Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Resist: Inauguration at Una Gallery
Early February links
First Thursday Picks February 2017
Dead tree media & dead horse flogging news
Post Snowpocalypse Weekend Picks
More Disjecta'd
New Year opportunities
Monday Integrity Links
First Thursday Picks January 2017
Jason Berlin + Alanna Risse at Rainmaker
Saying goodby to 2016
Mid December Links

recent comments

categories

 

Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Thursday 06.05.14

« Let Them Look: An Interview with Luc Tuymans | Main | First Thursday June 2014 Picks »

Nine Years of PORT

PORT_LOGO11.gif

This June marks PORT's ninth anniversary and fittingly this is our 3,000th post as Portland's most critically attuned and comprehensively in depth delving visual art website. It has always been a group effort as this early interview in the Mercury from 2005 can attest. I'm planning a site revamp and a retrospective publication for our tenth (next) year. We have practiced the way we preach about how persistence and follow through matter.

Overall, critical writing about visual art is incredibly hard and I've always likened PORT as a confederacy rather than the old news room model, which makes sense since criticism and journalism have never been a natural fit. Instead, we have always placed a premium on critical thinking rather than simple reportage (or community mongering)... mostly because PORT is a trade journal devoted to hard core visual art and design geeks. I've always seen it as a first draft of history as it happens and the internet allows us the speed and ability to edit the inevitable grammar gaffs that working without an formal editor creates (we do edit the interviews). As a rule it's easy to separate the bad from the good... it takes something more to give those unsatisfied with the merely good enough feedback to reach a bit higher. It also makes our reviews matter.

Not all blogs are the same (PORT bears very little comparison with most) but I feel it is our dogged focus on just a few things like critical in depth thinking on visual art and design (usually with a civic icon-like status) that has kept us a strong, undiluted source with far more expertise than generalists can claim. This is important because the visual arts usually get the short shrift compared to performing arts and literature, which are naturally more capable of reaching out to their audiences. Think of art criticism as a charismatic predator (wolves, mountain lions) that helps keep an ecosystem in balance and healthy. What's more we aren't the parasitic press, we care because we are part of the scene we discuss. This facet of what we do is especially important when so much arts writing is just flattery, navel gazing and networking designed to ingratiate. Our massive trove of reviews prove otherwise and it is crucial for a midsize city like Portland, which can naturally fall into too easy consensus. That is why PORT matters, what we do may be wonderful or unsettling to some but it always presents a developed viewpoint that comes from experience... not a generalist or the typical career driven academician, but one of real expertise and unafraid to share it.

This last year has been our best yet with articles like Amy's interview Luc Tuyman's a few days ago and Victor's with Dana Schutz and Ryan Johnson late last month. Interviews like that take a tremendous amount of effort (40-150 man hours is not atypical). The reviews can explore relevant critical tangents that are crucial, like this one on Andrea Geyer's current show at PICA. There are complicated issues at work. All this takes a tremendous effort and all of our writers have put in far more time than they can ever be truly compensated for. I suspect the payoff is intellectual relevancy andengagement as criticalthinking, especially in a public manner is perhaps the best innoculation for the complacency that easily takes root in nice, vibrant places like Portland. PORT is all about serving a community by not merely echoing or mirroring it, which are particularly insidious kinds of neglect.

Thank you to all of our sponsors, readers and writers... even our detractors... you all make it possible. Last year we reached over 1.3 million unique readers.

As the year goes on you can look forward to numerous reviews, another major interview, an expose on a major patron (kicking off a new series on patronage) and an expose on the workings of the scene as only PORT can.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 05, 2014 at 14:19 | Comments (0)


Comments

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee