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London’s premier gay /  LGBT cross-art fest, GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2011 is open to receive FREE short films, performances and visual arts entries on website:  DEADLINE 27 June 2o11.

One of the GFEST 2011 selectors James Rocarols is the Content Producer of Film Network, the BBC’s online showcase for short film and British filmmaking.

Q & A with James Rocarols:

James Rocarols

  How would you define good art or differentiate good art from bad art?

A difficult question, with all the resulting caveats about objectivity, etc. I would say it’s easier to define bad art than good art. It all depends on the viewer’s perception of the artist’s intention. If we perceive an artist has created with the wrong intentions (to plagiarise, to indulge themselves, to promote an unpalatable ideology, for purely commercial reasons) then we are more likely to reject it.

What ingredients would make a work of art ‘innovative’ and ‘relevant’?

Sometimes originality is not just limited to new approaches and techniques, which it’s hard to be innovative with when so many people are creating art these days, seen instantly around the world. But innovation can simply come from an originality of tone. Sometimes we see something that on a purely descriptive level can sound unoriginal, but when you experience it it seems totally fresh. We are all unique people and if there’s a way of harnessing our unique take on the world and appropriately convey it, that goes a long way towards being innovative. Relevance is different and can really only be obtained by keeping abreast of popular culture.

Do you think ‘Queer / LGBT’ arts can benefit from ‘informed’ and yet sensitive critical vocabulary?

All artforms benefit from criticism, however agonising artists find criticism to be. Queer/LGBT arts exist in a slightly different space to mainstream arts in this regard, in that there might be sensitivity and accommodation towards them simply because they are not the dominant culture. That’s why it’s essential the LGBT community is the most stringent critic of LGBT arts.

Are there any specific emerging artistic trends that you would like to mention for the benefit of practitioners?

My field is filmmaking and there are always new fads. The current ones are for shooting films on digital SLR cameras like the Canon 5D. That seems to be de rigeur these days. In the experimental side of things there is also a penchant for tilt-shift photography.

Should the artists  or practitioners position their own work to help spread a word and get a wider recognition?

Marketing oneself and one’s work is perquisite of 21st-century life and imagine they will be teaching it in schools soon (if they don’t already). Social media is a great tool for promoting oneself, and the same rules apply as they did to the pre-social media age – you need to be upfront, confident, hitch yourself onto popular movements or brands (if that’s your thing), etc… There will always be some artists who are less comfortable with that side of things, and I don’t blame them. That’s what people like myself and organisations like Wise Thoughts who organises GFEST, are for – to help promote and encourage artists.
Thank you James  for your comments on some challenging points.

GFEST 2011 call for submissions on festival website:            

Deadline to receive the entry forms: 27 June 2011.

More info on London’s  gay & lesbian / queer / LGBT / GLBT art festival: GFEST – Gaywise FESTival (GFEST for short) web:

Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar

WISE THOUGHTS is an arts charity that organises GFEST – Gaywise FESTival  in venues across London.

GFEST web networks: