Friday, September 9, 2011

Editorial: September 9, 2011 Art Lists

Friday, September 9, marks the opening of the Fall 2011 visual art season in Chicago. Multiple on-line guides are available for the purpose of navigating the gala evening. In fact, the level of redundancy is so great that it seems good to consider the meaning thereof.

But, first, the links to said September 9 event listings and maps:

(1) Stephanie Burke, historically available as published and republished (in part or in whole) at (a) Art Talk Chicago, (b)The Gallery Crawl and So Much More, (c) Bad at Sports, and (d) Chicago Art Magazine:

(2) Abraham Ritchie, found editing (a) ArtSlant Chicago and (b) Chicago Art Blog, while simultaneously contributing to (c) Flavorpill Chicago, (d) Bad at Sports and (e) Art21 Blog, while advising (f) Sixty Inches From Center:

(3) Chicago Art Magazine, founded by Kathryn Born, formerly of Bad at Sports:

(4) Newcity Art, edited by Jason Foumberg:

(5) Chicago Gallery News, edited by Virginia Berg:

(6) The Visualist, (featuring, among others, ArtSlant Chicago's Steve Ruiz, himself a proprietor of another "listing" site: which seems to have risen from the ashes of former Chicagoan Karly Wildenhaus'

(7) Chicago Art Net, maintained by Jno Cook of Columbia College Chicago:

(8) Sixty Inches From Center, directed by Columbia College Chicago grads Nicolette Michelle Caldwell and Tempestt Hazel in company with Andrew Roddewig of Clarion New Media:

(9) Art Letter, written by Paul Klein, re-blogged on The Huffington Post:

(10) Gapers Block A/C, edited by Kelly Reaves:

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Direct observation of the phenomena (on-line listing vis-a-vis in-person attendance) has proved that it is not unusual for more people to announce than arrive at an event, e.g., Tom Burtonwood's recent presentation at Hinge Gallery.

Vicarious "experience" of culture, reliant upon the computer screen, has been broadly criticized. The explosion of on-line listing seems to suggest that a yet-more-remote "textual acknowledgement" is now taken as sufficient (or necessary?) participation in the arts.

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Curiously, Lauren Viera's recent article in the Chicago Tribune did not clarify the relationship between the now defunct and Chicago's other (at least eleven other) visual art calendar, map, and event listing sites. Rather, the quotation by interviewee Jenny Kendler was left to suggest a vacuum (in art reportage) in the wake of's (Karly Wildenhaus') departure: "'Losing (On The Make) is like losing one of these beacons that shows how awesome that community is. (When I heard) I thought, What can Brian and I do to keep it going?'"[1]

Chicago Gallery News has been in existence for 28 years; Newcity's art coverage has run for 22 years; Chicago Art Net has been on-line for 10 years. Viera and Kendler are both competent professionals, and Chicago needs them. But, does Chicago need yet more "listing" sites? Is that really the best place to put time and energy? What are the long-term implications of such comprehensive but superficial engagements as are now regularly made by critics, reporters and the public at large?



See also Time Out Chicago Arts + Culture, edited by Lauren Weinberg:

- Paul Germanos

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