Taken from Gaping Void Blog; a cartoon drawn by Hugh McLeod in response to a blog post at Global Neighbourhoods Blog; with a subsequent response at All Things Distributed. Blog networking Power.
In line with my discussions about the state of art blog criticism, I would like to use my own differing experiences of writing for myself on Art in Practice and through my recent contributions to XBLOG.
Although I do not believe that either my own blog nor the XPACE Blog would be classified as criticism in the sense that I would hope art criticism to be within - it's certainly a different experience to write for one's self than for a gallery's blog. In my own circumstances, the public aspect of my writing seems all the more distant, while my contributions to XPACE must incorporate a consideration for the audience I am writing for; although potentially quite similar to my own, it's definitely a criteria. I also consider within this audience, the affiliation of the gallery and its artists within the larger community - with institutional partnership, they work directly with artists, their work and that subsequent exchange and promotion - if I am to talk about artists, their association in any part to XPACE must be considered - moving back to Terrance Dick's admittance of not wanting to bump into anyone who he may have spoken ill about in his Akimblog and otherwise - I am not only representing my own reputation, but that of an institution in addition to my own character when I'm writing for XPACE.
There are no parametres when writing content for XPACE, there is a consensus on what is considered criticism within the context of the institution as well as a concept of audience. Contributors are expected to somehow fit within that context. Individuality and content is preserved and encouraged - which is interesting, because I have the option of free reign and content on my own blog, why do I chose to contribute material through an institution - regardless of how free of editorial intervention it may be? For credentials of course; holding associations with an organization means that you and your work are set to qualifying standards. Other important considerations could include access to a broader audience, and the opportunity for furthered public discussion on your topics and ideas? Would it be the same comparison in the print publishing world either through the community of DIY zine culture or through a long-running magazine publication? Maybe it's better to pursue both options - a good example being Leah Sandals' blog Un-edit my Heart where she offers herself the opportunity to relax from the conditioning of print journalism.
Publishing in print seems like the Holy Grail in writing accomplishments, especially for someone like me who is just beginning to break into this territory - but honestly, there's a lot more work and certainly more compromises involved, if only in the beginning stages - a good writer does not require much editing, or the writers are already accomplished to a level where no one would care to intervene in the writing style or content (I'm sure this changes drastically from magazine to magazine and among editors, but all the same). It's easier and more reflexive to publish online and to assert free reign over content and opinions, accepting spelling and grammatical errors as facts of life. There's a rush at hopping on the bandwagon, but only when it runs along a parallel road that may suit as a compliment.