Welcome back to The Art Life. We’re entering our fifth year in the blogosphere and there are some exciting developments ahead in 2008. Yes, we know we’re always talking about “exciting developments” but this time we really mean it. It really will be exciting. We don’t want to let the proverbial feline out of the proverbial carry-all but let’s put it this way – you’ll be calling the shots, oh yes, you will.
It’s become traditional that as we start a new year we talk about who we are and what we do. That second part is easy, we’re a blog about contemporary art in Sydney with occasional forays interstate and overseas. We take contributions, we post press releases for shows we think you might find interesting and we scour the web for news and other tasty art-related tidbits. As to who we are… well, we’re who you want us to be.
Some people find our use of irony perplexing. They read our reviews and articles and often take them at face value. We have often considered using those annoying emoticons to indicate when we’re taking the piss but we decided against it for the simple reason that it would spoil the fun of being misunderstood.
Normally we don’t have to contend with misunderstandings in the mainstream old media, but sometimes wires get so crossed it’s a good idea to sit down and try to untangle them. Late last year we were nominated in the Couch Potato Awards in the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Metro section end-of-year-best-of-TV-shows poll. We put up a half-serious post about how you could help us rort the awards on-line voting but never dreamed anyone would have taken the suggestion seriously. But once the votes were in the SMH introduced the results with an article claiming that ABC management were behind an underhanded attempt to ruin their poll by instructing its employees to vote for The Art Life via a post on the program’s official ABC web site [i.e. The Art Life blog].
So let’s take this opportunity to clear up a few things. Although there is indeed a TV show called “The Art Life”, this blog is no way endorsed, authorized or published by the ABC. The blog came first, the TV show came second, and the two things are quite separate. The Art Life TV show was an independent production commissioned and screened by the ABC. We continue to publish the blog completely independently. Is that clear enough?
And you know what else? It didn’t do us any fucking good anyway as the results show:
Best Arts Show
1. First Tuesday Book Club (ABC) 1396 12.74%
2. Painting Australia (ABC) 390 3.56%
3. Masterclass: An Audience with Filmmakers (Ovation) 356 3.25%
4. Hidden Treasures with Betty Churcher (ABC) 515 4.70%
5. Not Quite Art (ABC) 293 2.67%
6. The Art Life (ABC) 297 2.71%
7. Artists at Work (ABC) 261 2.38%
So much for rorting the system… Of far more interest are the results of our own end of year poll, which was a high value for money poll since it was actually five polls in one. It’s nice to see that people who read this blog are nice people:
In 2008 I would like:
The art world to be a friendlier place 14% 43
The art world to be a meaner place 2% 6
The second grouping asked whether:
Artists to be judged solely on the merit of their work 21% 67
Artists to be judged solely on their looks 21% 65
It’s so nice to see that the superficial beauty of the art world has been rejected in favour of talent. Although we seem to like to be taken seriously, we also like to get paid:
For all art world transactions to be conducted on a basis of trust 1% 3
For all art world cash transactions to be conducted in Euros 4% 12
The fourth question was aimed at people who actually read Australia’s art magazines:
Scott Redford to please write more articles expressing his views unfettered by conventional wisdom 8% 26
Jarrod Rawlins to please stop writing articles or at least use a dictionary when he does 6% 19
So there we have it – “undefendable” is not a word.
Finally we discovered that if you’re 35 and that gem stone planted in your palm is changing colour, now is the time to flee…
To use the word “haptic” as often as possible 9% 28
To live in a domed futuristic city where everyone dies when they turn 35… or run! 15% 48