how to emerge?
Blogging versus Tweeting?
Last night I attended a talk at the Peckham Space led by Andrew Bryant on the subject of blogging. The blogger-speakers were Alex Pearl and Aliceson Carter. Long before the talk, and in my own mind, and on Twitter, the talk for me had become a debate on the merits of blogging versus tweeting.
Probably, because, until this week, I hadn’t blogged for 158 days.
In reality it was a talk on blogging, with a couple of us louder audience members pointing out the merits of Twitter, not least, for sign-posting your blog!
In Andrew’s Bryant’s introduction it was interesting to hear some of the reasons why people read or write blogs today:
‘a window onto someone’s practice’
‘a place for discussion & dialogue’
‘a way of reflecting on one’s own practice, and also as an extension of one’s practice’
I have only come to Alex’s blog ‘Redundant Alex’ recently, and through his own sign-posting on Twitter. In it he talks about everything but art, except in an off-hand way to comment on the creation or demise of certain pieces – cress-based, and proun to life and death at the whim or forgetfulness of the grower. It is self-deprecating, humourous and, occasionally, reading between the lines of this character, Alex, as he cleans the house, and gets rejected from commissions he was personally rung-up and urged-on to take, poignant and moving.
Alex gave a really good talk: a talk he told us (without irony?) his girlfriend, Annabel, had written for him – in the third person. So, as he pointed out, it was like reading out your own obituary! I was listening too hard to write much down:
‘I don’t talk about Art much in my blogs, more about my life around it ….’
‘Nowadays it is quite fashionable to think about the back-room place of an artist’.
‘I hide behind the pretense that it may or may not be real.’
And my favourite, on the number and variety of blogs: ‘They are like me quite unsure about what they are.’
He also mentioned that he tries to end on a cliff-hanger!
Now I will now go in search of Aliceson Carter’s blog, which I don’t know.
Thinking about the ‘me, me, me’ culture and the art of self-promotion, it occurred to me that the days of an artist sitting in their studio waiting to be discovered are long gone, now there are so many artists – or would that be: too many artists? As Market Projects recently asked – that artists have been forced to take steps to bring themselves to the attention of others – artists, curators, gallerists, press etc.
A decade ago all the talk was about having a website, now that is so passive (although still necessary) then about five years ago it became about blogging and now it’s Twitter.
But the irony is that each one, faster and less labour-intensive then the last, leads one with perfect symmetry from one to another and back again.
An artist makes work, they place pictures on their website, they write on their blog, they tweet a message that they have written a new blog piece, the blog piece links them to the website, and the website provides Twitter/or other links with the artist.
More recently this has been interrupted with the introduction of pictures straight onto the Twitter site. The end of writing? The beginning of pictures with twitter-length captions – comic book/zine world? Indeed, in a recent Garageland call-out proposal I suggested writing tweet-length answers to big questions, mainly because I wanted to see if it was possible, and what would happen if one limited oneself to around 140 characters? Would ideas become such small nuggets of information, they could only be formed into questions to make any sense, and create the usual Twitter-type banter. I felt rising panic as I pressed the send button, it seems an impossible feat.
Finally: Why do we tweet? Because it’s like texting but better because you have a whole audience!
Why do we blog? Because writing into the silent ether can also be satisfying.