Post #632 • September 26, 2005, 8:53 AM • 33 Comments
Actually, there isn't a whole lot to report. The audience didn't seem to have much familiarity with art blogging, so we shared what we do in a manner that would not be informative to Artblog.net readers. We did two hour-long presentations, one Friday, one Saturday. The Friday panel consisted of Chris Hand, moderator, Miriam Verberg, and myself. Saturday's featured Chris, Sabine Modder, Karen D'Amico, and me again.
The presentations had small but interested audiences. Friday focused on blogs as a creative medium. People were thinking a lot about authorship, the role of the witness, and the possibilities of collaboration, and when I quoted something I heard once from a writer, that two people getting together to write a book is like three people getting together to make a baby, it didn't go over. I figured out pretty quickly that the crowd had some bad feelings about individual authorship. (Later, I realized why they had posted the conference schedule as a wiki, which was crazy, and why the event seemed rather disorganized. It was because nobody wanted to claim individual authorship. I got the sense that these folks were socialists. Uh oh.)
Saturday focused on blogs as a critical medium. Again, we talked about things already mentioned here - how blogs are changing the critical landscape, how they sanction a wider range of critical expression than traditional print media, how they correct themselves more efficiently. Karen and Sabine only write about things they like, and Karen mentioned that she doesn't want to act as an art critic because she's an artist and the community she works in is insular. Meanwhile, Chris and I come from the Just Keep Shooting school of art writing, consequences be damned, and there have been consequences to damn for both of us. I respect both of these approaches even while favoring mine. I think the art world would operate pretty much in the way it does even if all the critics suddenly evaporated. But I remain excited about the possibility of creating alternative networks that make end runs around the traditional ones. Criticism thrives on independence. So does art, too, I believe, and the web's ability to leverage power to individual (yes, individual) creators may end up serving us quite well.
Big props to Chris for making it happen.