Finding the Time to Make the Wine
by Andrew Krebs
Andrew’s full article Social Logical Austin
I would like to take this opportunity to share my balancing approach. For the past couple of years, I have been passionately involved in making my own wine. In a lot of ways, being a graduate student is like being a vintner. Really, there are just so many parallels. The more I think about it, the more I see that in order to make a fine wine, you’ve got to plan, prepare and look for inspiration. How is that not like conducting social science research? For instance, winemakers keep detailed notes about their recipes. Without a written log, the wine cannot be replicated or even tweaked for future attempts. Researchers, ring a bell? Winemakers, like published academics, also need to have patience through the process. Those of us who make wine understand that you can’t drink the solution right away. Similarly, most researchers can’t publish without a few rounds of revisions.
Canopy Studios is another example of the movement further East by Austin artists who have been priced out of more central locations. Most have relocated in light industrial zones and have tagged on to the East Austin Studio Tour, sponsored by ArtAustin. Can we consider the move East to be part of the gentrification of East Austin or are these artists among the “victims” of rising real estate prices? It’s a hot topic, which Dr. Javier Auyero’s Ethnography students address in an upcoming co-authored publication that portrays the other side of East Austin.
West Austin Galleries are generally cast in the traditional brick and mortar mold of white walled mini museums. South Austin sports a few new spaces, but like their colleagues in the East, they tend (literally in some cases) toward the converted garage aesthetic. As a long time Austin resident, I have been part of the progressive push of the creative class from Austin’s core to destinations South and East. The myth of Austin as the Live Music Capital of the World has yet to be eclipsed by the visual art scene but with an influx of wealthy Californians, who knows? Demographic maps show Austin’s distribution of age (and wealth) has not changed much, despite gentrification. So look for most of our artists on the fringe, keeping it weird. As we can see from last week’s Canopy gallery openings, Austin still represents.