"My Brief Suspension of Judgment in the World of Bad Art," Your Impossible Voice, issue 5.

ArtPrize, I was beginning to think, had the potential to be more than an art contest. It could be an experiment in civic discourse. In 2011, public political and civic culture in the United States was on its way to deteriorating into acrimony and obstructionism. As a country, we had failed to talk about politics, failed to talk about religion, failed to talk about the poor and gun control and torture and education and any number of other issues that divide the country. Perhaps in this unlikely setting — a conservative Midwestern town — we could find some conversational inroads, some common ground. Surely, I thought, we could talk about art. 

Listen to an audio of the essay here.