Report from the Slo-o-o-o-o-ow Dimension

Here's why I don't go to openings much these days in that so, so slowed down, meditative realm of ancient medieval stone carvers we call the art world. This is New York City we're talking about, as opposed to some monastery on a remote island in the Mediterranean. In the 12th Century AD. Dialogue of actual conversations from the last month reported more or less verbatim. The artists are from my everyday peer group, as opposed to Current Huge Market Entities sheltered from the world by handlers or whatever. Art Opening One:
Artist 1: "So what are you up to these days? Haven't seen you in a while."

Moody: "Oh, making work, and I spend a fair amount of time on a blog I'm doing."

Artist 1: "Oh, I didn't know about that. I'll have to check it out."

Artist 2: "How long have you been doing it?"

Moody: "Four years."

Artist 2: "Wow, that's a long time."

Moody: "Yes it is." (Long pause.) "In fact, [Artist 1], I wrote about your work on it. And posted a photo, and put up a link to the gallery where you showed. It was some really perceptive commentary, ha ha."

Artist 1: "You did? When was that?"

Moody: "About two years ago."

Artist 1: "Wow, no one told me about that. I'll have to check it out."
Art Opening Two:
Artist 3, introducing Moody to Artist 4: "[Artist 4], this is Tom. He makes work, and has a blog. (Pause) He mentioned you on it."

Moody: "Yes, I posted a photo of you performing. You looked great in it, of course."

Artist 4: "And you didn't email and tell me about it?"

Moody: "I figured everyone googles and it would come up that way."

Artist 4 looks at feet.
I just have to add, it's really tough to be bouncing around cyberspace at the speed of thought, looking at great work and having conversations about it with people all over the world, and then have to enter the slow slow decelerated zone of meditative contemplation where the inhabitants either don't use the Internet or pretend not to. I mean, yuck. The point of this post is not to whine about being underexposed but rather to bitch--again--that from my limited experience great tools are not being used in a field that would benefit enormously from them. And yes, it's possible that both these artists use google and know exactly what's been said about them online, and are really good poker players, but how productive is that? Sorry to explain away my joke but I want to be clear on these points.

- tom moody 4-19-2005 6:55 pm

and are really good poker players

youre just trying to provoke the spam gods now.

- dave 4-19-2005 7:57 pm

Ha ha! At least we know they use the internet.
- tom moody 4-19-2005 8:03 pm

try posting about a teenaged/early 20s artist (like I did the other day)...they google. its wickedly awesome.
- sally mckay 4-19-2005 9:00 pm

Yeah, I have the same, most of my artist friends seem to have no clue about computers and their possibilities. Also I find it's quite problematic in talks with organisations, initiatives etc. when you make a (partly) computerized proposition or work.
- slowmotionquickthinking 4-19-2005 9:06 pm

and how can slides and 4x5 transparencies possibly still be in use.
- bill 4-19-2005 10:05 pm

I'm sure there are other reasons for the slow-slow. My old boss said this to me that if you mention someone you should mail them. They might not have time to check the internet every day, or they may have just missed it. It works to help both parties. And sometimes something even better can come of it. Well, he said it more elegantly. Help the gods of the slow and friend alike--a mail and a link, so at openings at least you all have something in common to talk about... So Tom, thanks for the link four years ago> I wrote a note back of gratitude but me oh my I pushed the wrong...

It's always breakfast and late evening for me.
- Brent Hallard (guest) 4-20-2005 2:16 am

For me the lack of computer as tool in art is partially bound up in how the mechanics of the art economy work. I've been seeing a lot of collectors/dealers using their digital cameras/phones to make notes, wish lists etc., but all of the use is in the re-inforcement of the unique, moneyed, exchangable object. Also I find myself noting that the further you get up the tree of collectors/curators, the older they get. I think all the 'my grandmother uses email' stuff we heard about early on was more of the the-internet-will-save-us-optimism and that there really is a huge generation gap forming around the use of technology and the relation of art to economics.

Sally Mckay's comment about the young-uns is spot on, and more and more students finding my website, which changes their relationship to me in the class (for better and worse). It also seems to be having an effect on their notions of how they will sit in the art economy. Let's hope for the future!

BTW - anyone seen Saltz's lament regarding the artforum site? Seems relevant to the discussion.
- Jesse Bransford (guest) 4-26-2005 8:09 pm

Thanks, no, I hadn't read that. I read that AF diary a couple of times and got a creeped-out feeling and didn't go back. I understand the art world is suffering the influx of "Bush millionaires" who are chasing increasingly younger artists, but I feel removed from that process and am confident it will implode soon enough. I can relate to the Saltz story about giving the crit to the kid who'd just been picked up by a gallery. I could give you a dozen reasons why I don't think Julie Mehretu's work is "there" yet but she's already been canonized by the gallery process--to the extent of having million-dollar lawsuits over the value of her work! This is real tulip mania stuff and I just can't get too concerned about it. As for the relevance to cyberspace, I think it's more that an alternative paradigm for art production is growing while the art world bogs down in stuff that doesn't matter. The problem with the AF blog is it doesn't address ideas--it uses a kind of fake blog format to chronicle the personalities and flow of money, which is mildly interesting, but sort of a waste of a good medium. I'll probably post this on my main page--just banging out some ideas. Jesse, speaking of notifying artists, I hope you saw my post on your work a few weeks back!

- tom moody 4-26-2005 8:39 pm

I totally saw the shout-out (I come here often) - thanks!
- Jesse Bransford (guest) 4-27-2005 12:35 am

I take a lot of ribbing from my friends who work with computers for joining the blog trend well well after it was pronounced cool by most mainstream media and other deadsville establishment types. I'm thankful that some other artists have been as slow as me at getting around to the internet. At least this way I have some peers who still think the medium is neat. I can kind of understand why artists and galleries are slow to put blog reviews in their binders. Tom's blog is unique in that he's an excellent and insightful art writer. If you get a review here it is definitely something to crow about. That's obviously not true for every blog. Not only do people need to accept blogs, they also need to read them enough to know which ones have cred and which don't! And more importantly, in this newbie phase, they need other people to known which have cred and which don't so they don't appear to be padding their resume with nice comments from friends and relations, even when they're not. If anyone bothered to read the stuff in the gallery binder, of course, they'd get it. But it's a world of skimming.

- sally mckay 4-27-2005 1:07 am

Thanks, Sally. I know I bitched about galleries not putting blog entries on resumes but I think the main bitch is with galleries that have online resumes, in that those could be linked to the source writing and readers could instantly find out if it's something substantive or a post on Aunt Edna's blog. I was going to link to this great online resume I found of Albert Oehlen's--a completely conversational, irreverent thing he did himself--to show that the stuffy quasi-academic resume doesn't have to be the norm, but it looks like his site is no more. My first thought was Max Hetzler or someone at Luhring pulled him aside and said, "Let us take care of your resume, Albert, your shenanigans make the McMoneybags very nervous about you..."
- tom moody 4-28-2005 8:21 am

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