Nov 16, 2011

Michael Kaiser's recent article on the Huffington Post, The Death of Criticism, or Everyone is a Critic, refers to the rise of distributed reviews and the demise of "serious art criticism" in newspapers as "a scary trend.

"Many arts institutions even allow their audience members to write their own critiques on the organizational website.

This is a scary trend." 

He prefers a world where 1% make or break the artistic lives and livelihoods of everyone.
"And while very few critics for a small set of news outlets still wield great power to make or break a project (usually a for-profit theater project which runs longer and therefore needs to sell far more tickets than any other arts project), a larger portion of arts projects have become somewhat immune to the opinions of any one journalist."
Needless to say, that has aroused the 99 percent artists, bloggers, and audience members who have raised a fury on social media, in chat rooms, and other online forums, as well as this eloquent scolding from Jeremy Barker at CultureBot, titled, Why Aren't Audiences Stupid?
"the audience, of course, isn’t supposed to have its own thoughts. It’s supposed to accept the value of what it’s consuming and, should it find itself out of step with elite opinion, worry about its ignorance, about why it’s so wrong."
As a journalist and educator for the Teen Critics and Reviewers program, I myself have long advocated and pushed for a broad and long-term discourse among and about artists, their work, and their process--something that is happening in all seriousness and abundantly diverse dialogues all over the art world via social media, and as ever in the studio.

Wendy Perron at Dance Magazine wrote a piece about the problem with every artist having a blog. She took some flack for that, but then sat down on a panel with a number of others who didn't see things the same way to discuss and listen, and learn. I'd love to see Mr. Kaiser do that as well. He's got some responsibility, and culpability on this issue. Leaders are supposed to lead, even from behind, but not to hold back.

The really scary trend is that 'same old same old' adage, that old habits die hard, and that fading empires and emperors cling to power for far too long--even while outside the gates of their crumbling estates, the world has progressed without them.

Tags: socialmedia, journalism, criticism, audience

Sub Categories

TECHNOLOGY: Social Media
ARTISTS: Issues & Ideas


Christine Jowers » Nov 17, 2011 3:23am
Right On Brian!