I saw this questionnaire posted all over the web on various art blogs. I finally had a moment to sit down and answer it myself.
Here are my answers to the Infamous Art in America Blog questionnaire:
What's the purpose of your blog?
I started the blog as a way to keep track of all of my internet meanderings I look at a lot of artists, galleries, & shows online and I want a place to be able to contain it all. Additionally, I wanted a way to bring Yahoo collage group information to a broader audience, since really cool stuff is happening and if you aren't in that group, you may not know about it.
I am a collage artist, and I felt that if perhaps I immerse myself collage information, I could learn more about collage history and it's place in art. As I keep blogging, I am enjoying the small conversations that are starting in regards to the post. I am hesitant to display much of my personal opinions, due to my own Geminian nature. Tomorrow you may argue with me on a point, and I will agree with you and abandons yesterdays idea with new understanding!
What are the boundaries of your blog?
I try to keep the focus on collage. This includes techniques, galleries, artists, and any other facet of art that I can stretch into relating to collage. Every now and then I post inspirational things, quotes or articles that I have read that affect me. I try to limit my posts on digital collage and assemblage, however. There is so much material out there it is easy to get sidetracked.
Tyler has cited Joy Garnett's NewsGrist blog [hyperlink added —ed.] as doing a great job of "placing art within a sociocultural and political context." What I see on NewsGrist is a magazinelike interspersing of short profiles, exhibition reviews, op-ed pieces on how other people are covering things, and Village Voice–like political takes. But what does Tyler's comment mean to you, and why are blogs in general better positioned than print to do what he describes?
I read NewsGrist regularly and it was one of my first regular blog reads. Newsgrist acts like my personal immediate newspaper, giving me the down-lo on events that may actually matter...politically or socially to me as an artist. Joy's blog is particularly relevant for collage artists and has inspired me to dig for dirt and find out where my art stands in the copyright/fair use mess.
I am not sure if I should say this, working for a trade newspaper printing company as my day job, but Blogs are so much more immediate. A newspaper only gets into the hands of a small pool of subscribers or locals, your blog is unlimited in readership scope.
Why can't blogs go further, to the point where there's hardly any discernible difference between artist and critic/commentator, blog and work of art?
Why can't they? Isn't that what I am doing?
What scope and degree of editorial control do you exercise over your blog?
I write it. I share it.
What about posting comments from readers, and what about anonymity?
I got agitated only on one comment, and I didn't delete it, but rather tried to learn from it. Spam comments get the axe.
I am not crazy about anonymous comments, cuz hey, if you have something to say don't be a coward. Back it up! I put it out there on who I am and what I am about....what about you?
What's "trolling," and why don't some of you allow it?
I had to look this up! People comment on your blog and try to bring you over to their blog. Whatever. Go back to high school.
Is trolling really so easily identified and universally bad? Is having posters register a solution?
If I got trolled, I would just delete it all. Blogging is about personal power!
What's the economic model of your blog?
There isn't one. Right now it is a mode of conversation, communication and personal art justification! I don't want to clog the blog with popup ads, book recommendations, etc.
How do you see your blog's relation to the established print art media?
I often am reading, online and offline. I am using the blog as a place to share the things I read offline, discuss and archive interesting tidbits of information that I find important, regardless of their source.
How do you attract readers/posters other than by word of mouth?
But I do mention the blog when I get the chance, such as in newsgroup posts, or in email conversation.
In general, is blog art criticism more open and liberal, and print criticism more closed and conservative?
I can't answer that question. There are always exceptions to all rules.
Some people say that there's a dearth of art criticism at length on blogs. Is this true? If so, does it have more to do with reading on a computer in general, or with art criticism in particular?
Well I hate to read on the computer, altho I do seem to be doing this more often! I find myself printing out text and articles to read at night at home when i have spare moments of time. (My modem connection at home makes reading online regularly quite a drag.) I am finding that I like to print articles that I find interesting, and now I am starting a scrapbook to keep all of them together. Ha, that's a strange retro-digital process there! Printing and saving blog outputs!
Art magazines come out once a month. Newspaper art reviews usually appear once a week. Blogs appear more or less daily, and sometimes have updates by the hour. Do you think that the faster pace of blogs will start to affect the pace of art-making?
I think it already does! Look at the dearth of collaborative work from people that have not even met! Blogs are a cool tool, and it would be foolish to think that they are not affecting the art world in some manner.
I think all forms of communication affect us in all kinds of ways... But I am finding that you can let yourself read blogs all day and night and never get anything done artwise!
Tyler just said that there's more good art being made by more artists in more places than at any time in history. Is this true? And if so, what's the reason?
Is it? Who could reasonably answer that question?
I have a theory, but it's only the ramblings of a collage artist.
I feel we are in pain, as a society, over the massive changes we are going through, both technologically and environmentally. Part of our expression as a human race is through creative means. Escapism, fantasy, call it what you will, I feel perhaps we all are looking for an alternative to what we face every day. Creativity, music, film, art--these are the vehicles for moving our minds out of our daily funk and into higher places where we don't hurt.
Do blogs help correct the geographical bias in print art criticism, i.e., the tendency to think that most of the important stuff happens in New York or Los Angeles, and the difficulty of art outside those places to get national attention?
Sure helps for me! I live in upstate New York, surrounded by farms. You may call it New York State, but I might as well live in a forest in Alaska or a cornfield in Alabama--NYC is hours away. People here are worried about surviving and art is not at the top of the list any day of the week. Without blogs and the internet, the art world would only consist of "Artworld" or "Art in America", which would leave out probably 98% of the art I personally am interested in!!!
One index of a city's gravity as an art center is young artists—perhaps recent MFAs—from elsewhere coming to set up shop. Is that happening in Philadelphia and Portland?
I don't know. I just said I live in the hicks of upstate NY. I am out of touch with that reality.
Is there any constructively negative edge to your blogging and, if so, what is it?
I really have gotten mad at myself in the past for writing before thinking. I tend to just not post negative things. If I don't like your stuff, I just won't post it! No point in creating enemies.
I do have an attitude about the whole copyright/fair use issue, understandably but I try to see all sides to it and that's where I show negativity.
Let's throw something back into the mix: naked human ambition. Unknown bloggers want to be little bloggers; little bloggers want to be bigger bloggers; and bigger bloggers want to be called, as is Tyler's Modern Art Notes, "the most influential of all the visual-arts blogs" by the Wall Street Journal.
Spoken by one of the most brilliant minds in art blogging, not to mention one hell of a nice guy.
Where will your blog be in three to five years?
Who knows if there will even be blogs in 3 - 5 years?
I know where I will be though, still creating collage up in the loft and wondering about the legality of pasting papers together.