What I Love & Hate About Art Blogging

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Like any passion, blogging (and art blogging in particular) makes me feel like I’m cheating on my boyfriend with a lover that attracts and repels me at the same time….here are some thoughts on that mercurial relationship that I manifest in front of my laptop…

WHAT I LOVE

  • Art blogging is to art criticism & art journalism what hip hop was to the music industry in the 1980s;
  • The free form of blogging allows unfiltered reactions to appear without the calcifying touches of some editors;
  • Art blogs tell me about the art world right now more than art magazines or newspapers ever could;
  • The integration of multimedia (Flickr, YouTube) into the blog makes print and even video mediums appear passive, archaic and inflexible;
  • It always surprises me who reads blogs and which ones they read;
  • Art blogs are going to endow the voice of the art public with a new power;
  • Art blogs will (and have) diversified the art public (if it got any whiter or blonder, the art world would be a country in Scandinavia);
  • Art blogs will wrestle away the power of galleries to represent art and its quality (maybe that’s why they are so afraid of letting us take photos of their shows);
  • People who comment on posts (no matter how asinine) always inform blog debates, irrespective of the bloggers perspective or beliefs-even stupid comments tell you something;
  • Blogs are instantaneous…the rapidity is sublime;
  • Blogs rock!; and
  • Blogs are well positioned to speak truth to power.

WHAT I HATE

  • Art bloggers are far too nice to one another, we need more flaming, but then again it is such a lonely process that most bloggers probably need as many friends as we can muster online;
  • Some bloggers don’t realize that the blog form strains under the weight of long verbose rhetoric, which coincidentally has long crippled the field of art criticism…least we forget that Denis Diderot–that great 18th C. French art critic–was often at his best when he offered short quips about paintings that would be interpreted as conversational nowadays;
  • While artists can make great bloggers they should NEVER blog about their own work unless it is predominantly to reveal issues of process or to give us a sneak peak of new/evolving work (otherwise it’s BORING!!!!!);
  • Art blog commentators can at times respond brainlessly, preferring knee-jerk reactions rather than thought-out remarks;
  • Bloggers that don’t take the time to consider the user’s experience peeve me off;
  • Many bloggers don’t consider the issue of typography and layout (of images in particular) on their blogs and feeds;
  • No one has figured out a way to make a living off the medium;
  • Bloggers can be clannish and hermetic and stranger still, try to recreate the “A-lists” that drove many bloggers away from the traditional arts media (like the recent list of art blogs posted by Modern Art Notes, and another by the MetMuseum via Art21); and
  • I wish there was more diversity among art bloggers, and by this I mean ALL types of diversity (cultural, economic, political, etc.)…our homogeneity in terms of politics or cultural identity just proves that so many other potential readers don’t care about what we write. Any healthy field of endeavor needs diversity to evolve.

Feel free to comment and flame me for my list.