Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On Blogs and the Human Race

The other day I asked myself, and Sean, why nobody blogs anymore.  Do you feel this is true? It used to be such a huge THING back in the day, 10-some odd years ago.  And now it's sort of fizzled out. Of course they're still out there but it's not like it used to be.  I then started to wonder why my blog seems to have fizzled out.   Not that it's ever been remotely popular. But it's the general feeling I get. Which is fine. I never did set out for any particular goal other than to just put myself out there.  But why?   I have some possible answers:

1. People just aren't interested in reading lengthy tomes of rambling thoughts anymore. We need sectioned off ideas, attention-grabbers, visuals to entice, emboldened statements to tell us what is important so we don't have to filter it out ourselves. Words adapted to enable my growing attention deficit. 

2. Social media. I don't really fully understand the societal implications because I, on the whole, put my hand in the face of the new technology that greets me at every corner.  The platforms I use are Facebook (warily and on my own specific terms), Instagram, and that is it.  No one even emails anymore which will forever make me sad. I love to email. I love to compose, construct, and send things along the electronic wire. And it usually takes more than a few lines and a picture for me to make anything meaningful. But then, i have always been wordy.  I don't believe any of these things, by themselves, are particularly horrible but I'm afraid for what they're training my brain to do, what to look for. How to process or internalize. 

3. I've moved away from someplace cool and interesting to another place that's, well, not as much so. Of course I had secret hopes of garnering some kind of readership, that there might be more people in the world other than myself to hear what i had to say on things. To share an interest in the weird stuff that comes out of my head.  So I wrote about a wide variety of things. I was never an authority on NY anyway.  And I just have to believe that New York isn't what makes me interesting, though I did always feel like I was in the cool club for living there.  Really I was just a long term guest, an outsider with a peek in.   But maybe it's what people want? I don't blame 'em.   So many cool and funny people back in the day had funny blogs and then they started having babies and it changed the tone of their blog. Which is totally fine. But maybe that's what I've done to mine?

Whatever the case, I still have things I want to say to the world and as an archivist and auto-documentarian, blogging has always been a wonderful way for me to do it. Since I've been mulling this over for days, earlier this morning Sean came down and handed me a random quote he read about blogging, in reference to the art world.  First some background:

Apparently Damien Hirst, (shark in tank, diamond skull-- one of Sean's favorites of his, titled For the Love of God)  is having an identical art show of dot paintings in multiple art galleries around the world.  I haven't seen terribly much of his stuff but he always struck me as a shockist (shock artist-- a term I'm going to pretend I made up but probably didn't) with a sort of in your face gluttonous quality to it.  But here's what Sean gave to me:

The dealer and the artist made waves together in 2012 when all of Gagosian's locations worldwide (a paltry eleven at the time) showcased Hirst's spot paintings.  That show, naturally, made a huge splash, but not everyone loved it.  ArtFCity's Will Brand posted this scathing assessment:

"There is, we recognize, a historical danger here.  Someday, the record of this exhibition might be dug up by a young art historian, or perhaps a blogger like us, or perhaps some sort of future blogger who does things with brainwaves.  They'll see that there was a massive show spread across every location of the most successful gallery of the time, entirely comprised of one of the most successful artists of the time, and that it was supported by some of the most illustrious voices money could buy.  So I'm going to lay this down, just to clarify, so that nobody from the future gets confused:  we hate this sh**.  Everyone hates this sh**.  These spots reflect nothing about how we live, see, or think, they're just some weird meme for the impossibly rich that nobody knows how to stop."
 Ha ha! Nothing better than a good zingy art critique.  But I particularly love those last lines.  How much do we really know how people live, see, and think.  Social Media truncates life. Through it it is screened and depersonalized.   Nothing's better than sitting with a person and talking with them face-to-face, but the most inciteful, most impacting contributions historically are the gathered first-hand accounts, the words written down at the time, from a person who was there with a time stamp. 


Joel said...

I think about this too, and wonder why I can't seem to get myself to blog anymore. Part of it seems to be a general increase in busy-ness. Part of it is that I now write all day, and it's hard to fathom coming home at night and continuing to do so, even on my own terms.

I have more or less adopted Facebook as a comparable outlet, but it's not the same. In the end I suppose I did put a fair amount of effort into my blogs, and now I feel that effort needs to be redirected to other areas of life.

)en said...

And maybe evolution is just ok. I can't say I'll be keeping this blog up into my 50's and 60's but also, I can't say I won't be. Sometimes when I start something it's hard for me to stop. Am I addicted to blogging??