Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keeping it Real in the PCA

The People's Choice (PC) Award voting is now open. There is a new voting system, so I encourage you to read this information. The new system allows you to vote for as many pieces as you like, rating them on a scale of 1 to 3. You vote by touching the name board at each entry. Last day of voting for the December round is Friday, Jan 7.

The PC awards are intended to foster community engagement in the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. By encouraging everyone to come and express an opinion about the works, we hope they will really look at the art and think about it and assess how they feel about it. I sponsored the PC awards last year on behalf of my residents at Artemisia because I believe strongly in engaging the public in our work in a direct and meaningful way.

Now, as curator, it has come to my attention that the process is subject to undue influence by the behavior of certain artists and their supporters. Perhaps we have not made it clear that this is not intended to be popularity contest for artists. We don't total the votes for the artist. We vote for the works. What does it mean if you vote for a work when you haven't looked at all the possibilities? If you don't actually use some aesthetic judgment? Anyone attempting to influence the voting by campaigning or other means erodes the value of those votes. If you were to win an award by padding the voting, isn't it a pretty hollow victory? If we were to allow this, the awards would be meaningless.

quad and JayJay were vigilant in assuring correct results over the last year and I am attempting to do the same. What may not be apparent to most people is that we are able to monitor the voting quite well. We can see very clearly when someone is trying to manipulate the system. I have every reason to believe that all the final winners of all previous rounds were absolutely legitimate and deserving.

With huge thanks to GeeJAnn Blackadder, we are trying out a new voting system for the People's Choice Awards. Instead of the familiar voting board with pictures of the objects, you will now be able to vote by touching the artist's name sign at each object in the gallery. You can vote for as many objects as you want, using a 1 to 3 scale. We hope this will encourage even more community engagement and provide an easier way to manage the vote tallies.

As always, we will continue to monitor the voting process to limit campaigning and manipulation. There are a few known glitches in the new system that do not affect the voting (e.g. the notecard issue), and we will be refining it for future rounds. Please let me know if you have any problems with voting.

The People's Choice Awards are an important part of our outreach efforts. I urge you to come look at the entries, to think about them, and to participate in the voting by expressing your thoughtful opinions. If someone asks you to vote for them, please politely let them know that you will be happy to come vote for your favorite works.

FreeWee Ling, Curator
UWA 3D Open Art Challenge

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