Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Future of Art Criticism: Art Critic Jerry Saltz Interacts on Social Network

Facebook Screengrab AFC / www.artfagcity.com

Notable art critics can be tougher to reach than the President-- or a former President for that matter. That said, I noticed that Paddy Johnson from Art Fag City picked up on an interesting online debate spurred by art critic Jerry Saltz. Art bloggers often mention how Saltz interacts with his followers on various social networks-- in this case he asked an open question focused on which art critics and art publications his ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ liked best. (My understanding is that he asked the questions on Facebook and Twitter).

Apparently Saltz was a bit puzzled at the fact that most of the people who commented liked ArtForum, but were not exactly fans of ArtForum critics. From what I gathered art critic Dave Hickey was the favored art critic among those who commented. There were also a number of art blogs mentioned-- which reveals the changing 'landscape' of art criticism in general. I think it is great that Saltz is open to this form of debate and feedback.
Saltz has reach online and offline...

Jerry Saltz, a senior art critic for New York Magazine, is often quoted for having said, "We live in a Wikipedia art world. Twenty years ago, there were only four to five encyclopedias--and I tried to get into them. Now, all writing is in the Wikipedia. Some entries are bogus, some are the best. We live in an open art world.".
It should be noted that Saltz has been nominated three times for a Pulitzer Prize in Criticism-- it should also be noted that art bloggers-- and online critics / journalists in general-- can now be considered for a Pulitzer Prize. Yes, the art world is open-- the world is open. The credentials of old are just that-- old. The future is open to a new wave of opinions.
Today any critic can establish a following regardless of academic background or professional connections. With a bit of internet savvy an online critic can reach thousands of readers daily. I suppose only time will tell if this 'open world' is a good direction for art criticism in general. My bet is that it is as long as the art criticism is informed.
Thinking about this begs the question-- will the influential voices of the future art world be traditional publication art critics or will they be independent art bloggers who explore art criticism on their own terms? Perhaps a mix of both? Is the future now? What say you?

Link of Interest:

Massive Links! Social Media/Credit Default Swap Edition -- Art Fag City
Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
Myartspace Blog on Twitter


Anonymous said...

Paper publications are dead. They won’t be here in five years. A lot of the hired critics refuse to post 3 or 5 times per day like the high traffic blogs do. The paper critics are used to writing a few articles per week or per month. It can be very hard to change modes of work if you have been doing it one way for over a decade.

hyokon said...

I think Internet will play much more important role than printed media in arts (and everywhere). Internet has interaction and participation, which the printed media does not have.

As with any innovation, this change in technology platform will result in change in contents. So, there will be bloggers who will become popular on this wave, and critics who does not adopt Internet who will fade away.

Finally, as Internet makes it possible for us to see more arts, there will be demand for more art critics who specialize in a special niche. And I think a lot of them will come from amateur art fans who love blogging about arts.