I was looking at a lot of art in New York City this weekend ... at MoMa and in the galleries around Chelsea too. And it made me think about blogs-as-art. And whether bloggers are just kind of opting-out of artistry. From the Steve Himmer essay I linked below:
The latitude allowed a weblogger, over time, to unfold the many aspects of his or her life and personality, and to do so in the same space in which they offer commentary on politics and culture, is a luxury not afforded to journalists or even novelists: discrete, commodifiable work requires a purpose, a point, or at the very least a markable focus. This is not to say, however, that the self presented on a weblog is a “complete” or even an accurate one: just as in journalism, memoir, or fiction, decisions are made about what to include and what to exclude. The weblogger, in that sense, can be read as fictional, as a character, in precisely the same ways that Andy Rooney or James Joyce can be—furthering the collapse between factual and fictional, public and private, and distinct genres in general. The play of time in the weblog allows for the presence of what Walter Benjamin calls an “aura,” the work’s “presence in time and space, its unique existence in the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence” (p. 222). The weblog—rather, the weblog as it was in the moment before the most recent addition or change—cannot be reproduced: it is inextricably bound with its moment of production, and that moment is lost when a new moment occurs in its place.
But that got me to thinking about a potentially Scott-off-pissing blog about which last year's class obsessed for a while. We went back to its beginning and thumbed around in it and could not decide how much of it was real. Since then, I see she kept it going, though a title change that happened right here. And here it is today. But she seems to epitomize some of the issues discussed in the essay, which continues:
That the weblog is always in process, never completed, can be read as both its greatest strength and, in another way, its weakness as a form. Burger (1995) argues that the project of the avant-garde is to collapse the distinction between the art object and the process of its creation, that art (and the creation of art) should be integrated into the practice of everyday life. “What is negated,” Burger writes,
is not an earlier form of art (a style) but art as an institution that is unassociated with the life praxis of men. When the avant-gardistes demand that art become practical once again, they do not mean that the contents of works of art should be socially significant. The demand is not raised at the level of the contents of individual works. Rather, it directs itself to the way art functions in society, a process that does as much to determine the effects that works have as does the particular content. (p. 49)