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Artblogger panel Thursday

Post #766 • April 3, 2006, 4:09 PM • 23 Comments

We're officially set for this Thursday, and the Herald has blurbed us. I've been asked along with the other participants to suggest topics. I'm going with one, with the thought that one each from the four other panelists gives us plenty to talk about: What does artblogging imply for the future of art criticism?

Have ideas for more? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Comment

1.

Jack

April 3, 2006, 3:35 PM

That's too speculative. I'd prefer "What is the best use of an art blog NOW".

2.

oldpro

April 3, 2006, 4:00 PM

Not "imply". What does that mean?

"Do for", or "contribute" or "affect"

3.

Denise

April 3, 2006, 4:10 PM

Another thing that I think KH and Onajide both want to talk about is to what extent the art blogs are really having an impact. Are they really making anything happen--in our city or beyond? Are they as significant as we might think? KH had some interesting thoughts about this over at TNFH. She actually sort of addresses the question you just posed, Jack.

Can I just say I'm really excited about this panel? I hope folks come prepared to participate in the conversation. Although just observing is OK, too.

4.

oldpro

April 3, 2006, 4:17 PM

I deliberately chose not to say "impact", but say impact if you must.

I also think it would help if you came armed with facts and figures, quotes, anecdotes, well-developed opinions and as much "real" material as you can find. Try to keep the conversation from wandering off into a mutual admiration society, which I can easily imagine it becoming.

5.

Jack

April 3, 2006, 4:28 PM

Also avoid vague, pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, as in "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all loved each other and there was no poverty and everybody did the right thing?" In other words, stick to reality and be practical. It's not pretty out there, so deal with it.

6.

Jack

April 3, 2006, 5:01 PM

In addition to the mutual admiration society pitfall, avoid the PC platitudes pitfall. This should not be a Sunday school session, but a strategic planning session.

There is SO much wrong with the official system that we need to figure out how to address (read fight) that, because neither the establishment nor its affiliates are ever going to do anything except go "I'm OK; you're OK; it's all OK." It is absolutely, positively not OK, and that's the target. Expose and attack anything and everything that's objectionable, especially if it's got official backing. The system reeks.

The other main thrust should be to bring forward, support or encourage whatever is worthwhile or meritorious, especially if it doesn't have official backing or recognition (as is all too frequently the case).

And of course, never, ever buy into or condone BS, regardless of source.

7.

Marc Country

April 3, 2006, 6:24 PM

In the Herald blurb, Denise says, "I think [with these blogs] you just see people interacting that might not otherwise interact''...

I think it'd be interesting to look at that idea beyond the narrow context of Miami (it figures I'd say that, since I'm not a local), although perhaps Artblog.net is the only blog included on the panel that has much of an appreciable national, or international, following (I say 'perhaps', 'cuz I don't follow those other blogs, so I wouldn't know).

For me, the miami-centric blog topics are the least interesting to me; yet, I must admit that I've learned alot about the art 'scene' in Miami that I would have otherwise had no idea about, or any inclination to find out about, for that matter.

Of course, I won't be able to attend. Franklin, any plans to record/podcast the 'panel of experts'? I'd be interested...

8.

Franklin

April 3, 2006, 6:36 PM

I just got word that video and audio recording are probable. Denise is going to look into getting a transcript made from the audio, and I've offered to turn it into a publication here.

9.

Ivanna C. Goodart

April 3, 2006, 6:40 PM

Maybe blogs can make an artist's career happen where it might not if the artist wasn't "hooked up" or socially situated to get attention. Blogs (and mass e-mails sort of like "move on.org's) could be a grass roots way for some artists to be known without the support of established and maybe a little biased media outlets.

I think a perfect example of what I think a lot of blogs I read don't suffer from is the ambiguity of criticism in newspapers and magazines.

I often read Kenneth Baker's reviews and I am not really sure of his opinion. I think he hides behind jargon laden vague descriptions that I have a really hard time deciphering. This is so much the case that I actually assigned a couple of his newspaper reviews to one of my college art appreciation classes and the students were all over the place in being able to decide if he liked the work or what he meant by describing certain elements.

Since blogs are often anonymous, I think that art blogs might be a way to share an honest or real non-objective critique rather than one mediated by social or economic pressure. (I mean advertising, editorial staff, or fear of getting shot at.)

I think it was two or three months ago that "Art in America" ran an article on the state of art criticism. The conclusion seems to be that art critics today are a bit vague and often devote too much to description rather than commentary, but then, I had trouble wading through the grad school art speak in the mag.

10.

Marc Country

April 3, 2006, 7:17 PM

There'll be video and audio recording of the art-blog panel, but only a written transcript will be available on the web? Talk about missing out on the full potential of the internet... Don't you guys know reading is dead?

Oh well, beggers can't be choosers. Thanks Franklin (and Denise).

11.

Franklin

April 3, 2006, 7:49 PM

You have a point, Marc. We'll talk about it.

12.

Chris

April 3, 2006, 8:12 PM

I'm a long time weblogger (not blogger)- began in March 2000. One of the things that always annoys me about the discussion about art and weblogs is the focus on things external to art practice- the market, criticism and art journalism, the social aspects of the art world, gossip, etc.

Here's the thing I want to hear artists talk about- why do you do what you do (weblog), and what has it done for your art? Forget about all the rest of what most weblogs are about- what are you documenting; what are you learning and thinking about through you're writing, photos, and linking; how are you assembling ideas and knowledge about your work and yourself over time in the weblog as a kind of learning portfolio? How do you use the archive that you are building up- do you reflect back on your activities, do you look over your archives, do you have a goal for building creating a body of work or ideas for which your weblog is an integral tool? What are you and your work getting out of it?

I have long thought of my weblog as a studio, a gallery, an archive, a study, and a library. It is part of my art practice. Much of the contents of my weblog are not about art; the content is the art. The weblog is a tool to sustain and improve my own practice.

I also think a weblog can be a good way to form relationships and create discussion. It's very grassrootsy. I have found great value in that. But to expect a weblog to change an artworld largely driven by money, a world that, at the higher stakes level, increasingly seems to be turning into one of entertainment and social privilege, is hoping for a lot. The idea that weblogs in the hands of people with "truer artistic intentions" or whatever will change the artworld seems naive to me. Rich and/or socially connected will also use the same tools to continue what is in effect the Society Page. Witness Artforum's Diary.

Writing on weblogs has to reach to point of achieving validity as informed, authoritative, well-written, and accepted. There is no system for this yet- no editing, no publisher's stamp, no peer-reviewed process, and even very little of the kind of approval that lots of people understand: advertising dollars.

Peer reviewed weblogs or weblog content... that gives me an idea.

13.

ahab

April 3, 2006, 10:00 PM

I kinda feel like I got hoodwinked into this whole (we)blog thing, and it's all Franklin's fault - his alone, and I think he should be made to answer for it by sitting on a panel of piercing nails or peering snails or just peers or something.

I personally would like to know answers to some of the same questions Chris asked in #12 paragraph two. Asked as a single question: Is blogging beneficial or detrimental to art-making? Spinoff discussion would probably deal with the 5W's and an H.

14.

Marc Country

April 4, 2006, 12:31 AM

How do we get Chris on that panel?

15.

jordan

April 4, 2006, 4:40 AM

Christain Meesey and Mirna Daruna, (although from different political/social backgrounds) have artwork on display this weekend at both Dorsch Gallery and Leonard Tachmes Gallery respectively; for both Jack and OldPro to 'rip' on, ( as both of these artists don't make art which is reflective of either one of their ' back-stroking' taste(s).
Both are great in my modest and current art opinion; reflective of change and validity. Keep on working ab-exers so that you will be validated by the chorus!

16.

jordan

April 4, 2006, 4:50 AM

Oh damn, this did'nt sound right so let me clarify; the back stokers won't like this show so don't go - the guy is a white male irrelevant animator and the spic chick (my wife) is a video artist. Ab-Ex has no place here.
Sorry guys...

17.

oldpro

April 4, 2006, 6:30 AM

Ihave no idea what you mean by "back stroker" or "back stoker", Jordan, but implying that I like only "abex" or that I make any judgement at all about someone's show without some visual evidence of it is not not supported by the record. I am sure Jack will say the same. Don't borrow trouble.

18.

Marc Country

April 4, 2006, 9:53 AM

Jordan, I'm interested in getting one of those "current art opinions" you speak of. I'm wondering though, how current is it, and does one download weekly updates to keep up to date, or does it contain enough preservatives to keep it fresh year-round?
Oh, and what does "reflective of change and validity" mean, anyway?

19.

Jack

April 4, 2006, 1:26 PM

That's OK, OP. The comments in question are already gratuitous; I see no point in compounding the problem by responding.

20.

cohen

April 4, 2006, 4:25 PM

what does abex stand for.

21.

oldpro

April 4, 2006, 4:51 PM

Abstract Expressionism(ist)

22.

Marc Country

April 5, 2006, 12:23 AM

Going back to Chris' comment #12, the question I'd be interested in, at least as regards artblog.net, is How do you use the archive that you are building up- do you reflect back on your activities, do you look over your archives, do you have a goal for building/creating a body of work or ideas for which your weblog is an integral tool?

23.

oldpro

April 5, 2006, 7:14 AM

Good observation, Marc.

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