On 16/10/13 12:24 PM, Nicholas O'Brien wrote:
> In many ways, I feel glad that I don't make money
> to write my 2cents for that site because I feel it would put pressure on
> the type of contributions I want to make.
As someone else who has been given an online platform for my reviews
without being charged for it ( ;-) ), at Furtherfield, I do understand
and appreciate that freedom. I have made some money from reviewing (and
also turned down some money) over the years but it's never been my
Being asked to review work for Furtherfield came directly from my
self-directed blogging. Did your reviewing for Bad At Sports come about
as a result of other online activity?
> I think I've established a
> reputation of skepticism and criticality as a result of not having to
> do traditional reportage, and I'm very satisfied with the ways
> that's developed for me personally.
I think there is a suspicion of non-market-directed criticism and
non-market-directed art that combines in the perception of net art
reviewing. Have you found that?
> As a result, I often worry that I need to "represent" the work of my peers
> and other fellow "net ppl" in this context in order to champion that work
> within a broader art historical conversation. I hate having to do this, to
> be honest, because it means that my worries point to my own marginality as
> a writer and thinker, and as a result make me feel like I often have to
> defend work, projects, or artists in such a way that I otherwise wouldn't
I'm very happy to be able to play a small part in popularising the work
I like. Marginality isn't a problem for me (although they did also laugh
at Bozo The Clown...). Do you ever not review work because you would not
be able to champion it?
> need to as a salaried critic. In other words, because it's a labor of love,
> I tend to love the work I write about. Whereas if I was a paid critic I
> wonder if I might not be more overtly critical about the
> failings/shortcomings of digital disciplines. But I try to pepper that in
> when I can and strike a balance between rooting for my peeps and taking
> them - and myself - to task when need be.
Paid criticism comes with its own problems. :-)
>> Are these collaborative, iterative, performative practices and if so, are
>> they all that new? And how else might the be described?
> Following up on the above (in a way), I tend to think about my
> writing/criticism as a central part of my artistic practice. I don't think
> "right, now I'm a critic doing the critic thing." That writing is just one
> element or a larger practice, and I tend to think of many artists/academics
> that feel the same way (the good ones at least). Within my own "writing"
Yes this is very much a feature of art culture online IMO.
There are precedents for this in offline art, but it's much more a norm
This is where I think the calls for ethnographic or sociological
approaches in this conversation hit the mark: there is something novel
> I've tried to do several interviews with artists that employ their medium
> to talk about their work. This has manifested by talking with Jon Rafman in
> SecondLife, interviewing with Jason Rohrer through his gameSleep is Death,
> and having a discussion with Ryder Ripps in Dump.fm. I think of these
> scenarios of not only enacting the medium/discipline of the artist as a
> site to meta-discuss their work, but also as a way of practicing my own
> ability as a writer. In other words, how can SecondlLife be a writing
> platform the same way as Dump.fm. So to describe these practices and
> processes as something limited to a singular form (like writing) seems to
> negate the potential for a critic to be able to express their craft in
> other mediums.
Excellent! Do you have links to those?