Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Art-making, art-blogging, and world-making

I’ll be taking up residence at Pocket Utopia in Brooklyn, January 11-17. On Sunday, January 18, 4 pm, Austin Thomas and I are organizing a salon to discuss art-making, art-blogging, and world-making. Bloggers: Save the date, and please post it on your blogs.

Update: See Hrag Vartanian's images of the January 18 Pocket Utopia salon here. Read a short report about my Pocket U. residency and the salon at Two Coats of Paint. Look for a full report of the salon discussion in the February issue of The Brooklyn Rail.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fall gathering in New York City

Joanne and I are working on plans for a NYC art blogger gathering in November. Stay tuned for details.

Update: Sorry-- we had too much going on and couldn't get a blogger happening together.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The James Kalm Report

The James Kalm Report recorded the art blogger gathering at Red Dot on March 30. Part I introduces many of the NYC-centric bloggers at the pre-panel gathering, Part II is a casual panel discussion held in the hotel bar. Thanks James, for making the videos.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The official minutes for the ArtBloggers@RedDot panel (copied and pasted from Joanne Mattera Art Blog)

We were here:

The Red Dot Fair at the Park South Hotel, 128 E. 28th Street

And this was us:

That's you all in the audience. Panelists from left: Ed, Paddy, Carolina, Sharon, Carol and moi. Photo courtesy of Hrag Vartanian, whose blog post contains a link to a few Flickr images

Sharon Butler (in the blue shirt) and I (at far right) came up with the idea of bringing bloggers together in real time and space, typically at an art fair or event. Art Bloggers @ thus came into the world during the Miami art fairs, where a small group convened in the lobby of Flow Fair on Collins Avenue.

We had a bigger group in New York. Last Sunday, March 30, we met at the Red Dot Fair at the Park South Hotel. Some 40 or so bloggers showed up--some bleary-eyed, let it be said--as we started gathering in the lobby at 10:00 am. After an informal round table in one of the small conference rooms, we adjourned to the restaurant, which had been set up for a series of panels. Ours, "The Impact of Bloggers on the Art World," ran from 11:15 to 12:30 and could easily have gone on another hour.

I moderated a panel that consisted of Carol Diehl, painter, critic (Art in America), Artvent blog; C-Monster, aka Carolina Miranda, freelance writer; Edward Winkleman, gallerist, Edward Winkleman Blog; Paddy Johnson, freelance writer and blogger, Art Fag City; Sharon Butler, painter, writer (The Brooklyn Rail) and professor, Two Coats of Paint. I was the moderator.

I started by offering some blog statistics, which I've updated for this post. According to Blogpulse, the total number of identified blogs is 77,104,143. In the last 24 hours alone, there were 95,529 new blogs. That's 3980 an hour, 66 a minute, and just over one new blog a second. Even if one half of one percent of those blogs is related to art, that's several hundred thousand blogs--offering potentially or actually far more commentary about art than conventional print media could ever produce.

So my first questions to the panel was:
What is our responsibility personally to good writing and journalistic integrity in our own blogs and within the blogosphere in general?

Ed got to answer first, as he would leave early to go to his gallery's booth at Pulse. I don't have notes, since I was focused on moderating, but I do recall this part of his response: "My readers are my editors." If there's one difference between print media and the blogosphere (aside from the lack of salary in the latter) it's the instantaneousness of the medium. You can't pull one over or get away with shoddy reporting when your readers can call you on it. And they do.

The conversation drifted to ethics. Since the panel was composed of ethical people, no one seemed overly concerned about what they were or weren't doing. Carolina, the most journalistically bona fide of the group (she used to work at Time and was part of the team that helped expose inconsistencies in the resume of FEMA's Michael Brown) noted the importance of disclaimers when writing about a potential conflict of interest. (Disclaimer: I often disregard copyright to pull images from the Internet--but they're always in service to the related topic. )

We talked about stats--yes, we're all obsessed with them--and some technical stuff. There was some nice give and take with the audience, many of whom returned home almost immediately to blog about it (See posts below). The thing that struck me was how nice everyone was. As you know, the blogosphere is often marked by contentiousness (and more). Here, everyone was very friendly.

James Kalm recorded it all. We'll let you know if he posts a video.

We didn't get to the big questions-- Are we mainstream yet? Do we want to be? What is the future of art blogging?--but Sharon and I are planning something in New York in the fall, and of course in Miami in December, so the conversation will continue. We'll have the info on our respective blogs and on Art Bloggers @ in September.

Big props to George Billis, gallerist and founder of Red Dot Fair, for generously letting us convene. A partial list of attendees (thanks to Franklin for taking names) includes:

Chris Albert
Steven Alexander
Brent Burket
Franklin Einspruch
Aneta Glinkowska

Stephanie Lee Jackson (aka Pretty Lady)
Chris Jagers
James Kalm
Olympia Lambert
Megan and Murray
Andrew Robinson
Harry and Jennifer Swartz-Turfle
Hrag Vartanian

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Olympia Lambert adds one more thing on her recently retooled blog

"If you happened to catch me at the Red Dot 2008 Art Blogger symposium, I do have one thing to add that was not discussed with much fervor. With me you will never have me holding back on criticism. This is what I do. I am not here to rehash an artist's biography from a gallery, or spit back a reworded press release. I do not consider that to be writing, nor journalism, and my professors at Boston University's College of Communication would have handed my ass on a platter if I would have done so." Read more.

Daily Gusto notes the highlights

In a post about the panel discussion at Red Dot, Harry reveals that his "favorite part was bloggers recounting their favorite big-traffic headlines. Who can top How to preserve a chocolate Santa butt plug? I didn't get a chance to ask a question, but I would've asked: is there something innate in the medium that makes a successful blog unable to have thought-out critical writing? After all, it takes time to look and to think and to write this kind of material. Can meaningful ciriticsm be Twittered?" Read more.

Steven Alexander reports on ArtBloggers@RedDot

"Many topics were touched upon including the predictable technical aspects of the form, as well as more interesting questions of ethics. As the discussion evolved, it inevitably led to the issue of art criticism, and the relationship between criticism and blogging." Read more.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Who were all those people?

Thanks to Franklin Einspruch at for making a link list of the bloggers who stopped by the Red Dot panel: Hrag Vartanian, Chris Albert, Steven Alexander, Olympia Lambert, James Kalm, Chris Jagers, Megan and Murray, Andrew Robinson, Pretty Lady, Brent Burket, Harry and Jennifer Swartz-Turfle, Aneta Glinkowska and Kosuke Fujitaka . If you were there, too, but not included on the list, send me a note (twocoatsofpaint {at} and I'll add your blog.

Hrag Vartanian reports on ArtBloggers@RedDot

"I think it was worth it to wake up early Sunday morning and dash across town to hear fellow bloggers shoot the shit about the art blogosphere." Read more and see the slide show at Hrag's blog.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Art Bloggers @ Red Dot open thread

Thanks everyone for coming to the art blogger panel discussion. Feel free to post your own responses and comments to the panel discussion questions (we didn't get to all of them), either here, or post them on your own blogs and provide a link.

1.There's more art coverage on the blogs than in conventional publications. Some of the writing is good, hewing to journalistic standards, some is deplorable. What is our responsibility personally to good writing and journalistic integrity in our own blogs and within the blogosphere in general?

2. Among us on this panel, we're artists, gallerists, educators, lecturers, print journalists and bloggers--all of us multiple hat wearers accustomed to juggling our various hats. At what point do all these hats create a conflict of interest?

3. We're networking like crazy online, and often moving freely between the blogosphere and real time and space. The Blogger show, John Morris's recent organizational effort in New York, Pittsburgh and elsewhere, is a good example. This conference is another. Now, how do we manage the network and our time?

4. Big, open questions: Are we mainstream yet? Do we want to be? What is the future of art blogging?

In the audience, developers were interested in designing more useful interfaces for bloggers. I personally would like paragraph indenting (without manually inserting html), and Ed Winkleman mentioned better search capabilities and tags. Is there anything you would like to see included/changed in the blogging software?

A full report is forthcoming, but in the meantime we wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed meeting everyone. We'll do it again in Miami in December, so stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Guide to New York fairs

Check out the helpful guide to the New York fairs provided by (via AFC)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blogger press passes for Red Dot

Although general admission for Red Dot costs twelve bucks, Director George Billis has told Joanne and me that bloggers will be admitted to the panel discussion (details below) and the Fair for free if they present a printout of their most recent post. You can go to the other lectures on the program, too. Note that blogger Amy Wilson is participating in the 3:30 panel on art fairs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blogger Panel Discussion planned at Red Dot Fair

Art Bloggers @ Red Dot, Sunday, March 30
10:30 to 12:15
Joanne Mattera and I have organized a panel discussion which will soon be included in the Red Dot programming schedule. If the bloggers who join us are anything like their keyboard personas, an interesting discussion should ensue.

Panel Topic: Bloggers and Their Impact in the Art World
There's now more art coverage in the blogosphere than in conventional publications. Do we handle this responsibility with conventional journalistic standards or something that's faster and looser as befits an instantaneous medium? How do we manage the formidable network that has developed around and because of us? Where do we go from here?

Edward Winkleman
• Carol Diehl, Art Vent
C-Monster (Who is she?)
• Paddy Johnson, Art Fag City
• Me (Sharon Butler), Two Coats of Paint
Joanne Mattera will moderate.

Red DotPark South Hotel
122 E. 28th Street, bet. Park & Lex
New York, NY
Look for the “Art Bloggers @ Red Dot” sign in the lobby to direct you to the conference room.
Leave a comment or send a note (twocoatsofpaint{at} to let us know you're coming, or just drop in. We're looking forward to a lively discussion with all the NYC area bloggers, as well as others in town for the Armory Fair. See you there!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Art Bloggers@ Red Dot

Art Bloggers@ will hold its next meeting in New York City to coincide with the Armory Fair and all the events surrounding it. George Billis, founder of the Red Dot Fair, is generously allowing Art Bloggers@ to meet in the conference room at Red Dot, on Sunday, March 30, from 10:00 to Noon. Red Dot will be held at the Park South Hotel, 122 E. 28th Street, between Park and Lexington. Look for the "Art Bloggers @ Red Dot" sign in the lobby to direct you to the room. There is no program planned, simply the opportunity for everyone to meet in person, in real time.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Art Bloggers@ The Armory Show and satellite fairs

The Armory Show is March 27-30 at Pier 94 in NYC. Our details for the art blogger gathering are sketchy so far, but we'll post info here as the plans develop. Get your press passes now.

Pier 94
Twelfth Avenue at 55th Street
New York City
Opening Day takes place Wednesday, March 26th for invited guests.
Opening Hours:
Thursday, March 27 - Saturday, March 29 Noon to 8 pm
Sunday, March 30 Noon to 7 pm
Press preview is Wednesday, March 26, 3-8pm.

Red Dot New York
Park South Hotel
122 E. 28th Street between Park and Lexington

Fair Hours
Thursday, March 27, 11am - 8pm
Friday, March 28, 11am - 8pm
Saturday, March 29, 11am - 8pm
Sunday, March 30, 11am - 7pm
Thursday night opening reception, 7pm - 9pm
Benefiting GMHC, ($75. donation)
Mailing List:


Art Now Fair
Hotel 30/30
30 E. 30th Street
New York, NY


Pulse New York
Pier 40
New York, NY
In Tribeca at Houston and the West Side Highway
VIP Brunch on Thursday


Scope New York
Damrosch Park
Lincoln Center
New York, NY


Bridge New York
The Waterfront
222 12th Avenue
New York, NY
Bridge is in the old Tunnel nightclub.

Report from Art Bloggers @ Miami Beach, 2007

We met on Friday, December 7, in the lobby of the Flow Fair on Collins Avenue. Our turnout was small but strong: Paddy Johnson from Art Fag City, Andrea Kirsh from the Fallon and Rosof Art Blog, and Amy Wilson from Working. Gallerist Nohra Haime sat in in the group as well. We discussed what we’d seen, then talked about our blogs and our own work (visual art, criticism, curating, teaching). We had bagels, coffee and fruit thanks to the spread Matt Garson provided (not for us specifically, for the Curator’s Brunch at Flow, but we partook). We’ll definitely meet again next year at the fair—and probably during Armory Time in New York in March, too. Stay tuned. (Special thanks to Matt for generously letting us convene at his venue.)

--Joanne Mattera


Links to blog coverage of the 2007 Miami fairs:
Joanne Mattera's Art Blog

Andrea Kirsch on Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof's Artblog

Art Fag City (coverage begins on the December 5 post)

C-Monster (coverage starts on December 1 post)

Thinking About Art (make sure to see all four parts)

Fountain Blog

Fountain pics on Flicker

If you covered the fairs on your blog, please feel free to send the link to twocoatsofpaint (at) and we'll add you to the list.

Mainstream media coverage:

Art Newspaper
Globe and Mail Read Sarah Milroy's amusing account of her first trip to the fairs
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Regina Hackett reports on the Northwest galleries and more
Basel Blog at NY Magazine with Alexandra Peers
NYTimes Fashion & Style section
Flash Art

Here's a list of all the 2007 fairs in Miami, with contact information. Thanks to Edward Winkleman for the link.


We're already organizing Art Bloggers@Maimi Beach, 2008, so if you're at the fairs, we hope you'll plan on stopping by.

Location to be announced.

Friday, 10am-11am, maybe.

Look for our sign and buttons with the Art Blogger Miami Beach logo.


• Coffee and food might be provided. We'll see what we can come up with.

• Agenda? None, except to say hello and talk shop. Discussions are welcome.

• Do I have to RSVP? No, but you can e-mail one of us to let us know you're coming.

• Do I have to wear a name tag? You mean you want to be anonymous here, too?

• When should I make reservations? Now. Book your hotel and flight as soon as possible.

• Will you do this again in New York at Armory Fair time? Yes, the dates have not been arranged, but the fair is March 27-30, 2008.

• As we settle more details, nail down the location, and have more info to share, we'll post it on this blog, so add the address to your feeds list.

• What if I have additional questions? E-mail one of us. Sharon L. Butler /
Joanne Mattera /

See you in Miami in 2008.