In the comments to an earlier post, a couple of people have been nice enough to help me with the ongoing issue of how to present work on the web. Sally (if I can paraphrase her) thinks a piece I posted earlier

Bent Pipes 2

should be shown cropped and sharpened, so that it reads more as a web-friendly graphic,

pipes cropped

while Chris (if I can paraphrase him) was interested in what more documentation told him about the actual physical object. (The example below is the back of a different but similarly made piece.) "I like the simple use of materials- paper the colors found near a photocopier of any medium-sized office, and the linen tape, the bit of puckering. And what do you know?- it's a painting: a wooden stretcher and staples."

Back of Artwork

I'm actually not as intrigued as Sally by the grey zone between documentation of work and making some new, cyber-active form of it (again, paraphrasing)--in fact, I think the grey zone is a pain in the ass. You can choose to make things that demonstrably work best on the web (animated .GIFs, for example, or Chris's HTML drawings) but documenting physical work is basically a mundane, practical problem. Of course, new work ideas can be spun off from the process of documentation (and I like Sally's redo quite a bit), but I do value the physical work (too) and if the goal is to use the Web to make an end run around the gallery system, we really can't have the Web changing the meaning, or reading, of the objects on us.

- tom moody 9-07-2004 8:18 am

Tom- is it just me or did you rewrite this post, and included more quotes?

Now that I look closer, it's funny to notice that the staples aren't big heavy staplegun-type staples used for stretching canvas; they look thin, like from an office stapler. Am I wrong? If I'm right, it's a sign, along with the office-standard colored copy paper, telling me that this "painting" has white collar origins. Did you photocopy this on the job.

I had a job in the 80's where I was alone between midnight and 4 a.m., and I used to draw with company markers and Whiteout, make books on the office copier, and make flip books with the PostIts. I also duplicated drawings using company carbon paper and NCR (no carbon required) forms, and during idle times made huge rubber band chains. Besides the paycheck, the job wasn't good for much else. I know I'm not alone in those sentiments.

I'm interested in this quote from today: "...I do value the physical work (too)..." You've said in the past (Nov. 30, 03), "I like painting OK but I'm sick of the 'romance of paint' []." I'm curious, then, about this comment from a few days ago,"The only reason I'm pulling this out now is I reached a point with the computer-painting where I want to see more real world grit, and this older work is all about grit []." I guess I'm wondering about what is the difference between the grit and romance, is paint always romantic, and what would paint add or detract from you recent work?

Sally- as I get back into painting after a hiatus (a long story), I am (and yes, I'm a "he") trying to figure out what I'm doing, what I want, where I'm going, and what I'm doing in the HTML drawings that is generalizable to other work. What I'm taking first from the HTML work is an approach to subject matter, a serial or a series approach, intentional transparency and overlay, a kind of gesture, and the notion of figure vs. field. And in my trying to figure this out I'm finding that it's really useful to post the drawings that I'm doing, to put them out for me to see, and for others, too. My weblog is, for me, a studio, a wall on which to post the work and reflect on it, a place for feedback, if I'm lucky, as well as a place to archive the work, write about art, link to interesting things, build arguments and interests over time.

This is the same thing I value in Tom's weblog. I've also been paying attention to Dennis Hollingsworth's weblog, which I first found out about here, as well. I'm surprised that more artists don't use their weblogs as real workspaces for their art; most that I've seen are in the classic mold of a place to write, link, and gossip- journal-like spaces. What I don't see often enough are webloggers who mine their past posts, reflect on where they've been and where they are now, connect dots, and build a corpus of work. Am I missing others who are doing this?
- chrisashley (guest) 9-08-2004 8:22 am [add a comment]