Sunday, March 27, 2005

What It's All About

Karen D'Amico of Fluid Thinking has mentioned my blog! I am truly honoured. Anyone who posits the question,
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?
is alright with me.

She also provided a link to NEWSGrist's interesting series of articles going back to June of last year. There is even a PDF link to a research paper by Marie Omann entitled Artblogs: Why Such a Timid Emergence?

In the paper, Omann wonders why artists have not embraced the weblog in the same way that people working in other fields have. I have wondered that myself. Although the paper was written last year and there have been many more artblogs introduced into the ether since, there does seem to be a general lack of interest in them as a structure for communication and community. My friends and family rarely read my blog (with the exception of k.) let alone consider starting one themselves.

I think I understand why many artists don't want to expose themselves through blogging. Publishing anything online, even under another identity, does expose you in both good and bad ways. Who wants to put themselves up for ridicule? Omann writes:
Time has an irreversible character in blogging as in real time communication: just as you cannot take back a word spoken, you cannot deny a post published in your blog, though you can effectively delete it (or some of its content) after having published it. The way of writing is instant and spontaneous and therefore you can easily end up writing something you regret the moment later.
I have noticed in my short time here, that the fear of looking like an idiot can be immobilizing. Institution-raised artists are aware of the competitive aspects of the game of art. Who is smart, clever, insightful, going places? Who is a total hack, amateur, headed for the local community art centre?

E, an admittedly clever and insightful artist once said of another artist "Keep reaching for that middle rung". She didn't say it to his face. If he had had a blog, however, she might have felt no compunction in dropping him an anonymous comment.

Artists know that artists can be mean. There is often little difference between criticizing (in the vernacular) and critique. I know because I'm an artist and have made people cry and have enjoyed it. Whether I'm proud of that fact or not depends on the number of shots I've kicked back after the opening.


Blogger ivanpope said...

No idea why more artists don't blog. Actually, I have a very good idea. Artists are insecure, competitive and slaves to myth. It's really not cool to reveal working process. I started my blog because I realised you never heard the direct voice of a working artist - only a voice mediated by media or art or whatever.
I find that you have to work and work at the blog and then to regard it as only use to yourself. If it's done one thing for me, it's allowed me to look back and see what I was on about a few months before. And also to point at my work and say, see, see, there is a point to it, it does go somewhere. But the level of commentary and involvement is so low, I'm not sure whether it has any external impact. I do get over 3000 visits a month now, so something leaks out ...

4:37 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hi Ivan,

wow! 3000 visits a month is excellent. I've stopped looking at my stats as I found it both distracting and disconcerting.

Most of the comments I get involve spelling errors.

I do see your site as being an open studio, which is nice. I enjoy knowing that someone out there is plugging away, actually making things. It gives me hope.

I'm still trying to figure out what (and who) my blog is for.

11:04 AM  

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