Kunstkritikk.no has a blog about art criticism and blogging, written by Leif Magne Tangen and full of interesting links and thoughts about what art critics blogging, or criticism in blogs, might mean. (Yes, it was finding this blog with its link to my blog that gave me the kick in the butt to actually write about Farteins hage, for instance.)

Among other things, Leif Magne links to a discussion about The State of Criticism where some of the participants have blamed blogging for the demise of traditional art criticism, though to be fair that original article also points out many positive aspects of “the diffusion of power”. Tyler Green has some interesting points, in particular noting out the myth of the golden age:

  1. There never was a golden age of art critics when the world moved in lock-step with what art critics said is good and bought/museo-attended accordingly. Never was. And every story I’ve read seems to start with the belief that such a time existed. The whole question of “influence” is a canard. What is “influence” anyway? (And don’t gimme Clem — at times he acted as much like a production-determining/controlling/advising dealer as anything else.)
  2. On blogs and art: There is a historical precedent for the role blogs play in the art world. What we do is quite similar to the role pamphleteers/’zines/etc. have played in conversations about art in the last 120 years. Guillaume Apollinaire, to name one example, wrote in tabloid handouts, sometimes doing no more than listing the artists who were in shows he’d seen. Freebie tabloids = blogs. Apollinaire’s columns were often sandwiched betwen patent medicine ads. Kind of reminds me of Google Ads for erotic art posters I see ’round the ‘net.

I found out about Alexandre Dumas’ personal newspaper last week. Thomas Edison’s diaries are another example of blog-like things famous people did in the olden days.

Has anyone written a pre-history of blogs yet?

3 thoughts on “art criticism and blogging

  1. Angela Thomas

    There’s a great article by Jose van Dijk called “Composing the Self:
    Of Diaries and Lifelogs” here:
    that explores the relationship between “traditional” diaries and blogs.
    It may be slightly different to what you’re after but the references point to other possible historical diary writing. I’ve used this article a lot with teachers when doing
    a “what’s the same and what’s new?” about this social/discursive practice kind of discussion.

  2. thomas m

    This is probably a bit on the side of what you are both writing about and asking for, however it’s a really intereseting read!

  3. jill/txt » the prehistory of blogs

    […] Other items in the prehistory of blogs include Alexandre Dumas’ personal newspaper, Thomas Edison’s diaries and art criticism in pamphlets and zines. Filed under:General, blog theorising — Jill @ 10:07 [ ] […]

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