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Thursday 07.20.06

« We Will Link You | Main | It might cool off....right? »

Weekly Web Round-up



When did trash become so cool? I ask you that question because as I write and edit this piece I am drinking wine out of a can – with a bendy straw. This trend seems to have taken place over the last few years and while I can’t say for certain why it’s happening-I do have a few ideas. With the aide of the Internet, the pendulum swings at a faster rate these days and what was thoughtful and relevant becomes tiresome and pedantic in a scant amount of time.

A case in point would be the sort-of-current talk on a few blogs about the artist statement as inspired by an interview Tyler Green did last month with Will Lager. Deborah Fisher pulls deftly against such activities while Paddy Johnson finds them defendable.

I find Ms. Fisher’s point of view to be refreshing (and her writing rocks but so does Ms. Johnson's). I always felt like those in the generation who held their professorships while I was at work on my MFA were working against something that was no longer present.

You can check out how other blogger’s are weighing in on the argument here and here and here and maybe there’s something here.

Though it’s only been – what? less than a month since Mr. Green’s interview, it’s old news. The pendulum swings. How does it swing for you?

Trash, Part II

The Saatchi Gallery is democratizing art by allowing you to upload your portfolio to Your Gallery. It’s much like White Columns registry in New York though theirs is curated and full of wonderful work. I wouldn’t boast it as a great opportunity for exposure but if your work kicks then you’ll be a star amongst the loads of plain work on the site. Ms. Jenene Nagy, however-in a conversation earlier today-had the good sense to remind me that it is indeed free space to place your work online for other people’s reference. A bit of a brilliant turn. Upload with abandon!

Ridiculous is out and Randomly Relatable is in:

Ok, here’s something very random, unrelated to art but very much related to Portland. Biodiesel is the big thing here and there’s a pull inside me to ditch my current rig for a groovy Mercedes. Economics, safety and common sense are tugging me strongly in the opposite direction. What to do?

Back at Deborah Fisher’s blog I hit on some of her climate change links. One of them is DriveNeutral.
The idea here is that businesses that are members of the Chicago Climate Exchange are voluntarily, but legally, bound to reduce their greenhouse emissions. Some reduce in excess and those points are up for exchange – companies that don’t reduce can buy those credits and sidestep the reduction. DriveNeutral allows you to buy those credits according to your imprint, reducing the pool of available credits and forcing those companies to actually work at reducing their emissions. Plus, you get a groovy sticker for your car.

The can is empty now (and headed directly for the recycling bin), the goggles are off and I'm going to bed.

Posted by Melia Donovan on July 20, 2006 at 22:06 | Comments (6)


Sure, I have my problems with artist statement (and too much text), and believe in primacy of the the image. But, isn't this a bit funny...

What's the best way for an artist to gain the attention of a critic?
(Tyler Green's answer): I'm sure this sounds trite, but: Make good work and show it as widely as you can. A website helps. A blog isn't a bad idea � I'm surprised more artists don't have blogs.

...I'm sorry but the only thing worse than reading a short artist statement
is reams of aimless artist personal blog-spew.

Posted by: bradc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2006 02:58 PM

Good point Brad but I think Tyler was makeing his remarks with the caveat that it not be emarassing twaddle.

I like Jennifer steinkamp's website: http://jsteinkamp.com/

Other artists like Port's own Katherine Bovee, Brad Adkins, red 76, Bruce Conkle and of course Harrell Fletcher have all made use of the web as a tool.

A sophisticated sense of restraint in the website lets people know you arent a meth'd up flake too.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2006 02:08 PM

Two Comments: Biodiesel is great. I am in the process of getting a VW Golf TDI and I am really excited about. I was wondering about how you can buy carbon-offset credits so thanks for that information. It is really a great idea. So is riding a bicycle.

Yah know though I agree that artist personal blog spew is pretty vile, but that said, once I started my blog a lot more people seemed to start noticing my paintings. So it is kinda a catch 22 don't cha know. And I also suppose one person's vile personal blog spew is another's Dostoyevsky.

Posted by: foolishfolly [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 22, 2006 05:24 PM

I have nothing against blogs or specifically artists having blogs - I read a bunch of them, and sometimes kibitz. I just believe not every visual artist will do themselves or especially their art justice by having one.

For _some_ daily/weekly text contextualizing their art or the process of making it (or not making it) would really detract from their possibly great visual work. Even if words are part of your skills be careful.

Tyler did have a warning about "text-love" that I believe (I believe also applies to blogs - my point) "...responsible for text-love too. Theyre in love with wall-text. The Whitney, in particular, seems unable to present an exhibit without accompanying novel-length texts.

...maybe I should have used the phrase "mindless blog spew" instead of "aimless blog spew".

Posted by: bradc [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 23, 2006 11:32 AM

I really hate those novels on the walls in museums for the most part... mainly because I want to look at the art not at the backs of the people reading the texts. THAT grumpy comment aside, I don't have to read the texts myself and if they help folks understand what they are looking at more power to them...but does all that text destroy the act of seeing? I think in someways it does... think phenomenology and 'bracketing ones presupositions..' reading the text before viewing the work can hinder the chance of seeing it.

Posted by: foolishfolly [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 24, 2006 02:06 PM

if you are interested in further researching the claims of the chicago climate exchange, there is an informative article in the new york times magazine today. it might not be all it cracked up to be but it's the only opportunity at this point to participate on an individual level.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2006 09:59 AM

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