Thanks to ArtCal for the nice advance listing on the "Blog" opening tonight. I will be there and plan to do some "live posting." As explained in this earlier thread on the methodology of the piece:
I see this performance as a lot like the cubicle group show I was in, where I sat in the cube and worked at the computer in my business casual attire: on the opening night, but also during "office hours"--in other words, every day the space was open I came in and worked. The unrented office where that show was held had no net connection and I was channeling "my working conditions circa '95" so I posted about it during non office hours. For BLOG I will also be working during gallery hours, but from home--the posting will be the work, not about the work. (Or both, if I'm feeling "meta.")As for the "how do you sell this?" question:
I'm going to be performing with changing content, graphics, etc. Not really any different from what I normally do but with an awareness of a specific, physical audience, what will work on the gallery's screen, how to explain to a reader not physically in the gallery what I'm doing and why.
Also I will post any documentation the gallery sends me of how the blog screen appeared on a given day, whether or not anyone looked at it, etc. The gallery will also save each day's posts as documentation.
[T]his'll be structured as a "classic" economic exchange. An agreed amount of funds for an editioned disc with the data for the show (html files for each day's posts plus associated files--images, etc.) and a certificate authenticating the work and the size of the edition. Also, besides the edition, the "terminal" (pedestal/keyboard stand, gear) will be offered as a stand alone work, with the month's posts and associated files burned on a dedicated hard drive.
As for the press release's statement, "For the first time a blog is shown in a gallery space," commenters in the thread mentioned some possible precedents but no serious documentation was put forward of a previous, month long performance work called "Blog." As stated in the thread, I'm open to having a "beef" with anyone on this issue. On some level mine is a protest piece: that blogging has made no serious inroads into the rigid gallery/museum/art mag system of evaluating art and must be physically present in a gallery to have "cred." But it is also the second generation of "net art"--a much more casual and un-self conscious use of available technology as a content delivery system. It may seem paradoxical to say a blog bearing the artist's name is un-self conscious but the scope of this blog has always been bigger than talking about my cat (if I had one). Commenters keep the place lively and interesting, for me and I think others.
Hi Tom. No "beef" here about whether or not BLOG is the first in-gallery blog performance. Congrats on the show.
From the "Toot Your Own Horn" department: for a show in May 2006 at 1708 Gallery in Richmond, VA I proposed something similar but a little different in scope and intention in an email to the curators dated Tue, 7 Feb 2006 18:18:34 -0800 (PST):
"Daily HTML drawings: each day during the duration of the show, May 5-27, 2006 I will make an HTML drawing... for my weblog; these drawings will be in response to the show, the space, the work of the other artists, and to interactions and discussions that occur during the installation and the show. I would like a computer and monitor in the gallery accessible to visitors so they can browse these drawings. A small handout with the URL can be taken by visitors.."
What I really wanted was for it to be projected on a wall. They didn't go for it, mostly, I think, because of limited wall space, equipment, and, I think connectivity. My idea was more of an idea about delivering images, rather than about interaction with audience. And I was interested in the this situation would affect the kinds of images I'd make. Of course, having the idea- I'm certain I'm not alone in having had this idea, and am sure you've thought about doing this for a long time- is not as good, however, as actually getting it done.
Thanks, Chris. The field is limited in a way to practicing artists who post regularly. I've avoided the "drawing a day" or "song a day" commitment because (i) I never make New Years' resolutions either, (ii) other things pop up that I want to talk about that chip away at the drawing time, and (iii) I don't work well in series and I don't trust my self-evaluation. In other words, I could do 7 drawings a week but it might take me a month to decide which are "keepers" and then I'm stuck with all the published non-keepers.
BLOG is to some extent taking the art world at its word that Duchampianism is the only valid ism. Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe talked about how Artforum could confer art status on any topic, and it's not even an artist, just a magazine read by artists. (He didn't mention the mag by name but we all knew who he was talking about.)
I thought about making a joke that any artists I discuss during BLOG would be entitled to list the gallery on their resume and if the work is acquired they can say they're collected. How far does the "aura" extend?
I had a curator over a while back who saw the same studio full of artwork you did but he wanted me to write an essay for him and not be in his show so he said "but your blog is your art." I thought that was BS so I'm parodying the sentiment a bit here. My blog is not "my art" in the sense of being my only art but I like it as a catchall for doing a lot of things.
I would like to post a comment during your blog show and then I can put your blog show on my resume too. But this here comment simply cannot be part of your blog show as your show starts in 2 or 3 hours and so this is clearly a non-blog-show comment. No one should be putting this comment on their resume, nor buying it for their collection.
I wish I could come to your show in person, but alas I live in Colorado. I prefer to experience blogs in person!
There has been a computer with a browsable blog on display here in Colorado recently, I don't remember if it was a Mark Amerika or Rick Silva (ALinkoln) blog, but I don't think there was anything special going on with the blog per se for the show, the blog was just on display. I think this very much confused visitors which I liked.
Have a good time web logging!
Thanks. No worries--this comment thread will not be collected.
Someone else said something about some Mark Amerika blog piece but I haven't seen any documentation of it. Talk is cheap. He hasn't started a "beef" with me yet, at any rate.
firsts don't matter anyway, at least not in my artosphere. I'm just really glad that we're showing web logs. Thanks!!! %^)
The curator who didn't show the work in your studio missed an opportunity, in my opinion. The stuff you've been showing lately is great, but I wonder if without the other things you've done, particularly the collages or whatever you call them, that an important piece of your overall body of work is missing.
Re: "but your blog is your art."-- I don't know, that's like saying the paint or the camera is your art. It might be integral, but it's not the art. The blog is a channel, a wall, a page. However, the daily thing for me is now so integrated, is such a big part of what I'm making and how it's shown, is such an important place for me, that I'm pretty dependent on it. Since my rule is to post something everyday I don't get to think too hard about keepers or not until much later, and there are some clunkers.
I am probably going to up animated GIF production so the gallery screen is active. Music is less gallery-friendly, although we have headphones next to the "terminal." Text will be sparing unless something comes up I really need to go off on.
New Media artist Mark Amerika blogs under the name Professor VJ and describes his blog works here (links in the original).
1. The 24 Hour Count is a multi-media blog band made up of Colorado artists Mark Amerika, Rick Silva, and Nathaniel Wojtalik. For this 24 hour online blog performance, the artists will use a variety of media including the Internet, mobile phones, digital video and photo cameras, mini-disk recorders, musical instruments, and many computer software programs to improvisationally remix, interpret, and respond to current events while filtering their "digital readings" through the prism of Count Lautréamont's "Songs of Maldoror," a classic French text written in the 19th century and whom the Surrealists adopted as the progenitor of their significant 20th century movement.
2. From June 16 through August 27, 2006, I created a Passagen-Work, as part of the "Decades of Influence" show in Denver. The work investigated daily blog performance as a proactive writerly practice where my mission, should I choose to accept it, was to apply a literary methodology to net art composition. I called this kind of "art-making" wild blogstyle and used Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project as a tutor-text. Here is what Benjmain wrote in one of his Arcades Project files on methodology:
Method of this project: literary montage. I needn’t say anything. Merely show. I shall purloin no valuables, appropriate no ingenious formulations. But the rags, the refuse - these I will not inventory but allow, in the only way possible, to come into their own: by making use of them.
When I introduced my own Passagen-Work remix, I said:
Of course, he [Benjamin] contradicted himself in the best of possible ways and actually said a lot - and so one can imagine that I will attempt to do this too, whether I want to or not. Another difference between Benjamin's approach and mine is that "the rags, the refuse" that I want to make use of are easily sampled from the vast library of information waiting to be aestheticized (performed with, manipulated) on the Internet - and I also have a lot of material I myself have contributed to the electrosphere, material I intend on recontextualizing for this 10 week performance.
Now that I write this entry, I can see how these performance-oriented, even time-based writing projects, mashing up images and text while porting them through customized artist-apparatus filters I am always tweaking, are somehow yet further expansions on my Expanded Concept of Writing.
3. MANP is another net art work that is not quite blog, but also not quite "traditional" net art either. The exhibition will feature a local, stand-alone version of the site that differs from the online version, where "We Take Pictures, So You Don't Have To."
Just a quick response to this--these all involve some kind of "one off" premise as opposed to an ongoing, years-long project that is now moving into "gallery space" with an eye to engaging that audience (in ways that may be the same or different than engaging the Net, it remains to be seen).
In other words, even though they use the blog as a vehicle, they are still Net Art 1.0 with its self-conscious theoretical premises. Net Art 1.0 exists primarily in an academic hothouse world and cares little about audiences outside a certain jargon-camp, for all its talk of remixological inclusiveness.
I started "blogging as art" a few years back too!
in my two projects kellerberrin.com and thesham.info the writing of a blog was a way to document daily activities in a small country town, and in my own suburb, respectively.
there is often confusion as to "where the 'art' lives" -- is it the social interactions which are then written about, is it the writing itself, is it the live moment when you're reading it online?
the projects have been exhibited in galleries too...(including computer terminals with an internet connection- but i have never been convinced that this works very well...)
most recently this one -
although this one was an off-line presentation...but i thought you might be interested in it as a way of presenting a large body of blogged text in a gallery setting...