[NetBehaviour] Bad review[s]

Michael Szpakowski m at michaelszpakowski.org
Wed Sep 16 15:07:49 CEST 2015

Yep I take the same line. In general life is too short to write about art one hates. I would rather enthuse ( not in a kind of mindless way but by trying to get to the bottom of what for me makes something wonderful...)I do think occasionally though that some work is *so* cynical or raises such ethical worries that sticking the boot in might then be not only justified but the right thing to do...And in connection with this I do think it's really important to defend the right of critics to be as horrible and a wrong as they want - there is a brand of Panglossian criticism ( actually a rather woolly boosterism - see most of the art press) flourishing currently that is very much tied to the ever increasing sway of the market & there might come a time when it's necessary to be willing to have a bit more of a scrap.
Agree with you about many things, Rob, but Infinite Jest is one of the finest novels of the last 100 years :) We should maybe have an Infinite Jest-off in print one day...
      From: Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>
 To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org 
 Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 2:42 AM
 Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Bad review[s]
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 ;-) -


* - 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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