Fate: Rethinking Art Criticism (Abstract)
For the panel Rethinking Art Criticism, I will argue that as we move into an era in which the internet, social networking, blogs, e-newsletters, and interactive databases have replaced many traditional art magazines, this transition is part of a much broader paradigm shift within contemporary art and culture, and that art college curricula, starting at the Foundations level, must reflect these changes.
As the delineations between fine art, commercial art, visual culture (and the roles of the players therein) are currently in question, the In-Question nature of this paradigm shift poses a unique dilemma in regards to developing curricula that will retain its relevance for a duration over students’ careers and lives. At the core, this dilemma points to the need to impart students with the tools to become not only object-makers, but also critical thinkers.
-What range of writing and research skills should be expected at the undergraduate level for fine art students?
-As academic and professional boundaries between Art Criticism, Art History, and Visual Culture Studies overlap, is there any permeability between these disciplines and Fine Art/Studio Art?
-Does the notion of “The Artist As Critic” still hold relevance, or is The Artist Critic no longer a category that need be differentiated from other art writers?
-On what grounds do we accept a piece of writing as being at “a professional level,” or a “publishable” level in a post-print world?
-What place does poetry and experimental have in art criticism?
-Can art schools be trade schools in the 21st Century? Who decides what that means?
-How do we find language to talk about craft?
-Which “Art World” do we, or should we, prepare students for?
-Is self-censoring and group-censoring a form of art criticism, or does criticism always refer to the written dialogue that proceeds the art object?
-Are studio and group seminar critiques a form of Art Criticism, or are these critical discussions held between art-makers something different?
-How does the study and praxis of Fine Art/Studio Art play out within the international Art World in relation to the writing about it, at present?
-As boundaries between academic and creative disciplines are destabilized, what may be the place of interpretive or critical language within the “global visual economy”?
-How does the interplay between visual and verbal language impact the specificity of a non-verbal piece of art?
-What do historical models and aspirations of universal communication have to do with contemporary art and criticism?