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new articles, new media

Post #476 • February 17, 2005, 7:21 AM • 24 Comments

The New Times has posted my review of the Andrew Wyeth show up at the Boca Museum. You might also go have a look at my latest piece for the New York Foundation for the Arts, if that escaped your attention. I'd like to get some more feedback on the latter, because it's based on the somewhat false presupposition that I know everything about what's going on down here.

And while we're on the subject of media, we need to start planning for the post-Miami Herald future. Sure, we can harangue the editors all we like, but the truth is that we're watching the paper die right before our eyes. Go have a look at Epic (via Timothy Comeau), come back here, and share your thoughts about what we can do to pound nails in the Miami Herald's coffin.




February 17, 2005, 5:43 PM

It is beyond pitiful that, after Street's demise, Miami, that supposedly major art city, has no readily available, regularly published calendar or listings to let people know what's happening in the art scene that week. There is no excuse for this. None. The Herald and New Times are both at fault for such a glaring deficiency. I can easily do without much of what passes for art writing in Miami, but I need to know what the hell's going on in terms of shows and art events without having to make finding out a second job. If such an elementary service is not provided by the local media, they should just stop the pretense altogether and admit they just don't give a damn about the arts and get it over with.



February 17, 2005, 5:45 PM

Yeah I saw that thing a few months ago; that's what informed my "dying throes" comment yesterday. There are two problems with killing off the herald:

1) We can't do it.
2) We shouldn't want to do it.

#1 is self-evident. #2 is because the Herald is still a pretty good watchdog over local politics. Or at least the best one we have. Imagine a world where you relied on the New Times for local political news. Yikes^2

Blogs are great, but nobody without a budget has a prayer of doing that kind of work.

That's the bad news. The good news is that there is a role for blogs. What I think we could use, and could implement right away if a few of the right people get behind it, is a local community weblog. I'm envisioning a cross between (i think . . . i haven't been there in awhile) and, specific to miami (not specifically art-focused). A blog format, with 5-10 people as regular contributors, and outside submissions. C'mon people, let's do this thing. I think the LAist is run by a big corporation. A few of us can do this ourselves here on the cheap, and become worldwide stars!



February 17, 2005, 6:13 PM

Jack, this may help. Click on cities in the column "Select a Sub-section."

Gallery Guide in Florida



February 17, 2005, 6:17 PM

Thanks, Momoko.



February 17, 2005, 6:20 PM

Then click on "Exhibition Information" for each gallery.

Or if you go to Miami area is listed as "Southeast" and use any of Exhibits, Highlights, Openings, and One Person to see what is going on.



February 17, 2005, 6:21 PM

No good; Gallery Guide only carries PAID listings. The new times print version has pretty comprehensive art listings, no? I can't find them online, tho. Hey franklin, what's up with the double byline in your article?



February 17, 2005, 6:54 PM

Potato, you mean, this one ?



February 17, 2005, 7:05 PM

Shit, thanks for pointing out the double byline. I am, indeed, the sole author. I'll let them know.


that guy in the second to last row

February 17, 2005, 7:35 PM

The Wyeth show is worth the trip. The best piece shown, called "Country Wedding", depicts your average event tent in a clearing. Here he merges his considerable talent with depth of feeling better than anyone around here at least. The light in many of his watercolors is rendered better than in his tempera efforts.

Franklin your comment in the Wyeth review about how it "may now be impossible [for an artist] too have a career like Wyeth's in the contemporary art world" is troubling but highly plausible. The main reason for this is that many contemporary critics lack a discerning enough eye. Trends are followed but the outlier is ignored. If blogs are to win the media wars, (epic) it will be their ability to seek out the best new talent. Your comment is chilling in that it exposes a system where value will no longer be a function of quality. Its a post-art scenario where every thing is speculation and the art is just the commodity. Great for investment, wretched for artists.



February 17, 2005, 7:41 PM

New Times currently has capsule reviews, but no calendar listings, which are more important to me. Again, if Miami expects to be taken seriously as an art town, this situation is a total joke.



February 18, 2005, 2:27 AM

Shelley Acoca called me back on the e-mail I sent yesterday. Her points:

- The Dorsch event apparently fell through the cracks; she was out of town when the original PR came in, by monday the section had gone to print.

- Elisa Turner is back; an article by her is running this Sunday.

- They're planning on keeping the other guy around, too, and generally expanding their arts coverage.

She was pretty great, and I dropped the ball on pushing her to join the conversation here, or pointing out the dire need for art listings in Miami. Will perhaps do so in an follow-up e-mail.



February 18, 2005, 2:38 AM

Alesh - thank you. "The other guy," I assume, is Anne Tschida.

This expanding arts coverage thing is something I'm going to have to see to believe. I'm glad Acoco was cordial (on the other hand, you can imagine how we would have torn her up here if she wasn't). The Herald offered to expand arts coverage after the Bernice Steinbaum posse went down to talk to them back in 2000, and that whole crew got tired of beating their heads on the wall. If you talk to Acoca again, ask her what "expanded" means, exactly.

I'm also glad to hear that Elisa has recovered enough to go back to work.



February 18, 2005, 2:46 AM

Precisely, Franklin. Only seeing is believing in this case, and even if there is expanded coverage, it will be of no use unless it's BETTER coverage than what the Herald's been providing. I'm not holding my breath.



February 18, 2005, 3:29 AM

i just watched the EPIC thing and i'm not exactly sure what their point is. i was with them until the end, when they started going on about the future googlezon (something like that) site which would provide what sounded like sensational, lowest common denominator info-news for most of the people on the planet. they said something like, "that's what we asked for, and that's what we got." (sounds like the justification for the jerry springer show.) then they said the NY Times would pull itself offline, and exist only for the "elite and the elderly." i guess that will have to describe me in 2014. it was too, um, portentous to listen again.



February 18, 2005, 4:20 AM

Seems like nobody really gives a rat's ass, eh? Seems as if the only ones who truly care for Art, and therefore show interest in where and when Art is available for viewing, are the artists themselves. Really, if the people of this city cared passionately for their artists and for the Art of their artists, wouldn't then the people gather? Wouldn't they organize and do push-ups (to practice banner carrying) and write thousands of letters of complaints? Wouldn't each and every one of those people push every button, call on any possible contact they might have in order to make a difference, in order to get those damn listings back?

Or are we truly living in a state where just a handful of power players are continuously allowed to control the trend, to set the agenda? A city where no one fights back, because everybody knows that the battle is already lost?

In either case, it makes for an extremely tight schedule for someone like me, who work in the travel industry and who need to constantly come up with teasers that'll bring in more visitors from overseas. I used to think that Miami held great potential for Art travelers and traveling Art buyers, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to create interesting programs from existing public information: getting a clear picture out what's happening in this city truly is a second job. This blog is a great help, though (so thanks a million).

I haven't resided in this city for long, so it may very well be that I'm just blatantly ignorant for the mere fact that I wasn't around during those times that brought about this apparent indifference toward organized, all-encompassing Arts info. Would someone care to explain what happened?


that guy in the second to last row

February 18, 2005, 5:35 AM

You are right again Jack and Franklin. Expanded crap is still crap, just more of it. I would rather see one really good critical review a month, than the weekly drivel they've been serving us. I'm glad Elisa is healthy again too, but she hasn't cut it so far and I don't expect the reviews go get better after a major recovery. But then again miracles do happen and lets hope for that.

So are the round ups over Franklin? With GoSeeArt dormant, with Street gone, the new times as good as gone, and the Herald weak, wheres a guy supposed to find out what's where and when? Besides Momoko's suggestion. Might be time to give GoSeeArt some real legs



February 18, 2005, 6:22 AM

btw, franklin, great essay on the NYFA site. one of your best. funny as well as smart.



February 18, 2005, 5:36 PM

The "epic" work was myopic. It's a non-starter to say a system built on individual freedom and raging competition will lead to corporate hegemony, and tone-deaf to overlook open source development and lone programmers, but its worst oversight was to disregard multimedia. By 2014 we're hardly going to be using only text.

There's lots of video in the hands of companies like the NY Times -- "companies," not newspapers. The NYT isn't some provincial pamphleteer -- and they'll be using more of it by 2014. (The NY Times Co owns something like two or three dozen papers [four in Florida, I think], including the Boston Globe and the IHT, plus a few TV and radio stations)

And the news agencies (AP, UPI, AFP) aren't exactly strangers to news feeds. They've been doing it since the telegraph, not to mention the satellite. What's a blog but a specialized news feed with individual editorial control? The only difference is that you don't need to be Big any more. Which doesn't mean, ergo, you need to be small.

You want a real prediction? Forget about google. How about that the NY Times will adopt (or co-opt) blogging itself. What? Oh. Never mind.

(P.S. The ArtForum blog's name is spelled "Scene & Herd." It's a double pun.)



February 18, 2005, 7:03 PM

Franklin, the story I heard about the meeting between the "Steinbaum posse" and the Herald some years back is that the Herald people fairly frankly admitted that it was basically a matter of dollars and cents. They didn't see much financial incentive in arts coverage, and therefore, guessed it. Maybe my information is not accurate, but it certainly sounds plausible. Of course, that was before Basel and the supposed "major art city" business, but Basel is a very limited phenomenon, and its relevance to the local art scene the rest of the year has been grossly overestimated. The Herald is happy to cover Basel as it happens, but they probably know that once it leaves town, it's back to business as usual.



February 18, 2005, 7:15 PM

Good catch, Hovig. (Their boo boo, not mine.) Do you share my assessment that is useless?

Jack, that's my suspicion exactly.



February 18, 2005, 9:00 PM

I don't like at all -- it's hell to use -- but Way Back When It Was Just This Tall, I thought it was a nice repository for information and even bookmarked it. But then they got all framey and popup-windowy and I went Ugh. If they get away from the horrible interface, it might shine.

Personally I think NYTCo is an astute organization, and will do something interesting with it. They're already doing a lot of really interesting video reporting (their "news" videos are typically straight from the AP, but the NYT themselves produce fantastic arts and music slide shows and video reviews, plus I love David Pogue's video-based technology reports), so I'm betting they've got some clever renovations in mind for their new property. But I guess we'll learn together.

Objectively and analytically, tho, is making some ridiculous amounts of hand-over-fist money, so whether you and I use it or like it or not, it clearly draws a good flock. Whether the NYT can give it a reputable "cred," we'll see.

P.S. I suspected the spelling error wasn't yours, because you showed such a perfect understanding of the blog's mission by referring to it purely in "society" terms. I didn't point out the error just to show off or nit-pick, but because I suspected there might be one or two people out there who didn't quite get the intent behind that blog, and figured the error came because someone didn't apprciate what the blog was all about. Whenever I see someone make fun of it, I think to myself, you can't really get much credit for pointing out the emperor has no clothes when he's singing nudist anthems....



February 18, 2005, 9:20 PM

Yes, Hovig, Artforum knows their puns are apt, but it's essentially saying that if you can't beat 'em, just give 'em the attention and exposure they so desperately crave. It's a cynically hypocritical approach, as in trying to have it both ways. The thing still reeks.



February 19, 2005, 6:44 PM


Once again it seems that all the best art is out of town. I hope somebody sees some of them and reports. The Norton seems worth a trip. Guy had a nice post on Wyeth on the previous page. I have never cared for Wyeth much but it is good to hear about it from someone with an eye. I liked his comment (re newspaper coverage) that "expanded crap is still crap, and the short discussion about what kind of painting one can have a career with.

It may be possible that serious painters are way too locked into the "cutting edge" market and are now in a place where they should turn to the traditionally despised-by-the-avant "nonsophisticates" who want realism or something nice for over the couch, rather than to the with-it types who are desperate to keep up with fashion.

Come to think of it, maybe that's not so bad after all. Just because they may not know how good something is (most of the art types don't either) doesn't mean you have to compromise your art. Make it as good as you can and go after them. it's still there, by the way, and it is a huge market.



February 19, 2005, 8:17 PM

I asked someone who recently moved to Miami from a normal city, "Where is your favorite place to see art in Miami?" He said, "Art section of Barnes & Noble Bookstore."

Doesn't it sound accurate?



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