Axis bold as brass
The Board of Directors and Trustees
of Axis have noted your article "Limited Axis" in your Autumn edition,
which will usefully contribute to our monitoring and review of our service.
We would point out however, that Axis remains committed to providing an
accessible and democratic service, delivered through a number of complementing
processes and mechanisms to provide information which is useful and beneficial
to both enquirer and artists. However, the growth of our outlets, and progress
towards our five year target of ten thousand artists cannot be achieved
overnight, and require considerable resources.
Our service is free, except where
printouts and contact sheets are required, which are charged at their minimum
production costs. It is wholly erroneous to suggest that that (sic) the
data supplied by artists 'is sold to drive' our business, which mainly
depends on core funding from grants, supplemented by sponsorship and project
income. The registration fee for artists is hardly excessive and, like
the criteria for defining professional practice, is founded on extensive
consultation with artists themselves. Our criteria is not elitist, but
practical, and we make no exclusive aesthetic of evaluative judgements,
believing that the information we provide should be rich enough to enable
users to make their own judgements by whatever criteria is applicable to
their individual needs.
We are also committed to developing
full interactive web access to the register, but there are issues of copyright
and protection of artists image which need addressing, and require more
careful consideration. However, it is naive to suggest that the web itself
is the democratic solution, and it is precisely because of the current
very class, race and gender exclusiveness of the web that we are committed
to a range of access platforms and mechanisms that together will ensure
a broader constituency of users.
The feedback we obtain from both
artists and users, along with our very thorough monitoring, provide a considerably
more positive picture than your reviewer suggests. Neither does your reviewer's
negative prediction for Axis match the rapidly increasing use of our service,
the regular success stories we receive from artists who have benefited
from being on the register, nor the enthusiasm and support we received
at the launch in December of our first London Axis point.
Chair of the Axis Board of Directors
Originally we had no intention of
printing the above 'response', but on Marshall Anderson's request we undertook
to publish it. Readers familiar with Anderson's article in Variant, issue
4 will have noticed that Sandle provides nothing to address or refute any
of its carefully argued points. Instead he just blabs away with all this
blatant hyperbole on his own organisation. The huge amounts of money seemingly
wasted on Axis have in our opinion still to be accounted for, this was
their chance to reply and they can't, or won't address any of the real
issues. Also, who is on the board of Axis and how did they get there?