ARTifice: Fear and Loathing in DC, a group blog from American University’s MFA department, posted an interesting item yesterday about a March 7 panel discussion at Transformer. The discussion was about the role of art critics today—and, apparently, print versus blogs, art versus commerce, intellectuals versus the great unwashed, etc. (Disclosure: I work with one of the panelists, Kriston Capps, a City Paper contributor; another panelist, Glenn Dixon, is a former CP arts editor; yet another, Rachel Beckman, is a former CP intern. While we’re at it, I may as well disclose that I edit the paper’s long art reviews, and that I believe both blogging about art and long art reviews published on dead-tree media to be excellent things.) Money quote:
Overall, the panel was very hesitant to promote the blog. [Scultpure Sculpture‘s Glenn] Harper maintains that the print version has a certain aura and documentation quality. If an artist is featured on Sculpture magazine’s website rather than their printed magazine, the sculptor is usually angry. Material still dominates, adds [Hirshhorn staffer and panel moderator Ryan] Hill. Or does it? Dixon polls the panel audience. Who even reads blogs? 80% of the group raises their hands. Dissatisfied he emphasizes, but who reads ART blogs? 75% He is gonna prove his point somehow. But who revisits those same sites? 50% Then an older woman behind me screams “Get with the times!”
More proof of the death of print, or just evidence that audiences at art events skew toward the blog-savvy?
(Hat tip to Mid Atlantic Art News.)