tap Out is about to begin with: dialogue, with art as its starting point.

These are the thoughts from the perspective of being inside the ring. Below are images and video of the work to assist in the conversation. Comments gladly welcomed.


Round 1 -Omar Pimienta “Lady Libertad”

"Lady Libertad" Omar Pimienta

"Lady Libertad" Omar Pimienta

"Lady Libertad" Omar Pimienta

"Lady Libertad" Omar Pimienta

Round 2 -Suzanne Wright “The Whole Future”

"The Whole Future" Suzanne Wright

Round 3 -Micha Cardenas & Elle Mehrmand

technesexual excerpt // Duke University // Micha Cárdenas and Elle Mehrmand from azdel slade on Vimeo.