Art & Culture

Is Blogging (a valid form of) Art Criticism?

Akinci – Image courtesy Art Amsterdam

I’m taking part in an experiment, the Art Amsterdam Medialab, at this year’s Art Amsterdam art fair. The Art Amsterdam Medialab is produced by Art Amsterdam, Domein voor Kunstkritiek, and De Groene Amsterdammer. With 133 galleries from Europe, North America and Asia participating, Art Amsterdam is the largest contemporary and modern art fair in the Netherlands. The mission of the Art Amsterdam Medialab is to utilise a team of bloggers to report on the fair, ask critical questions, and take part in a debate about the definition and positioning of art criticism.

We’ll be posting our interviews and reports on the blog, so keep an eye on it, and also follow my Twitter feed as well as the Twitter accounts for the Medialab project, for Art Amsterdam, and for the Domain for Art Criticism. You can also track the Twitter hashtag #AA11.

If you are in town, a highlight will be the debate we’re holding on Thursday the 12th of May, at 13.00 at the Art Amsterdam fair. The debate is entitled Is Blogging Art Criticism?

The primary reason for the debate is to examine the shift of art criticism from traditional media to blogging and other social media, and another reason for this debate is that the major Dutch arts funder the Mondriaan Stichting rejected financing the Art Amsterdam Medialab experiment, as in their view, blogging is not art criticism.

Fortunately, the Mondriaan Stichting wants to elaborate on that in this debate. Madeleine van Putten of the Mondriaan Stichting will talk about their arguments and visions with director of Nest/reporter Eelco van Lingen, editor-in-chief Kunstbeeld Roos van Put. Yours truly, Michelle Kasprzak, and new media journalist/NRC blogger Ine Poppe represent the active, at-the-coalface side of critical blogging. This quick and dirty debate of an hour will address issues like blogging as a proper medium for art criticism, and the dangers and the possibilities as criticism expands in this manner.

Hope to see you at Art Amsterdam! If there are any angles you think would be interesting for us to cover, please drop me a line or comment on this post.