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Post #67 • July 24, 2003, 8:59 AM

From Rick Visser of ArtRift:

Thanks to Tyler, I found your web log today. Good luck to you!

Given what I read regarding your editorial policy, I am probably not as restrictive as you are in what I include in my blog, but the blog list is pretty short.  One difference may be that I include artists I don't like, partly because I know I might be missing something and that my personal taste may be blinding me to what is there. What I like and what is good may be two different things, very often are. Living with them, exposing them, writing about them, sometimes brings them out into the light so I can see them more clearly or, at least, know more about why I don't like them, while still admiring many things about them.

For me, a blog is a thinking machine, creating a rift in myself and (perhaps) others. Bereft of conclusions or pronouncements.

I wish you the best in your work. Let me know if I can be of assistance to you. You might take a look at my Malraux and Sontag projects to see how another good writer has taken advantage of them and brought them to greater fulfillment.

Keep in touch,

Rick Visser

Dear Rick,

My editorial policy is a crock, and I hereby renounce it to you and the rest of Artblogistan.

Categories are getting us – okay, me – into trouble. In critical condition I kind of ticked off someone I respect by categorizing different kinds of art criticism, throwing him into one, putting myself into another, and arranging things so that my writing was above his. It was thoughtless, and it wasn’t useful or accurate either. I read a comment that talked about how postmodernism “liquidated” modernism; I don’t believe that styles replace each other, but that didn’t stop me from talking about them as if they did in my Giorgio Morandi post. Challenged to distinguish “serious” art from some other kind, I did better, I think, by not taking the category of “serious” so seriously.

The fact is, I don’t look at art this way. I just look, and stay open. I wait for an intuitive response. I realize now that my ability to organize my thinking – which allows me to write in the first place – has become unyoked from the cart and is running through the brush.

So, no more categories. I’m including ArtRift in blogs, art, well, just because.

Thanks for getting in touch.


UPDATE: For me, a blog is a shark tank into which I can throw little baby ideas and see which ones are smart enough to figure out how to swim and get out.




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