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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…
9 January – 13 March 2010
Main launch event: 4 February, 6-8pm
Construction from 19 January
Gallery open to the public 5  February: 1pm – 8pm Tuesday - Saturday
Updates and info on events here

Temple Bar Gallery & Studios is pleased to present re : public, 
an exhibition and series of events through which the crucial question 
will be asked – can something happen in public again?
  Read the rest of this entry »

This visit to Istanbul coincided with the Istanbul Bienal and was funded through the European Commission project, Rhyzom, with partners Agency (UK), aaa (France), Public Works (UK), PS2 (Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland). The field trip was to visit our Turkish partners, the Cultural Agencies project, curated by Nikolaus Hirsch, Philip Misselwitz and Oda Projesi:
The project fosters an intensive exchange between international students, artists, curators, architects, and Istanbul’s cultural institutions as well as local communities in order to mutually develop initiatives for the future of these peripheries.
An interdisciplinary project by artists, architects, and students on the topics of city planning and public space in Istanbul’s peripheries. An initiative of the Allianz Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Platform Garanti & Garanti Gallery (Istanbul), the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts (Istanbul), and the Städelschule (Frankfurt). Read the rest of this entry »
francis bacon

food island4

port tasting

Selection of food and drink consumed at the 10th international 
conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Europe, at the 
University of Porto, Portugal, July 2009. 
All photographs by/ copyright Sarah Browne.
via eflux:
Following its bankruptcy and closure in New York at the beginning of the global economic crises in February 2008, e-flux’ PAWNSHOP proprietors Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle will now try their luck in China. Starting this Wednesday, September 16th, the PAWNSHOP will open its doors again at the shop, Beijing, its inventory comprised of artworks, bought and sold.

the shop is a new experimental space in Beijing initiated by Vitamin Creative Space, seeking to engage with art as it comes into contact with, and grows from, everyday life. For the PAWNSHOP, the shop acts as site but also as facilitator and partner in this economic experiment, which is also an experiment in institutional relations to a project built around the dynamics of risk and profit.

Come browse works for sale by more than 60 artists, including: Ayreen Anastas, Julie Ault, Fia Backstrom, AA Bronson/General Idea, Cao Fei, Paul Chan, Rutherford Chang, Chen Chieh-jen, Chen Wengbo, Chen Wei, Luke Ching, Heman Chong, Chu Yun, Keren Cytter, Duan Jianyu, Michael Eddy, Claire Fontaine, Rene Gabri, Simryn Gill, Gong Jian, Diango Hernandez, Elaine Ho + Gao Ling, Karl Holmqvist, Hu Xianqian, Hu Xiaoyuan, Huang He, Huang Xiaopeng, Jiang Zhi, Jin Shan, Kan Xuan, Kang He, Lam Tung Pang, Lee Kit, Leung Chi Wo, Li Qing, Li Zhenhua, Lin Yilin, Liu Ding, Liu Wei, Liu Zhizhi, Lu Chensheng, Ma Yansong, Mian Mian, Olaf Nicolai, Pak Sheung Chuen, Martha Rosler, Anri Sala, Nedko Solakov, Sun Xun, Tang Yi, Wang Wei, Wen Wei, Doris Wong, Kacey Wong, Ming Wong, Xiao He, Xu Tan, Xu Zheng, Yan Jun, Jun Yang, Yangjiang Group (Zheng Guogu, Chen Zaiyan Suan Qinglin), Zhang Da, Zhou Tao and many more…

GRAND OPENING: 4 – 6 pm, Wednesday, September 16th, featuring a public conversation about garage sales, pawnshops and art galleries by Julieta Aranda, Anton Vidokle, Martha Rosler, Hu Fang & Michael Eddy; followed by an open discussion with participating artists and public.

Forget gallery hassles: GET CASH NOW! High! Fast! Immediate cash payments! Come on down today!*
Read the rest of this entry »

Belated thanks to Niall de Buitléar for contributing this week's
feature: Knitted Village, where mimicking the world in miniature
contributes financially to its upkeep.

'A knitted replica of a Kent village with 100 features including
teenagers smoking in a bus shelter has been put up for sale.
The model of Mersham, near Ashford, has been knitted by members
of the village's 40-strong Afternoon Club over the past 23 years.

The group has raised about £10,000 for their village hall by
exhibiting it. But the creation is now to be split up and sold off
because it has become too large to be transported.
Since 1986, thousands of hours of handiwork have gone into the village.

The preparation involved taking pictures and mocking up cardboard
templates of the properties and objects. Afternoon Club member
Joyce McDonagh, 82, a retired market researcher, said:
"It will be a shame to see it all broken up but it has become
something of an elephant. Most of the members are now of pensionable
age and we haven't got the men to lift the stuff. It wouldn't be so
bad if there were just two or three items but there are at least 100
now. It's massive and that's the problem."

via BBC News (video available)
Image held here

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

Art and Social Intervention: The Incidental Person

Also forthcoming at apexart: The Incidental Person, curated by Antony Hudek;

The “Incidental Person” was coined by the British artist John Latham (1921-2006) to qualify the status of an artist involved in non-art contexts such as government or large corporations. This exhibition expands on Latham’s original definition of the Incidental Person to include those persons for whom all aspects of life – political, social, esthetic, professional – are integrated into a unified whole. The new Incidental Person can be an artist, but does not need to be since for her or him meaningful production is not the exclusive property of any one member of society: the Incidental Person can be anyone as long as each of her or his actions partakes of a larger, unified life practice.

The exhibition argues that the Incidental Person stakes out a new position, outside of the 20th-century triad Joseph Beuys-Marcel Duchamp-John Cage. Unlike the latter, the Incidental Person does not seek to solve the “art-life” or “mind-body” problems. Instead, she or he fails to see them as problems at all, since for the Incidental Person art, life, mind, and body cannot be understood in opposition to one another. But this does not mean that the Incidental Person declares that anything can be art, as Duchamp suggested with the readymade. Rather art itself becomes subsumed under a larger, all-inclusive category of motions or things that bear the elusive imprint of Incidentality. And while the Incidental Person shares Beuys’ interest in pedagogy, she or he eschews the self-mythologizing of the avant-garde: if you do not recognize the Incidental Person walking past you in the street, this is probably because you have yet to learn what makes their life-practice Incidental – and vice-versa. This exhibition bring together persons formerly known as “artists”, “writers”, “technicians”, and “bureaucrats”, who imbue their everyday existence with Incidentality. In particular, the exhibition will underscore aspects of the Incidental Person’s life-work that do not appear obviously “artistic”, thus becoming a pedagogical forum to learn how to recognize and act out the potential behind seemingly disparate gestures, regardless of their professional or aesthetic tags.

Published here on Joanne Lee writes in praise of the amateur art critic.

'Raspberries', Joanne Lee, 2009.

'Raspberries', Joanne Lee, 2009.

 According to the art historian James Elkins, art criticism is in worldwide crisis. He says that there is more of it around than anyone can read, and that it is ‘massively produced’ but yet also ‘massively ignored’: its readership is ‘unknown, unmeasured and disturbingly ephemeral.’ In his pamphlet ‘Whatever Happened to Art Criticism?’ Elkins wishes instead there was more interaction between contemporary criticism and the ‘serious’ work (he means the kind done within universities and academies) of art history, art education and aesthetics. Criticism, he seems to believe, ought to be something best left to professionals of a certain stripe, people who can be trusted to do it properly. I’m not sure I agree: rather than pursuing Elkins argument about the relative quality of journalism or academia – both of which seem dogged by the repetitions of already familiar positions – I want to step sideways out of the fray in order to recognise the virtues of critical writing done by those who do not want to consider themselves professionals of either field. Here I find a more improper criticism, one that is unafraid of the partial and temporal, and one able to amplify the pleasures and possibilities of real-life critical conversation, as it takes place in studios or across dinner tables.

In The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan suggested that the professional tends to ‘accept uncritically the ground rules’, remaining ‘contentedly unaware’ of the all-pervasive environment in which these have been established. By contrast, the amateur is not constrained by the prevailing purview, and so is potentially able to operate beyond such norms. This can simply be because, as historian Daniel Boorstin once recognised, an amateur ‘need not be a genius to stay out of ruts he has never been trained in’, but this kind of benign ignorance need not be the only rationale for such a position: instead it could be that amateurs are able to risk doing things differently, to think in alternative ways to the acceptable mainstream, because they can afford to fail – after all, their professional ‘career’ isn’t on the line.

Read the rest of this entry »

‘So it’ll be kind of modern-y then.

Oh well, it’ll be nice all the same.’

(in discussion with bean-an-tí about the new carpet design).


New work in the public realm by students of the National college of Art and Design:

Niamh Moriarty; Oonagh Comerford; Emily McFarland; Hilary O’Mahony; Siobhán Carroll.


The Artificial Paradise project tries to analyse how we approach each other and our surroundings in such a rapidly changing and evolving city-scape often in a whimsical and entertaining way.  Five third year NCAD students have made unique and engaging pieces of art reflecting their thoughts about this regeneration.  A wide range of research and experimentation has been undertaken by these students since the project began late in 2008.  The works presented include community interactions, sculptural performance, intervention and large-scale public constructions.

Artifical Paradise Website

Image: Niamh Moriarty

November 2020