Thursday, September 29, 2016

what is artforuming?

aLfrEdo tRifF

at some point during the late 1990s the task given to art writers was to pack less content per article as the publication packed more content per page (see that these are functions with diametrically opposite curves).

what happened? the media industry offered a miscellanea of reasons:

*"higher amount of characters per column interferes with brain's ability to scan through text easily,"
* "the quartz curve: fast and focused and shareable, but not long enough to be a pay-off for readers,"
*"shorter articles are shared more often,"
*"less is more" (dah)
* "SEO favors leanness"
* "the attention span of a regular reader is 9 sec."

wasn't that always the case for the average reader?

never mind, the constant remains,

content = $elling content. 

which, in the context of contemporary art means,

short reviews = $ale$ pitches (disguised as art fact$).

with more content variety one would expect more stylistic diversity. instead, artforum has built a stylistic homogeneity, which oscillates between the brainiac (either theory-laden or theory-related), to epiphanic rantings (the kantian-sublime-prop implicit). many of these reviews feel unconvinced, as if the text vacillates between the needed pitch to $ell and ramain true to one's own duty of good faith to the public after all these are persons, not artforum robots.  

in short,    

Hanne Darboven’s systematic output is intimidating, partly due to its inscrutability but mostly because of its scope and ambitionThis is serious work, as in labor, and it is displayed here to a rare enough degree that initial feelings of awe turn into a strange sense of gratitude.
above is a typical example by reviewer Honora Shea. after the epiphanic declaration in yellow comes a faux pas:
"... this is serious work."  
as if one didn't get a goody load in the first sentence, i.e.,

"systematic," "intimidating," "inscrutability," "scope" & "ambition."

not just work, but "serious work." what's the difference? you expect to move into darvoben's work. yet,
"... as in labor."
as in labor? what else would work mean if not, well, labor?

if one errs once one may err twice:
"... and it is displayed here to a rare enough degree."
rare enough degree?  

(so that),
... initial feelings of awe turn into a strange sense of gratitude. 
me too share the awing for artforuming.


Malagodi said...

You don''t expect art forum to read like Slaghterhouse 5, do you?

Alfredo Triff said...

Watch out, you're mellowing Mr. Malagodi.