April 13, 2005

Giving Hoots

OwlCloseup.jpg
So now, I take a harder look at the agenda:


* who has been given, and who has taken, voice in the recent text-based mini-boom?

Giving and taking a voice? How paternalist! It's like asking for your allowance. Or taking it. It brings to mind the beginning of "Sideways" where Paul Giamatti's Miles taps in to his mother's secret money stash. And then the tempo slows down sadly (reminding me of Leaving Las Vegas) as Miles lingers on the family fotos in the wreckage of his debasement.

If you got a voice, sing.
After that, it's all gravy.

It's just that simple.


* how have blogs and other electronic and web-based delivery systems challenged the traditional printed page?

The challenge to the printed page has happened only in the bigger media-verse (NYT et al). In the artworld, either it hasn't happened (although there are many more art bloggers out there, thank G-d) or has yet to happen or it won't happen. Since the artworld is powered by prestige, the humblness of a weblog won't topple the social architecture of the traditional printed page and all that goes with it.

But it might fill in the gaps, doing things that the big art media can't do. And that's alot.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it will challenge by being more alive. Why not?


* how do these initiatives distribute activism, gossip and ?conventional? criticism?

Distribute activism?

Distribute?

(I sense an engineer's mentality.)


* what has happened to the question of ?style??

A question for the ages, convulsively asked in every generation.


* what part do institutions, academies and local communities play in all this?

(Shake it off, Dennis.)
Well.... what parts can we invite them to play?

Lemme see...

They can reinvest into publishing (PRUESSPRESS!) by irrigating flegling presses with money, backing projects, more discussions, more symposia like this one.. they can get more active in the exchange of ideas. You know, the institutions can reinvest to serve the dialog, and don't just take the ticket price and pad your 401K's.

UPDATE: Here's Rupert Murdoch on the role of newspapers in the digital age.

I just saw a report that showed Google News?s traffic increased 90 percent over the past year while at the excellent New York Times website, traffic decreased 23 percent. The challenge for us ? for each of us in this room ? is to create an internet presence that is compelling enough for users to make us their home page. Just as people traditionally started their day with coffee and the newspaper, in the future, our hope should be that for those who start their day online, it will be with coffee and our website.

To do this, though, we have to refashion our web presence. It can?t just be what it too often is today: a bland repurposing of our print content. Instead, it will need to offer compelling and relevant content. Deep, deep local news. Relevant national and international news. Commentary and Debate. Gossip and humor.

If there are any qualities that maintstream media shares with artworld media, then this speech is a goldmiine (see UPDATE2 below). I suggest this guardedly because of the special differences between the art world and the mainstream media, but they share institutional similarities and there is a shared population. A public that's changed for the mainstream media has also changed for the little-big artworld.


* have these ventures disturbed or simply rearticulated ideas of the local, the metropolitan, the regional and the international or global?

Or outer spacery or even farther?

Rearticulation is never simple. It's a heartbreaker. Don't do it, son. It'll be disturbing if you venture in that way.

UPDATE: Thinking about the Murdoch link above, check out his divisions:

-Deep, deep local news.

-Relevant national and international news.

-Commentary and Debate.

-Gossip and humor.

(blogs perform three of these functions)

***

Ideas. Yes.

More, please.

Faster, faster.

UPDATE2:
Unpacking the Murdoch speech, looking for the fruit of his brainstorm
(if not a goldmine, at least it's a copper mine):

The challenges of the online world
Rupert Murdoch
April 14, 2005

First he defines the new consumer:

I think we need to better understand the mindset of the digital native. What do they want to know, and where will they go to get it?

-They want news on demand, continuously updated.

-They want a point of view about not just what happened, but why it happened.

-They want news that speaks to them personally, that affects their lives. They don?t just want to know how events in the Mideast will affect the presidential election; they want to know what it will mean at the gas-pump. They don?t just want to know about terrorism, but what it means about the safety of their subway line, or whether they?ll be sent to Iraq.

-They want the option to go out and get more information, or to seek a contrary point of view.

-And finally, they want to be able to use the information in a larger community ? to talk about, to debate, to question, and even to meet the people who think about the world in similar or different ways.

***

Then, he figures out what has to change and where the opportunities are:

...we must challenge ? and reformulate ? the conventions that so far have driven our online efforts.

-( our internet site to be a...) the place for conversation. The digital native doesn?t send a letter to the editor anymore. She goes online, and starts a blog. We need to be the destination for those bloggers. We need to encourage readers to think of the web as the place to go to engage our reporters and editors in more extended discussions about the way a particular story was reported or researched or presented.

-Strapping on bloggers and new media to the old media... the concept of using bloggers to supplement daily coverage of news on the net. .. broadening our coverage of the news; giving us new and fresh perspectives to issues; deepening our relationship to the communities we serve. (So long as our readers understand the distinction between bloggers and our journalists, and so long as proper safeguards are utilized, this might be an idea worth exploring.)

-the converging media audio/visual frontier (tomorrow, ordinary people like bloggers will have the presentational capacity of today's media giants- what will this mean?)

-online marketplace: advertizing and (classified?)

Posted by Dennis at April 13, 2005 3:18 PM

2 Comments

Dennis-

Friend of Mike Reafsnyder's here in LA.

What painting is that owl image from?

Todd

Hello Todd:

The owl is from Goya's Cartoon series, this one called "Hunt with Owl and Net". You can see an overview at this site, but alas, tehre is no link for the enlargement yet (site under construction). Close ups of the net are fantastic, flicks and turns of the wrist, a virtuoso feat made to seem nonchalant.

Seen any good shows in LA?


-Dennis

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