Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the self-appointed

About once a year I write a post in defense of the blog. That’s because about ten times a year I am in the crossfire, casual or not, about the worthlessness of blogs. So here goes again. My yearly crap-shoot: I have a friend who refers to a couple of artist-art-bloggers as “The Self-Appointed.” While I may have plenty to say about them as artists or writers, the fact that they have appointed themselves means nada to me.

Could this be generational? He’s not the only friend of my generation who has a problem with blogs and sometimes just with websites, period. But not all of us can wait for someone else to appoint us! Not all of us go through the usual system of grades and graduation, awards, reviews, approvals and promotions successfully.

Also, there’s a few “positions” which do not involve permission and submission. They ask for invention and self application. - Isn’t that what the punks did and all these “DIY” exploits which followed? Appoint themselves? Stop waiting? No one else was going to press our records and open a club for us; at least that’s how it was here in P-Town. We weren’t asking for anything that already existed, we weren’t taking away from someone’s audience. It was a new audience altogether, baking a new pie.

I used to think that the Internet was a new pie too, not cutting in on anyone’s action really. But now so much is up for grabs - the decline of the newspaper is but one example – it’s like this rumble between the traditionally-placed and the self-appointed. I see it in the anger of those who were quite fine, thank you, with the old system. And so they dismiss the threat. Most of us aren’t appointing anything. We’re just not waiting, that’s all.


Anonymous said...

I think its great to be brave enough emotionally and generous enough not to demand payment for writing and just to do what you do. My big fear is that by the time I have something ready to go (I am a slow bloomer) things will be much less free than they are now.
re "self appointed" -anyone with an appointment that is worthwhile in any sense has at some point been "self appointed"
AND what does it mean to be "properly credentialed" and who are the "right appointers"? whatever- I still say ANARCHY, because if one can not live well in anarchy one can not live well at all.

Virginia Bryant said...

BTW-last coment was not meant to be anon

Sheree Rensel said...

I hesitate to chime in on the issue of the "self appointed". I am not even close to the territory of those pointing fingers. Shoot. I do the things I do just to keep my blood pumping and my art fires burning.

Those who raise eyebrows or condemn have their own issues. As they point one finger at others, their three other fingers are pointing back at themselves. I don't think this is necessarily a generational thing. If that were the case, I would still be using a typewriter! LOL

The one thing that I do want to question is why we feel the need to defend ourselves. Just yesterday, I had someone say some things to me that questioned my stature as an artist. I went into a full blown rage explaining my history, credentials, and experience. As soon as I finished ranting, I asked myself "Why do I have to defend who I am or what I do to THEM?" Likewise, I wonder why it is necessary for you to defend what you do here.

Just keep writing and making videos and doing what you do Eva. Leave those others in the dust. That is what I am doing from now on!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sheree,
For me the "defense" is only apart of the story. What much of it is about is delayed reaction. There's initially only faint murmurs in real time. I don't say what I think. But I mull things over and in a case like this, of course I am singing to the choir. But in that other world, I am defending myself because we show in the same galleries and are after the same rewards. But are not using the same methodology. And there's a whole lot more of them than there is of me, at least in the old school.


Sheree Rensel said...

Yes, I am a muller too. I force myself to mull, stew, delay reactions, and sit tight for a while. I have had to hone this skill. I have bitten my tongue so many times it has scars! I have to be cognizant and deliberate about my vocal outbursts. I am getting better with time.
However, I must admit when I read your take on the guy with the Gerhard Richteresque work on the wall, I had to give you a lot of credit. I would have yelled it out and stomped off!! LOL LOL I know this about me. Therefore, I have tried desperately to tone down.
I understand what you mean. Gotcha! (Oh God. This last line sounds like something Sarah Palin would say!! OUCH!!)

namastenancy said...

Eva - you are on a roll! Two very thoughtful and provocative posts in as many days. I guess as a blogger who also critiques art, I'm one of those "self-appointed" critics. But I am only harsh when I feel that some ego needs to be deflated or when I think that the art is over praised due to issues of gender or class. But, then, one could say - what gives me the right? I would reply - Why not? What I read in the blogsphere is often so much better informed and wider ranging than what is in the art magazines that I don't think we need to defend ourselves. Besides, Eva - nobody does what you do and nobody does it better!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you.

S.A. said...
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