Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sweetman Presentation Videos: Panel on Media Infrastructure

Americans for the Arts Public Art Preconference's panel on Media Infrastructure: How the Evolution of Media Culture Affects Public Art and Artists. Presenters:

-Cameron Cartiere, Dean of Graduate Studies, Emily Carr University of Art & Design
-Glenn Harper, Editor, Sculpture Magazine, Washington, District of Columbia
-Kinsee Morlan, Arts and Web Editor, San Diego CityBeat, San Diego, California
-Katherine Sweetman, Artist, San Diego, California

Sweetman Presentation Videos:

Part 1: Back Story -- AKA The Real Story

Part 2: My Story Start Here

Part 3: The Blog Post

Part 4: The Aftermath


  1. Really well done videos, Katherine. I appreciate the clarity and quality of the telling of events that actually took place and why "we" should be concerned.
    I also enjoy the idea of instant credibility and irreverent authorship, the threads of these blog posts are just embarrassing. "We" should consider taking writing seriously and paying attention to what work is not worth commenting on.

    Thanks again!

    Jenn Moreno

  2. Great & concise video! Unfortunately San Diego itself Does NOT need an art critic since the main focus is on tourism & the military. We the artists DO need art criticism by a qualified critic, which we had in Robert Pincus. The U/T seems to think that arts coverage/culture isn't important to a city's development. The bottom line is MONEY! SD has the Zoo, Sea World, & sunshine. The fact that other cities like Los Angeles, New Mexico etc. have built a solid reputation through coverage by their local media as important centers for art which brings income to the city seems to escape the U/T. Sadly, The U/T seems happy to limp along as a second rate 'small town' newspaper.

  3. What's embarrassing is the obviously self-laudatory nature of this goes-nowhere "presentation," as well as its visible typos and droning voice-over lacking any coherent syncopation. C+.

  4. I've never understood why people that feel strong enough to voice their opinion on a subject, then hide behind the term 'Anonymous." It deludes their opinion, regardless of the merit of it. No guts no glory.

  5. Ad hominem, Dan. Look that up.

  6. And the word I think you were searching for is "dilutes." Just trying to help.

  7. Boycott the UT for trying to replace a good art critic with a bevy of underqualified, unpaid bloggers, not to mention for their right wing politics? Well you don't have to ask me twice. But despite the noirish tone of the presentation, this isn't exactly a shocking exposé. I don't think we can claim that the UT didn't have the "right" to do what it did, though we may all agree that their decision was stupid, pandering and philistine. Still, with the economic struggles that all media are going through, is the solution to the lack of paid, expert art coverage all that simple?

  8. Katherine - so what was the outcome and response to your talk? How did the audience react? What sort of questions did they ask in response to your presentation? Can you elaborate a bit more...

  9. Zero detractors. Very positive reception. No one ask any hard questions.

    Because there are none. Simply explained.

  10. Gabriela, given the lack of depth to any of the rank amateurs who've swooped in like pro bono, scab vultures to fill the void left by Bob's termination -- not to mention the additional damage done to the UT's already-flimsy credibility as a reputable news organ -- I can only assume your last question was rhetorical. :)

  11. And the tacit admission by the presenter that she was preaching to her own choir did not go overlooked. Tres edgy, mais non?

  12. Albeit in an unintentionally ironic fashion, I think Dan said it best, above: "No guts no glory."

  13. Still, are you certain our scholarly discourse is being dumbed down?

    Say it ain't so, dahling! Kiss kiss!


  14. Having "zero detractors" does not surprise me in a secular art world where every insult and injustice is likened to crimes against humanity but doesn't provide any solutions only collaborators. Most of us continue to write for other blogs and media outlets (for no pay) or manage our own individual blogs (for no pay).

    Our "colleagues" still continue to write for the UT as well. Obviously there are some advantages in doing so - personal or otherwise - as you've pointed out Katherine.

    What concerns me is the next step. What do we do now? How do we change the perception that this is acceptable - having no art critic, etc.? What degree of change has your denouncement brought to bear within the arts community? I don't have the answers.

    I do believe however, that we could organize ourselves into a "union" of sorts of writers, critics, bloggers and activists under one unified media outlet, website or blog. I also think it is entirely possible "to fund and pay" for our efforts (at least in the beginning), through union dues so to speak, until other financial options are found. This could potentially provide a higher caliber of writing, fewer conflicts of intrest or cliques and dissatisfaction with the status quo.

  15. Kevin, I do think that Katherine, by undermining the intellectual authority of some of the bloggers, as well as by exposing their hideous politics, causing them to lose readers and suffer a little social discomfort, has contributed something important, even if it is just a start. All forms of communication have the power to influence; the cumulative force of all conversations shape the zeitgeist. If that is not the case, then why even write art criticism, paid or not? But we do need to figure out, beyond creating another self-congratulatory panel discussion, a way of encouraging thoughtful criticism to be written and read, without getting needlessly entangled in the financial pressures of the old media.