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tom moody

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What Is An Art Blog? (2)

The "what is an art blog?" discussion continues in the comments to the previous post, and Cinque Hicks also has some thoughts on the subject. While some webjournals focus on work exhibited in museums and galleries (news and criticism) he kindly cites my page as a counter-example--in that it strays, and then strays from the straying, and maybe that's not so terrible. He has some good observations about art changing (horrors) into something more collective, fluid, and hybrid, and suggests that maybe blogs have a role to play in this. And he considers whether blogging can be an art, as opposed to just documentation.

Maybe, as with previous emerging media, we're still in the stage of figuring out what a so-called art blog is going to be best and worst at. Photography started out copying the formal strategies of painting until practitioners got a grip on its own unique properties; ditto film with stage plays. Blogs aren't art magazines; they have their own life and logic. For one thing, they don't have the same high production costs; you can post more text and pictures. If you can put up a music file, why shouldn't you? As for journalistic objectivity--maintaining a firewall between your creative and critical thoughts (this is assuming you're an artist)--forget about it! The print magazines are stifled by fake objectivity (like we don't know who pays the bills); people look to bloggers mainly for honesty. Also, thanks to Google, people do non-categorical searches, why should any blogger care about maintaining "evenness" or predictability? If anything the personal, diaristic nature of blogs makes random eclecticism the norm and tight, self-imposed parameters, well, not the norm.

This sounds like an argument for the (pretentious reference alert!) fox who knows many things over the hedgehog who knows one big thing, but reading a blog over time can also bring a "big thing" into clearer relief. I do believe, with the evil Greenberg, that visual art ought to remain entrenched in its area of greatest competence (as he once said about painting), that is, that there's something about the purely visual worth preserving and doing well, but to deny technology and where it might take the visual experience (via imaging software, Internet exchange, cross-pollination with other media) by replicating print magazine approaches to reviewing art-gallery art is pretty hard to defend at this point.

- tom moody 6-25-2004 9:41 am [link]