Monday, April 20, 2009

The Conscripted Fourth Estate

"In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism."

—Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man", in Guy, Josephine M., Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, IV, Oxford University Press, p. 255
Ahh, the good old new days. More and more it feels as if we have been abandoned rather than dominated by Journalism. I'm not talking only about how corporate media refuses to play its role in ensuring our democracy is healthy (How long did it take even the New York Times to offer their milquetoasty criticism of Obama's refusal to try the American war criminals who systematically injected torture-as-policy into our military? [Change you can pass off to the next administration, I guess.] Where are the other news outlets calling for prosecution?), but more about how those in power within the print industry are seemingly content to rearrange the deckchairs as the icy water rises up their pants legs.

Where's the innovation? Where's the bold new vision and business model that will deliver the NEWS so badly needed to keep things in check? Those who've spent their lives working in print seem resigned to let it all fade away, which is looking inevitable, but that hardly excuses them from leaving the gaping holes that they are behind. Playing catch up with some sparkly new widget-laded website won't cut it, my friends...you must re-conceive and rebuild the models and channels so that they PAY your writers.

Otherwise, those with stories to be told will continue to turn to the unedited pajama media and, as far as I fall in that category, we'll all be the worse for it.

I can't keep track of how many requests I'm getting to review a book, or review a movie, or attend some function, or attend some opening not from an artist or arts writer who notes that they happen to like the blog (thanks, I do appreciate that, and am happy to attend or do what I can), but from non-art specific Public Relations firms who haven't the slightest clue who I am, what this blog is about, or who participates in the threads here. More alarming though are the news tidbits I get sent that truly should go to a journalist (which I am not) to be thoroughly investigated and then written about by the experts.

This growing trend suggests to me a serious void, a paucity of options for those who need to disseminate information. The fact that unedited online channels seem to be growing in popularity as print options are declining is a problem that should be resolved by the professional journalists!!! Get ahead of the curve, please.

Now I know there are bloggers who are also professional journalists and I appreciate (and even like) that that evolution is taking place...it keeps the old guard at the fourth estate on their toes and brings some important, fresh voices to our attention. But the pressure I'm feeling (and I imagine others are too) to go see some movie, for example, that wasn't on my personal must-see list, on my day off (because I know how much hard work goes into making one and I know someone should discuss it [Bambino and I stopped just short of attending one this weekend]) is making me a tad bit resentful. I'm not the person your PR people should be approaching. I assume it's easy enough to ignore such requests, but that doesn't eliminate the sense that I've been conscripted because there aren't enough bodies to fill the demand.

Maybe I'm making too much of this. Perhaps PR firms have always cast their nets widely in seeking press for their clients, and it's no skin off their nose if I ignore their pitches. I can't help but feel, however, that they are actually doing what the press is failing to: scrambling to get out ahead of the curve as the industry evolves...whereas it feels as if too many people in management positions within the traditional press are so mesmerized by those two bright headlights speeding toward them that they can't understand they need to jump out of the way. Or, I suspect, they're too busy sending their resumes out to lobbying firms to care what happens to the industry. Something is amiss...there's a vacuum where the press leadership used to be and all kinds of nonsense is rushing in to fill it.

Labels:

36 Comments:

Anonymous Franklin said...

In a private conversation with a museum PR director a couple of years ago, she laid it all out: People are leaving journalism, whether by choice or not, and going into PR in increasing numbers. This has caused the ironic result that there are more and more people in PR and fewer and fewer people to send press releases to. I imagine things have gotten a lot worse since then.

4/20/2009 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

So it's not lobbying that they're leaving for, but PR itself. That would seem to account for it. Thanks for sharing that Franklin.

4/20/2009 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, I've got a small, nowhere blog but I also get press releases and requests to publish info. I'm usually flattered and puzzled by such requests. Someone isn't doing their research if they're sending me press releases. It all seems part of a reordering of journalism and information dissemination in general. Who knows where it's going? Not me. It's interesting to follow though.

4/20/2009 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I've got a small, nowhere blog

Come now, you're just being modest, Anonymous. I see your name used all over the blogosphere. :-)

4/20/2009 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, I'm sure I could stop the press releases coming just by setting a fee from publishing them. There must be a way to make some money out of this. How 'bout a press release blog? Sounds exciting. I'm sure it would make the world a better place.

4/20/2009 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger tony said...

I'm an Englishman and have lived in France for the 18 years(Confession the First) nonetheless I have followed the American press, albeit on line, for a quite a few years now & it strikes that this supposed move from jouralism to PR is a natural and even honest progression - had journalists (their editors & owners) not been acting as covert PR men and women for the past decade and more the misery that many Americans now face could have been, if not avoided, at least lessened. (There are journalists, editors and publications to which this generalisation does not apply but unhappily they seem too few to mention.)

PS A similar criticism could be made of the Press in both Britain & France.

4/20/2009 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mery Lynn said...

I could see PR people sending you info about movies or books about art or press releases for art exhibits but anything else is like sending slides/cds to galleries without checking to see what the gallery shows. Not doing the homework...

4/20/2009 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Craig Photography said...

Well said!
Peace ~ John

4/20/2009 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger lookinaroundbob said...

Real - responsible - well funded media outlets are shrinking fast. There soon won't be anywhere for the PR people to send all of those press releases except to what amounts to other PR firms. Our democracy has never faced a challenge like this.

4/20/2009 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

The reason I stopped putting my email in my comments is the PR. I do get invited to some nice museum soirees which is quite nice (I doubt that's from being here, though), but I always try to avoid being on gallery lists, and many "additions" on New York gallery lists happened when I was leaving my email here. So, yes, I would say some scourge the commenters for PR, which is ackward, but it shows that this blog is read by many.


Cedric C

4/20/2009 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

I'm not sure if one can say the press has abdicated their responsibility any more today than they have in the past. The term "yellow journalism" was coined for a reason, and caused by conditions which are probably essentially the same today. Further we need to distinguish between delivering the news and editorializing the news.

That said, the print news industry, which was once able to rely on advertising for a revenue stream, has for several decades been under pressure by TV and now the internet. The old model of delivering the daily news, printed out on paper is dying and will soon be dead.

The financial stresses caused by shrinking readership has caused the print news to cut back on its staffing but I believe this is only temporary. All forms of information delivery are converging towards the internet which is still crude and unbearably slow. So while journalism as a career, may be currently under pressure, I believe this is only a temporary low-spot.

At present, I think the alternative media, blogs etc., are acting as both a watchdog and as a noise source for the mainstream media. Clearly the mainstream media is just coming to grips with the distributed, more flexible and rapid delivery of information which bloggers now provide.

It seems inevitable that the news industry will consolidate its various forms into one unified delivery system, combining the news, editorial, images, video, blogs on a page which is easily and rapidly navigable. At the present this is primarily a technological issue, complex page delivery is way too slow. This prevents the user from easily flipping through the pages to get to what they want -- it wastes hours and hours of time.

Spam - mapS

4/20/2009 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous untitled said...

Theres an interesting editorial piece in a recent issue of Frieze which discusses the difference between blogging and journalism, and specifically the problem faced by art critics who work for magazines and are expected to now do blog entries.

As far as lack of journalism, why not talk about lack of serious criticism in art mags? It's almost delicious to read a review where a critic tears a show apart. But how often does that happen? How come we never see reviews where the critic questions how a young artist even got a show? There seems to be this idea that it's not appropriate to criticize young artists. But if they were in any kind of decent Graduate program recently, that's exactly what was (or should have) been going on.

Now that lack of criticism in the press and the hush hush of peers who were formally critical of the work seems to validate the same work and it goes unchecked into major museum shows, all the while still sucking as much as ever!

4/20/2009 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

What do art journalists do? Write reviews? Write criticism? How is that any different from what some bloggers do? Shorter and less serious? like the difference between criticism and a review?

When untitled speaks of the "lack of serious criticism in art mags?" is he speaking about critical articles or exhibition reviews? I would suspect that a writer investing the time on a 5000 word article would prefer to write about something they liked and had strong feelings about.

So we must be speaking about reviews. With so many exhibitions out there every month, why would an editor send the writers out to carve something up? Further, in the present era there are so many stylistic approaches being explored that each camp has its own love and hate list.

What would be the point of slice-em and dice-em criticism? To help guide the artist? I suppose, but this illustrates another point, even your peer friends won't tell you the truth. Maybe they don't even know.

I've noticed a few interesting things. Artists tend to be much more critical of other artists who work in the same territory as they do. They tend to criticize this work more harshly than work in another medium or style. Artists also criticize work they don't understand or feel threatened by, as if it will somehow exclude them from the party. Of course there is little chance this is actually true, but many think it is.

4/20/2009 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

The reason there is little serious criticism in the magazines is because no one has yet figured out how to make money by seriously criticizing their paying customers, with one exception: dominatrices.

4/21/2009 07:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Oriane Stender said...

Franklin, that is funny. I think there are two separate issues here. One is the way the internet is impacting print journalism, but the other is basically spam. If you're sending out PR by email, it's just as easy to send it to 1000 people as it is to send it to 80 carefully chosen people. Those carefully chosen 80 are still getting it, so the PR spammers aren't losing anything by sending it to the other 920 at the same time (except for maybe an air of exclusivity). I don't know a lot about PR strategies, but there seems to be an underlying assumption that it's a numbers game, that the more widely you disseminate your material, the more response you will get. It's the junk mail theory of advertising, but it's so much easier now and doesn't involve more dead trees as you increase your target group. I get tons of PR emails (at least 10 per day, and many more during the art fairs) from galleries and I don't even have a blog. But I don't think this has anything to do with the crisis in journalism. I also get a ton of emails offering me the best way to lose weight, improve my sex life, turn my debts into riches, get a Real University Degree online, etc. And I don't take any of them personally. In the time it took me to write this comment, I got four PR emails from galleries. But I don't feel any pressure to respond.

4/21/2009 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous untitled said...

Thanks for your thoughts George. I am referring to exhibition reviews when I say there is little serious writing in art mags on people's work.

Yes critics want to write about stuff they like and mags want reviews to be supportive of the work so they can enjoy advertising dollars from the galleries- perhaps. But what about pointing out what's weak about a person's work, or the fact that they are not ready for a show because their ideas are undeveloped? We can learn just as much from what is done poorly as from what is successful.

What's the point you ask? To tell it like it is. Of course there are a lot of poor critics. Most of the people writing in the mags don't have a deep understanding of art anyway- not like an established and important critic would. Many of them are just part-timers. So many reviews miss really unearthing what's going on in terms of the artists assumptions in his/her work, the implications of their approach to artmaking or what the show suggests about broader issues in the art world.

Since most of us dont ever see most of the shows reviewed in a typical issue of Artforum, what are we getting from the fluff pieces disguised under important-sounding art vocabulary that defines most mag reviews?

4/21/2009 11:51:00 AM  
OpenID danatodd said...

Sometimes I feel like a lone voice in the chaos, arguing for the expansion of our idea to help bloggers and mainstream press to turn PR requests into revenue by giving companies the option to pay for placement of their stories in your various online media properties.

{Gasps of horror from the journalists and bloggers and PR people, no doubt.}

Before you freak, hear me out: I'm not talking about the Pay Per Post model where you as the writer allow your writing to be influenced, I'm just talking about carving out a commercial zone on your pages that lets companies promote their stories directly to your readers. Similar to advertorial or Legal Notices, it's clearly marked and separate from your editorial materials.

In the same way that search engine ads present elevated results (higher visibility) as an advertiser-valued placement, News should really look at the value of its pages and ask the question "Whom do I present the most value to, and what does the audience engagement look like?"

@Oriane, you said yourself you get 10 PR requests a day. (Sadly, you probably don't get 10 advertising requests a day.) Let's say you are actually interested in one story out of the 10, and the rest you don't really want to write about. You give them all the option of putting their story on your site, and charge them a flat rate of say $200/mo. If 9 of them take you up on it, it's $1800/mo that you're making, compounding daily as you add more. And, it's 100% ethical and above-board because it doesn't influence your writing in any way, and it's marked as Sponsored Content so that it's fully transparent to your readers.

I just can't get past this frustration of mine, that it's not an obvious business model for News. They already do $billions in "special supplements" and advertorial in the print model, but no one thinks to expand the idea into something new and scalable for online News.

As a startup, we're trying to change a lot of attitudes and business practices. We've been very successful at getting major mainstream news outlets to carry our automated advertorial platform via their existing ad servers - we work hard to make sure that the stories are professionally reviewed and aren't diminishing the quality of their editorial - but we're frustrated by their inability to deeply invest in innovation around this model. Their sales teams are frankly still getting ramped up on digital, and are primarily focused on banners and video.

At a core infrastructure level, most mainstream publishers are simply not equipped to support innovation. Period. Not at a technical level, and not at an organizational level. They can't even really test ideas easily, because they don't have a culture of testing like a lot of pure-play online media do.

So, I guess the inevitable conclusion is that there will be some teardown, in order to build up the next generations of news media giants. In the meantime, we'll keep plugging away...

Dana Todd, CMO
Newsforce Network
www.newsforcenetwork.com

4/21/2009 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Sean Capone said...

To untitled: I read numerous critical reviews which question the validity and quality of the show, notably Jerry Saltz, Matthew Collings, Peter Schjeldahl, Paddy Johnson, and even Holland Cotter. These are obviously the big hitters but these critics raise concerns in their reviews all the time, most recently in the reviews of 'Younger Than Jesus'. I notice that the critics *are* more prone to taking swings at large shows and at the big artists whose market position makes them pretty immune to criticism anyway. But IMO the ostensible role of criticism (the kind I enjoy anyway) is to establish a position that goes beyond the good/bad judgment value; that takes on a more challenging philosophical dialogue on the nature of the work, exhibition, or culture at large. Good or bad, deserved or undeserved, that's really your call at the end of the day.

to Ed: We have heard many calls to action about the 'expanded role of art' in the post-market driven economy. Everyone's hoping for the next paradigm in art production and circulation, but they're challenging the artists to take on the task. Maybe the expanded role of the gallerist/journalist (because face it: you are both at this point) is to engage in a broader array of activities and interests that more closely resembles the way ideas and images circulate in our brave new world (and the way that artists make art). Maybe simply displaying art and selling it just doesn't represent the full scope of action anymore. Maybe someone like you is in a good position to fully embrace your multiple activities as an art dealer, critic, writer, activist, taste-maker...

I'm not sure where to take it from there but all I mean is: everyone recognizes that things are changing, old ways are evolving or dying off, and that grand narratives and single functions are a thing of the past..

4/21/2009 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Oriane Stender said...

"@Oriane, you said yourself you get 10 PR requests a day. (Sadly, you probably don't get 10 advertising requests a day.) Let's say you are actually interested in one story out of the 10, and the rest you don't really want to write about. You give them all the option of putting their story on your site,"

Dana, you're talking to the wrong person because I don't even have a site. I'm not quite sure how what your suggesting is different from advertising (or the dreaded "advertorial," an Orwellian oxymoron if ever there was one). I'm old-fashioned; I occasionally write something for a magazine (Artnet), where I have to pitch an idea to the editor, have it accepted, have the piece edited, and get paid for it. I like that model. I don't have a blog because I'm not under the delusion that every passing thought I have is of interest to other people, I'm not on Facebook (status update: narcissistic and self-involved?) because I'm not interested in what you had for dinner or in hearing from people I went to junior high with (junior high was bad enough the first time around; why would I want to relive it?), and I'm just now putting together a website of my artwork and writings for informational purposes. But I've procrastinated on that for so long because if anyone is interested, they can google me (or google-image me) and see a whole bunch of stuff on gallery and other websites. But when my website is up and running (it is actually up, but there aren't very many images posted yet), I'm not going to have any advertising on it. I've got that thoroughly outdated 'maintaining my integrity thing' going on. I went to your site and the first thing that happened was a pop-up with someone yakking to me about "my brand" and how I should want to do something or other with it. I left before I even figured out what your site is about. So you can see that I'm not your ideal client or target or audience, or whatever they call it in the PR world.

4/21/2009 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous untitled said...

To Sean: I wouldn't exactly call Jerry Saltz a serious critic- entertainer is more like it. At any rate, I agree about what you say regarding the role of the critic being somewhat philosophical, but that kind of discussion about art is not going on in the reviews. Granted there are space and format limitations, but most of the reviews are done by people who aren't really qualified. In many cases, they're just uninformed (regarding critical theory)artists themselves.

And yes, big artists and group shows are fair game to most critics, because they're safe. But what about all the crap that's turned out at your average gallery on a monthly basis? In Los Angeles, some of the most popular artists, i.e. Dave Mueller, Laura Owens and Sam Durant make work that is utterly superficial and simple-minded, yet have attained art-world celebrity status (though being a celebrity in the art world is still pretty pathetic compared to being a real celebrity).

4/21/2009 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

Wow, that sounded pretty harsh, didn't it? Sorry Dana. Sometimes I get a little cranky when something sticks in my craw, but it's nothing personal. Please forgive the negative tone.

Oriane

4/21/2009 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

This general statement:But what about all the crap that's turned out at your average gallery on a monthly basis? In Los Angeles, some of the most popular artists, i.e. ---, --- and --- make work that is utterly superficial and simple-minded, yet have attained art-world celebrity status... Replace the "---" with any artist of your choice.

Some variant of this statement is a commonly heard complaint, either aloud or silently to oneself. I don't exclude myself either, the majority of the exhibitions on view here in NYC are not very satisfying to me personally, I walk in and walk out. Anything I like I see at least twice.

Even if the current economic implosion should cause half the galleries to close, the art exhibited in the remaining half, would probably not be any better.

Bad art, as the reader defines it, will continue to exist in about the same proportion. Why this should occur is one of the mysterious realities of life, different people have different tastes, are smarter or dumber than you, promote their friends and lovers, know what they can sell, you know, stuff happens and it doesn't always make sense. People are flawed.

This means that artists you (the general you) don't like will become important and famous. If you don't like Warhol, it doesn't matter, it won't change his status in history. What does matter is that you know that you don't like Warhol because that informs the path you choose to take as an artist.

I have seen people waste inordinate amounts of time complaining about artists they dislike. I question what purpose this serves. Is it serving to mollify the disgruntled viewers ego? I suspect a side effect of this negativity is that it serves to close off some creative avenues for the artist - neural short circuits.

I tend to not write about art I dislike because I find it a waste of time. However, I will look at work I find unresolved (bad) and try to understand why I feel that way. Bad art has been around forever and artists continually make the same mistakes.

4/21/2009 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous untitled said...

Are there two different conversations going on here?

4/21/2009 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

Art is too complex now to have good critics. You only have critics that love certain aspect of art better than others. Any artist, even a great artist, will meet a portion of audience that will not be able to like what they do. It's just a mushroom vs carrot thing. That's why I find ridiculous people who pigeonhole whole trends or schools in art and say that this is bad. They don't get it, do they? It's like music, you have country, opera and tecnno.


Cedric Caspesyan

4/21/2009 02:53:00 PM  
Anonymous untitled said...

regarding what George says and in reference to Warhol, whether one cares for Warhol's work on a personal level or not is unimportant because Warhol has been proven to be important. But we're talking about everyday contemporary artists and why they are not challenged by critics. Most of them don't stand the test of time precisely because they don't contribute anything to the discipline. Why don't critics go after these artists and reveal them as weak? Why is the fact that most art in the galleries sucks not acknowledged in art mags?

4/21/2009 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Why don't critics go after these artists and reveal them as weak? This is my point, who says they are "weak" ?

From what you say it appears that some people don't think this is the case, and therein lies the problem.

Time does sort this out eventually but in the present, fashion and politics have always been strong influences. In my opinion the critic plays a secondary role, mediating between the artist and the public. But, in the end the public, the culture, selects from what resonates at the time.

4/21/2009 09:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric C said...

Anon,

1) First you should mention who you think is over-rated. This discussion begins with you.

2) Some journalists, example most contributors on Artnet, have mentioned at one point or another that most current art sucks (Saltz, Finch, Kuspit (he hates everything)).

3) It's ok that art sucks. It's normal. You can get great art
without the mediocre to compare it with. Mediocrity in fact doesn't actually exists, it's an illusion of mediocrity.


A while ago I was talking to a major curator (now museum director)
and I said I thought Andrea Zittel rocked. This person thought she
was way over-rated and would never include her in a show. That's
just taste, you know? And sadly, museums have favorites depending
of who's deciding. It's just not fair (unless you buy the art and force-feed the museum by donations).

Cedric Casp

4/21/2009 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Ced said...

You CAN'T get great art without the mediocre to compare it with.

Ouf,

Cedric

4/21/2009 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Cedric - you're right on the money.

If you're an artist, the real issue is why any of it should matter.

4/21/2009 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous untitled said...

Its not a question of just decrying the state of art. Its a matter of having an insightful understanding of why artworks are or are not effective or significant. the problem lies in the fact that rigorous criticism is not found in art mags. so if not there, than where can it be found?

4/22/2009 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

the problem lies in the fact that rigorous criticism is not found in art mags.
I'm not sure this really matters. What is rigorous criticism supposed to do?

4/22/2009 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Casp said...

Don't just read the big commercial mags. They are still "vigorous" magazines out there. That doesn't mean you would enjoy the art they write about.

I don't share this sentiment that they are no negative reviews anymore. Maybe because I'm in Canada (people love to complain, here), or maybe I read too many art blogs. The "bitch" button is very easy in blog mode. I'm quite a severe audience myself. It's been to the point where I had to tell myself "Ced, if you're going to bitch and whine all day when you go visit art, why don't you stop it and do something else". When you start feeling a great lack of enthousiasm into something, just move on. I think that's why bitchy journalists are absent. They gave up. They found other interests. You want them to develop cancer from being grudgy all the time? You devilish?

And what canons are you seeking in these present days? That's more or less gone. You may have trends, but there is few "this artist is important because they turned the boat upside down". Artists are popular for being good at doing something, and then sadly you move on to the next (horizontal pluralism).


Cedric Caspesyan

4/23/2009 04:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

What is rigorous criticism supposed to do?I vote for "insightful understanding of why artworks are or are not effective or significant" and the public exercise thereof.

Untitled, to answer your question, sort of, criticism has two fundamental problems working against it.

The first is that criticism has a longstanding intellectual link to academia and a professional link to journalism, neither of which fully suits the practice of criticism itself. The grandiose pursuit of piddling knowledge has been a hallmark of humanities studies for a hundred years - Frank Jewett Mather wrote about it - but when deconstructionist authors became popular in the late Eighties and early Nineties, academia really went off the deep end, and art criticism has only begun to recover. And while criticism borrowed its form from journalism, they're completely different activities, albeit excercised alongside one another out of necessity. Now that the economics of journalism are heaving, critics are paying the price for that linkage, as they get dumped from the papers like ballast from a crashing balloon.

The second problem is that the success of art criticism is locked to the success of the art of its time, and the last movement in art to catch on in a big way was Pop. Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol are household names. Beuys and Judd are not. Their antecedents are known primarily to specialists. Given the track record of the last forty years, it's not impossible to imagine that art will never significantly influence the culture at large again. The primary driver of visual culture (not just art, but design, illustration, and any man-made thing with a visual element) right now isn't a style, it's a tool - the computer. Computers are fascinating, but not for reasons that would be useful to an art critic. Art criticism is an ancillary activity of art making, and the fleas aren't going to go anywhere that the dog doesn't take them.

The first problem will sort itself out as self-publishing becomes increasingly common and remunerative. The second problem could end up gutting the genre.

4/23/2009 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous untitled said...

people are honest on blogs, but thats a different story from art mags obviously. so again, my question: why do no young artists get rigorous critique, and does that end after you leave the grad school seminar, never to return?

4/23/2009 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Casp said...

Hmmm...Beuys is almost a pop icon in Germany. I think it's the Americas that don't know him well. He's an artist that is both hermetic and accessible, depending of the perspective or how you
approach his art.

Judd: oh well. I think the market destroys his art. People laugh at a wooden cube selling for 2 millions. And it's sad because the discourse is lost along the way. Beuys has sort of bypassed the market. He's not too relevant there.


Anon: maybe if a critic ignores a new artist (by writting about the one they love), it's more telling than getting a bad review. A absence of reviews is cruel, and quite common.

They are ways to make art that can't be ignored, even if it's bad. Example if you stick 4000 posters in your city. People at some point will sound ridiculous if they ignore you. You can annoy the hell out of people so much that your only hope is getting a bad review. And that could be fun!
Just doing everything so wrong to have everyone write bad reviews: the new challenge!


Cedric Casp


(as anyone brought that Nicaragua artist who attached a dog in New York yet? Ah, she deserves it! It's one of the most talked about artist on Youtube. Can you believe it? She had no chances to be heard from being in Nicaragua. You got to give her credits. (and people completely misunderstood that the gallery was actually feeding that dog)).

4/23/2009 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Baseball Pins said...

I enjoyed this article and really admire the determination the Columbian lady portrayed.

5/18/2009 12:07:00 PM  

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