I Inspire Martin Herbert, Apparently
Post #1874 • October 7, 2020, 2:04 PM • 1 Comment
Martin Herbert, ArtReview, September 29, 2020, "What If Virtual Galleries Ruled the Artworld?":
Digital media has its advantages, no question, but it can also normalise inferior experiences. In the days of the iPod, Apple’s shitty prepackaged earbuds conveniently disguised the paucity of compressed audio (medium-low quality was the default iTunes setting). Swayed by convenience, a generation grew up not knowing better. Same with the vinyl revival, wherein a lot of reissued records are digitally mastered from CDs and often sound significantly flatter than original pressings. Then again, if you’re playing it on a replica Dansette with cheap built-in speakers… Well anyway, probably you see where this is going.
If, as seems likely, we have successive lockdowns, then we’re going to have an extended phase of exhibitions – not to mention fairs – only existing online.
Me, AICA-USA Magazine, April 20, 2020, "The Virtual Critic: A Thought Experiment":
When MP3s started to circulate widely in the 2000s, audiophiles complained that the format was garbage. They predicted that the iPod would bomb, and proclaimed that it deserved to. Call me a philistine, but I was one of the many people who couldn’t hear the difference between an MP3 and vinyl, particularly if I was going outside for a run, which would have precluded vinyl anyway. People keep entire music collections on their devices now. Vinyl records and compact discs are traded by specialty shops or thrift stores depending on rarity.
The longer the shutdown continues the easier it is to imagine a scenario in which virtual viewing becomes the default.
Meanwhile, online shows, however clunky they feel now, are likely to inch closer to being immersive – in the early days of the switch to online exhibitions, it didn’t take long for ‘3D presentations’ to show up, in which you could glide through the space as in Google Earth or a first-person shooter. (Actually, hybridising the latter with a gallery website might be worth considering.)
Of most interest are the new in-browser 3D environments, basically first-person shooters with art on the walls and no shooting. (Whether the ability to shoot would improve the virtual gallery-going experience, I also leave as an exercise for the reader.)
Those are the most striking of several resemblances to my essay in Herbert's. As I wrote to the editor of ArtReview last Wednesday,
I'm prepared to regard these similarities as coincidental, but I would appreciate a note appended to Mr. Herbert's article noting those coincidental similarities that links to my piece at AICA-USA. Thank you for your kind consideration.
But ArtReview has not deigned to respond, so here you are. Those of you art writers who have not given up on this profession, one all but overwhelmed by scoundrels, windy dullards, and veritable human barnacles, may want to look over Mr. Herbert's oeuvre to see if he has copied any of his homework from them as well.