Art blogging has gotten a lot of attention recently. Please chime in with your perspectives, comments, gripes, etc.
Here, I am comparing some of Steve’s responses yesterday here on A&P to Arthur’s responses on ‘Thinking eye’.
My summary (hopefully, lacking misinterpretation) may serves as an illustration of the different virtues of (1) a team blog and (2) a blog of one individual.
What’s the purpose of your blog?
(1) Enhancing my understanding of art and evolving my own art through interactions with others.
(2) Personal diary.
What are the boundaries of your blog?
(1) None specified. Issues arising are resolved my majority vote.
(2) Personal Diary.
Why can’t blogs go further, to the point where there’s hardly any discernible difference between artist and critic/commentator, blog and work of art?
(1) I don’t see anything preventing it.
(2) I find the differences useful.
What scope and degree of editorial control do you exercise over your blog?
(1) Every team member has full control over her/his own post. Guest posts are encouraged. (My addition: Anyone displaying a discerning interest in the evolving theme of the blog can expect an invitation to join).
(2) Full control over the entire blog.
What about posting comments from readers, and what about anonymity?
(1) All comments are welcomed, and anonymous comments allowed.
(2) I would welcome it. Anonymity is acceptable.
What’s “trolling,” and why don’t some of you allow it?
# Troll (Internet), a person who is deliberately inflammatory on the Internet in order to provoke a vehement response from other users.
(1) Not a problem here, so we haven’t bothered to define it.
(2) It hasn’t been a problem for me, since I get very few comments anyway.
Is trolling really so easily identified and universally bad? Is having posters register a solution?
(1) Judging trolls is not so easy; mistaken labeling occurred here once and was rectified. Registration inhibits.
(2) Yes to the first two questions and a probable no to the third one. I
What about liability coverage?
(1) Answer: a joke on Jay
What’s the economic model of your blog?
(1) We have no aversion to earning money, but neither have we made any attempt.
(2) It costs me basically no money and I make none in return.
How do you see your blog’s relation to the established print art media?
(1) We sometimes follow up on stories appearing elsewhere if it piques our fancy.
(2) There is a marked conflict between my original and enduring impulse to write as an amateur and my newfound sense that I should be respectable and write as a representative of an organization.
How do you attract readers/posters other than by word of mouth?
(1) We were Google-ranked #2 for “NeoIntegrity manifesto,” the post being a commentary following a NY Times article about the show (now we’re at #4).
(2) Posting smart comments to other people’s blogs is a typical way of getting attention.
In general, is blog art criticism more open and liberal, and print criticism more closed and conservative?
(1) Neither, but it is more diverse — though not always on our blog.
(2) There is a wider range of positions and writing styles online than in print. This isn’t necessarily a good thing; it takes some work filtering the relevant from the irrelevant.
Some people say that there’s a dearth of art criticism at length on blogs. Is this true? If so, does it have more to do with reading on a computer in general, or with art criticism in particular?
(1) True for our blog. It has almost entirely to do with access to artworks and writing time available.
(2) It appears to be true, although there are no doubt exceptions out there.
Do blogs help correct the geographical bias in print art criticism, i.e., the tendency to think that most of the important stuff happens in New York or Los Angeles, and the difficulty of art outside those places to get national attention?
(1) Geography does not seem too relevant.
(2) If you have never seen an artist’s work it person, that limits the relevance of writing on that work.
One index of a city’s gravity as an art center is young artists—perhaps recent MFAs—from elsewhere coming to set up shop. Is that happening in Philadelphia and Portland?
(1) It’s happening in Bozeman, …
(2) In Ithaca? No, not it any significant numbers, although I do know some people.
Is there any constructively negative edge to your blogging and, if so, what is it?
(1) Among ourselves, negative comments are not to common, though welcomed by some, at least. Some outside artists we have discussed (positively and negatively) have responded on the blog.
(2) Not as much as I’d like.
Let’s throw something back into the mix: naked human ambition. Unknown bloggers want to be little bloggers; little bloggers want to be bigger bloggers; and bigger bloggers want to be called, as is Tyler’s Modern Art Notes, “the most influential of all the visual-arts blogs” by the Wall Street Journal.
(1) We’re not striving for influence, but larger membership and participation might be nice.
(2) Yes, of course. Vanity does play a major role, especially since most of us are doing this for free
Where will your blog be in three to five years?
(1) I’m amazed at any blog that lasts so long. We’re about one year old, in our current form, and I have no idea whether the blog will exist in two more.
(2) If I’m still doing it—which I’d like to be—I imagine that it would still have the same basic character. I hope for change in terms of numbers: more frequent posting, longer posts, more readers and more comments.