This class is a workshop, open to anyone with any level of tech and design knowledge. We’ll focus on the internet, discuss digital services, and contribute to image communities outside of the academic environment.
It’s basically a surf club. The sweaty palm kind, not the salt water kind. We’ll be working with a group tumblr, a micro blogging platform, to share images, video, text, audio, and also interact with other users and visual communities.
I’ll encourage you to look at the internet a lot and improve your digital skills. For the neophyte, the off-the-grid back to earthers, pre-Raphaelites, burning man hippies, conscientious internet objectors, Photoshop atheists, or otherwise non adopters— we’ll deal with the very basics of image posting and what you’ll need to send your digital files of your art to fancy curators who are considering putting you in the Biennale. For the average internet users we’ll cover key services and evaluate the ways artists are using, or not using them. For advanced users we’ll be contributing to art media platforms covering the New York gallery, museum, and studio scene.
From here on out I encourage you to google everyone you meet, pass judgment, and assume they are doing the same to you. The social web is deep penetration- it is unapologetically a part of your life as a creator, an artist, and as a citizen of culture. Ignoring it is your freedom as much as ignorance is bliss. I am not talking about personal branding, but about a conceptual space that your work will exist in- and does already exist in. Your mission is to become aware of it and take ownership.
All students will be encouraged to contribute images, perspectives, personal practice and theory. I’ll moderate the group blog, but very loosely. I encourage you to share your process and your influences. Build yourself a breadcrumb trail through this two year labyrinth, and then continue that trail throughout the city and its cultural offerings. Cover your tracks by constantly producing and creating, not by fearing who will see what you’re up to. As artists, you have chosen the one calling that most readily benefits from impropriety and scandal. Fear nothing.
The goal of this course is not to convert painting and sculpting zealots into technology geeks. What I’d like to do is help you better define your zealotry in relation to other contemporaneous modes of art making and develop strategies for sharing your work with the intended viewers. If any of you accidentally become full time bloggers I will resign immediately. I like bloggers. Many of my best friends are bloggers. But you came here for something else.
Let’s stick our toes into the trouble of relevance and contemporary art making. In this workship we will be thinner on theory and thicker on practice- I encourage less guess work and more looking. Go to shows and snap pictures. Think about them. Your assignment should you chose to accept it is to better see the nuanced relationships between contemporary artists and ‘scene.’ This does not have to mean art scene. If Chelsea or the LES doesn’t interest you, go to films in the east village, economic conferences at Columbia, cookouts in Greenpoint, ragers in Bushwick, homeless shelters, union meetings, drag clubs, young republican triathlete conventions, etc. Go to art things, yes, but also, more importantly, go to anything else. Capture what interests you, identify it and set it on fire. Figuratively, I’d prefer. Use this blog to share and build conversations around your work. There are a preponderance of motivations that drive any one creator. I encourage you to actively identify and confront your own, and to deposit a record for easy reference.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the aging trope “painting is dead.” It irked you enough that you’ve chosen a rigorous classical painting school for two years of technical training. I applaud that, and also the argument itself is a fossil, but you will hear it recycled from time to time. The problem with painting is not that it’s dead, but that it cannot die. You are not at risk for being obsolete- but you are at risk of working in zombie genres. I am encouraging you to understand your genre and transcend, invigorate, or defy it.
We’ll open each session with a brief overview of relevant web issues, discuss recent activity on the group blog, and look at examples of successful and unsuccessful artist websites. We’ll critique and rope in as many social issues, personal issues, gripes about public transportation, worthy museum shows, bad movies, etc. All topics are fair game so long as you can make the argument of value. Value to this class is anything that moves the conversation forward.
The second half of the class will be a group workshop in which we’ll take a look at individual tech or web concerns, ideas, notions and address them collectively or individually as needed.
If it pleases the crowd I’ll be bringing in other, truer webernauts to share some of their concepts, perspectives, and uses of the internet as a part of artistic practice. If anyone is further interested in tech as a part of practice I will direct you to people who know much more than I do.
The most beneficial version of this workshop will be one in which a diverse group of you participate and prove to know more about nearly everything than I do. The collective bits of insight are more valuable than any one contributors point of view—I will encourage you all to join in to whatever rhythm suits your style.
Onward then— to the internet.