[NetBehaviour] Bad review[s]

marc garrett marc.garrett2 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 12:53:01 CEST 2015


Hi Paul, Alan, Rob & all,

I remember reading a review in Time Out magazine years ago written by Sarah
Kent about an unknown artist's work that she completely trashed. This made
me feel uncomfortable, mainly because the artist had no chance to argue
back, and unfortunately people tend to believe officially supported
opinions, rather than go and have look and think it out for themselves. At
that time Sarah Kent was a highly respected art critic and what she said
was generally agreed with or accepted without challenge.

As the main editor of Furtherfield reviews, interviews and articles, it is
not an easy terrain to balance. As someone who is actively political in
life, art and in writing; I really have to hold myself back from imposing
my own personal agenda on reviewers for Furtherfield.

I'm always aware that Furtherield has a responsibility not to attack up and
coming artists when writing about their work. And believe me, there are
some I really do despise out there - mainly from brit-art culture, and
especially those residing in the arts/academia/technology establishment,
who exist via a privileged default, imposing on others their limited,
hierarchical agendas. Yet, through the years 'some' people who I once used
to think were shallow, careerist dictators, on  meeting them personally
made me realize that things are not as black and white. original

It is extremely important, if one wishes to grow further than one's typical
default -- to expand out and beyond our selves, in order to build and share
a fruitful and critical dialogue with the world. Thankfully, most of the
artists, writers and techies and people I've worked with have challenged my
working class angst. This has been due to being open to be educated by
others as well as prioritizing constant self-education and re-evaluation;
I've learnt that it is more productive, necessary and more imaginative not
to impose one's own personal pain onto others.

Wishing you well.

marc



Rob, you hit the nail on the head. Aside from my having led a sheltered
life and having to learn (all over again) how to ignore the vagaries of
critics, the sort of criticism that offers a tidy judgement of value has
always been foreign to the way I write, back when I wrote criticism. The
critic should help the reader to understand the work and make her own
judgement. I know I did this because on at least one occasion I got a
message from a reader practically insisting that I state whether I thought
the work was good or bad—a question I would not answer and probably could
not answer.

Thanks, Alan. One learns to roll.

If your colleague expresses her opinion directly to you and goes so far as
to explain the basis of her opinion, Patrick, it's probably a sign of
respect.

Yawl have my simple, uninflected critical approval at this very moment.

// Paul




On Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 8:42 PM, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:

    On 15/09/15 09:43 AM, Paul Hertz wrote:
    >
    > Nevertheless, I am astounded that the moldy fig style of journalism
    > still persists, where the critic's opinion is the subject matter of
the
    > critique. I suppose it's more entertaining than opening the work up to
    > the reader's judgement.

    I made a deal with myself very early on in my Furtherfield reviewing
    career to never write a negative review*. This came about as a result of
    an experience in a gallery where a video projection piece I'd dismissed
    and was about to walk away from entertained some young children who ran
    up to it so much that I gave it another try and got much more from it.

    It can be more work to stick with art (or writing) until you find
    *something* in it. But a lazy critic is not a good critic, and their
    criticism is not good criticism.

    Grab a Counterparty address and I'll send you some critical approval
;-) -

    http://robmyers.org/critical-coins/

    * - This means that in theory I would have to turn down or not write
    some reviews, but I cannot remember that every actually happening. It's
    also why no-one should ever ask me to write a review of "Infinite Jest".

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On 16 September 2015 at 04:15, Paul Hertz <ignotus at gmail.com> wrote:

> Rob, you hit the nail on the head. Aside from my having led a sheltered
> life and having to learn (all over again) how to ignore the vagaries of
> critics, the sort of criticism that offers a tidy judgement of value has
> always been foreign to the way I write, back when I wrote criticism. The
> critic should help the reader to understand the work and make her own
> judgement. I know I did this because on at least one occasion I got a
> message from a reader practically insisting that I state whether I thought
> the work was good or bad—a question I would not answer and probably could
> not answer.
>
> Thanks, Alan. One learns to roll.
>
> If your colleague expresses her opinion directly to you and goes so far as
> to explain the basis of her opinion, Patrick, it's probably a sign of
> respect.
>
> Yawl have my simple, uninflected critical approval at this very moment.
>
> // Paul
>
>
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 8:42 PM, Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:
>
>> On 15/09/15 09:43 AM, Paul Hertz wrote:
>> >
>> > Nevertheless, I am astounded that the moldy fig style of journalism
>> > still persists, where the critic's opinion is the subject matter of the
>> > critique. I suppose it's more entertaining than opening the work up to
>> > the reader's judgement.
>>
>> I made a deal with myself very early on in my Furtherfield reviewing
>> career to never write a negative review*. This came about as a result of
>> an experience in a gallery where a video projection piece I'd dismissed
>> and was about to walk away from entertained some young children who ran
>> up to it so much that I gave it another try and got much more from it.
>>
>> It can be more work to stick with art (or writing) until you find
>> *something* in it. But a lazy critic is not a good critic, and their
>> criticism is not good criticism.
>>
>> Grab a Counterparty address and I'll send you some critical approval ;-) -
>>
>> http://robmyers.org/critical-coins/
>>
>> * - This means that in theory I would have to turn down or not write
>> some reviews, but I cannot remember that every actually happening. It's
>> also why no-one should ever ask me to write a review of "Infinite Jest".
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> NetBehaviour mailing list
>> NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org
>> http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour
>>
>
>
>
> --
> -----   |(*,+,#,=)(#,=,*,+)(=,#,+,*)(+,*,=,#)|   ---
> http://paulhertz.net/
>
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> NetBehaviour mailing list
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