Does it seem like everyone right now is on some god damn boat or on some god damn beach or in the god damn woods having a god damn good time? Well, you know where I am? In my god damn kitchen with no god damn money, worrying about my god damn visa, and having all this god damn crap I have accumulated over the past ten years all packed up around me. Needless to say I am in no god damn mood to be chipper and all posi about the god damn state of things especially when I start thinking about the god damn art world which is a god damn flaming piece of shit at the moment.
So let’s take a moment. Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out. Focus, relax, and let’s use this energy in another way.
Let’s talk about god damn art writing and my issues with it. This may not fix this piss mood I’m in but it will alleviate some of this tension that is pushing into my brain at the moment.
Art writing, art criticism is at a very strange point. The academic form of it is something that is made up but it does have a history and a formula. Mostly that formula takes much esteem and cue from mid century philosophers, almost exclusively white, male, and European, mixed with the side lining poets and beatniks mostly, white, male, gay, and American.
There were two forms of how this past writing was done. Of the first camp, it was dry, technical, psychoanalytical, and declarative in its authority. The second camp was more about opinion, observance, and peer driven. These are the camps that we have inherited and these are not band camps per se but they are stagnant in the relevancy of today.
Today, we have a new sort of form but it is determined by the avenues of publication more so then in the past. Now, art writing is done by a swath of writers that come from a variety of focuses and writing about art is like a category of writing in which they may participate in versus one of mastery. Mastery or course is not necessarily the goal or purpose. This new type of writing is mostly online, quick, linked and so specific in its focus (an artist, a news item) that it is disposable almost as soon as it is published.
There are other forms of new art writing that have various shades of gray between these two camps but most are in the old guard formulation or huddling close to the new guard as they are means to make a mark quickly and constantly if not definitively.
I write about this because I have been reflecting on why the hell I do this blog thing every week for going on almost four years now.
In the beginning I did it solely for the sake of empting my brain of art thoughts. A weekly excising so that I could fill my brain up some more and at times reflect on my previous notions. Also, the act of writing is a form that allows for a new type of thinking process, new thought strains and the surprising challenges and excitable feelings that comes with using language, sentence structure and words.
Now, after all these years and weeks I am sitting back and thinking well what of it now?
I have been thinking this over and I think I keep plugging along on this project because it has taught me that this is actually a project.
Maybe it is not ‘art’ in a certain way but to me, yes it actually is.
It is an ongoing demonstration of unabridged thinking and the actual way I write is something that frankly I am proud to consider a new form of art writing.
No, not a diaristic kind and certainly it needs considered improvements, but the overall idea that art criticism/art writing, can be/is a form of art and that the practice/form of it can be at the discretion and objective of the writer.
Writing, thinking, language is a form that is now more then ever necessary in contemporary art because there is a void of inpendent everything and ideas are still (possibly, hopefully), a bastion of this (independence).
So, what’s the point of all this? Nothing really, a way to make me feel slightly better about my day, about my talking to the void that is the internet, but it’s also a way to remind myself that god damn it, this is why I keep doing this thing.
Whoever you are, whatever it is that you do, always remember that you are the shit and no one, no one, can mess with that.