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KDamo interviews Irish art bloggers for the Visual Artist’s Newsheet.
My interview is below and full article is here. Other interviewees are the blogs/ online magazines Some Blind Alleys, SuperMassiveBlackHole, Blackletter, Fieldwork, and Paper Visual Art Journal.
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What made you start your blog/online magazine?
My blog started as a curiosity, a kind of experimental, public notebook.  
That’s still its main function really, it’s more an artist’s blog than 
a blog about art. I have a portfolio website and a blog/ RSS news 
feed attached to that, so it’s not about promoting my professional 
practice and I don’t link the two together explicitly.
What reasons do you think are contributing to the apparent lack 
of Irish art blogs?
I imagine the proportion of art writing to sport, politics and music 
correlates to mainstream print media (ie. not strongly)?
 
Though traditional print media is increasingly dying out due to freely 
available content online, critical art writing has been comparatively 
slow to move in this direction. Do you agree? What are the reasons 
for this?
The decline of traditional print media due to the ‘democracy’ of 
blogging is pretty bad news for most serious journalists, both in terms 
of earning a living and developing in-depth researched pieces. The 
quality of writing on blogs is a very mixed bag indeed, and the act of 
reading from a screen, scrolling through text, is a completely different 
engagement with a text than the sensory experience of reading a paper. 
It imposes a different form and structure.
Art writers usually work freelance, and it’s not terribly well paid, 
so I’m not sure I’d see how serious art writers would have the time or 
energy to maintain a blog – the majority of bloggers are hobbyists.  
Also, it doesn’t have the prestige of being published in print.
Art is everywhere on the internet (everywhere!) Yet the significance 
of blogs in the industry pales in comparison to music/sport/politics/etc. 
Why is this? 

I guess this relates partly to the above question, in that art still 
relies pretty heavily on traditional cultural gatekeepers and 
arbiters of value. There are cultural institutions that use Facebook 
for publicity purposes, but that’s mainly a communication/ marketing tool, 
I doubt it’s effected the programming! There isn’t a visual art equivalent 
of MySpace where artists yearn to be 'discovered': there isn’t the same 
“fanbase” – a more appropriate word to use here than “audience”. 
On most of the blogs that do exist, there is a noticeable lack of debate 
and/or discussion amongst the readers. Why has this not taken off, 
when you consider so many of the heated debates that occur in 
colleges, galleries and other social situations?

Commenting on blogs, or websites in general, does not typically bring 
out the best of discursive skills (see: misogynistic, racist, homophobic 
bile on YouTube for example). So that might be one reason people in 
general are circumspect about participating. Also such comments may 
have a wider or potentially more embarrassing public than a discussion 
in a gallery or a college – you do have to put your name to such 
comments, even if it’s only an alias. And everyone knows everyone 
else in Ireland…
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Crochetdermy by artist Shauna Richardson.
Image held here

Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills,
entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome
to selfinterestandsympathy@ gmail.com.

There are certain sectors of the art world that crave a useful social role for art. Others see art as an activity making important contributions to intellectual discourse. Many look to art for pleasure. And then there are those who appreciate all of this seriousness, but crave the trappings of the entertainment industry too – fame, power, money, glamour, hierarchies, cultural parochialism. One year the art world is interested in this, the next year it’s interested in that. It wants to party, it wants to be scholarly. Markets go up, markets go down. At the same time as the Serpentine Gallery is showing Gustav Metzger, people are posing for photographs licking a giant chocolate facsimile of a Jeff Koons sculpture and throwing themselves on giant mounds of peanuts at the gala opening of PERFORMA 09. America elects a mildly progressive president and suddenly people scream ‘socialism’ as if the year is 1954 and Senator McCarthy is on the warpath. Everything changes and nothing changes.

Dan Fox in Frieze, January-February 2010. Full article here.

Amazon says:

Customers who bought this item also bought Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’.

pcollins2

The new gallery at the National College of Art and Design opens with a superb show by Phil Collins: see here for more info about the inaugural season.

Visiting a few weekends ago I was told (quite apologetically) at the front desk, ‘Well there’s no art here as such. Just some videos.’

So it seems the mediation programme has a way to go yet: it is really a shame that staff who have worked in the institution for twenty or thirty years, or more, are so uninformed as to the kind of cultural products it sends out into the world. And also instructive that the role of gallery ‘front desking’ is perhaps something that should not be underestimated in terms of the specific training that is required (vocabulary; interest; the ability to ‘put a face on yerself’) .

I’ve justed checked in to the Holiday Inn in Portland, Maine. For the next few days I will be attending a utopian studies conference here.

On the freeway from the airport, a sign read Welcome to Maine: the way life should be.

It was dark outside so there wasn’t much to see other than the neon signs of various franchises. I watched the DVD that was playing on the bus: it was set in the seventies (the heavy yellow colouring was a giveaway)and Mark Wahlberg played a part time barman from Philly who ended up playing in the NFL. He even scored a touchdown at the end. It felt different to watch this kind of film in the states, it made more sense somehow.

I’ve seen city buses covered in the legend Believe in Something Better (purple and spearmint; apparently not politically affiliated).

Election day is Tuesday. It’s an interesting time.

I’m sooo behind the curve on this one (clip is over on Coolhunting). But it’s still a great video about artist Mika Rottenberg.

Seven years later, all I have to remember him by are two kitschy shot glasses from Germany.
I came across this over at the always challenging and sadly now defunct
LeisureArts, who say of the project, '[it] documents every instance of the
phrase "is the new" encountered from various sources in 2005.
It is intended to map the iterations of a peculiarly common marketing 
and literary device'.
So…
MFA is the new MBA.
Ugly is the new cute.
Brown, white, orange, tartan, silver, pink and red are all the new black.
Oil is the new slavery.
Porn is the new glamour, and also the new crack.
Security is the new cold war.
Prequel is the new sequel.
Local is the new organic is the new kosher.
The current version above is by Roo Reynolds and can be seen here. A larger image can be seen in the originally published version in Diagram.
Artist Pablo Helguera has a new series of artoons being serialised over at Artworld Salon. Those familiar with his Manual of Contemporary Art Style will appreciate the slant.
December 2017
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