I arrive to my meeting with Brendan O’Connor, Bungalower’s Editor in Chief, two hours early due to a misread on my calendar. Typical Jonathan. There’s small talk while he has his first sips of coffee, no milk. We discuss my newest project, Artborne Magazine. I’m excited to get his thoughts.
Interviewed by Jonathan Yubi/ Image via Propagation. (Coffee shop. 1221 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL)
I’m here with Brendan O’Connor from the Bungalower. Hello Brendan, how are you?
I’m great. Thanks for having me Yubi.
Yeah! Yeah, yeah… yeah. Oh boy! See it’s already started! The coffee has already started wearing into me. Im going start jittering here in a minute. Um.. So! in regards to Artborne magazine, it’s a concept, er.. project we just started woking on. I haven’t seen many of them around town (local art magazines) which is why I started it. What are your thoughts on the project?
As a local artist and as a consumer and producer of local media, I think it’s awesome, Im super excited to see what you can come up with.
What are you looking for in a local publication of that scope. What would you want to see?
I think there are some other art coverage… periodicals in the area for Central Florida, but I don’t think they get to cover the really cool ground swell art events because they’re usually.. the lead up is too small. So if being able to talk about arts that don’t get a lot of coverage like… umm.. whats the place just down the street? it use to be…
A Place Gallery! you know they don’t get a lot of coverage, but its because the turn over of their events is too soon to reach out to the press.
I’ve been wanting to work with A Place! I’ve actually already reached to them about this project, I love how they can present such challenging conceptual projects that you don’t really see in the other places because it’s not as profitable and.. so I’m excited for that.
Yeah. So I work for Art Reach Orlando, it’s this local arts organization mostly focusing on kids, but were actually looking to buy a space for the McRae people, and they would be our tenants. And they’re dealing with the same struggle, but they want to do more public events, more public outreach. I know they’d love to be a part of something like this too.
Great! I look forward to speaking with them as well. Do I have any other questions? I should have written them down.. Uhh.. The Bungalower! I love the Bungalower! I can say that there are other publications and periodicals that talk about the art and cultural aspects in town, and I’ve always enjoyed reading your thoughts.
When you spoke about what’s happening with the Timucua White House, that was cool because you gave this kinda perspective that no one was talking about. Everyone immediately assumed.. you know, the worst was happening, and you were the voice of reason, and I enjoyed reading that, and whatever you write.
Haha. Thank you.
Your writing, and Orlando Weekly, they do so much for the arts, and I hope to continue that and dive a little bit deeper than you guys are able to since you cover so much more, a broader part of Orlando I would say.
I think were the only local news source that actually talks to the city, which i think is important because i think people need to know that most of the people there are actually there to help make things happen, they all love Orlando too, otherwise they wouldn’t be working for Orlando, I would think. thats what I like to tell myself anyway.
So yeah, when something like Timucua happens, Not a lot of people- everyone thinks that they were gong to the principles office, you know? I actually think that’s what somebody put in their write-up, that they were going to the principals office, which is- couldn’t be further from the truth. They approached the city because they wanted to get more funding for a build out, but once they went to the city, it turned out they didn’t even have a conditional use permit to be operating a publicize, a performing arts center in the middle of a residential neighborhood. You need a permit for that, you cant just do it. The city could’ve just said no, and the fact thatthey didn’t, speaks a lot to them, holding their hand saying “this is what we need to do, were going to make this happen for you, your going to stay open.” Nobody knew that! everybody was thinking “oh man, the city is just trying to keep us down. they hate art, unless it’s some big monster building downtown” which is not true, so yeah. I think it’s important for people to hear that.. I think its important for people like us who have a voice to say that.`
Cool. Thank you. I think that’s it. I didn’t really plan this umm.. do you have any other thoughts or hopes you want to see come out of this project?
Um.. I’m really just excited to see a new voice. I think thats great. something unfiltered and, like we don’t really — people are always bemoaning that we don’t really have any art critics, it would be interesting to see — which isn’t true, we have Jessica Bryce Young, Richard Reep, and Josh Garrick. I know he’s involved with Henao Contemporary..
Josh Garrick. an interesting character! But I think there’s always room for more of that conversation, art critique. Actual art critique.
And it’ll definitely be unfiltered!
Yeah, which is awesome. That’s what we need! and um.. bring it! Orlando’s ready!