6 comments on “Shooting The Blog With ezimmerman

  1. “illusion of having a community”. great line.

    one question i have is what defines the quality of a critic?

    i enjoyed the post and will pass to friends.

    thank you

    paul

  2. This is an amazing dialog. It’s especially interesting given my current research in Creative Ecologies. I note that you Mr. cheque seem to be almost as obsessed with taxonomies as I am.

    Having said that, allow me to disagree with one of Mr. Zimmerman’s points and respond to Mr. Beck’s question at one time.

    EZ said:
    “Well, i think the responsibility of being aware of history and one’s place within the larger context lies entirely with the individual.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. Context and history are entirely group phenomena, and I think awareness of them is only ever an emergent property of a countless conscious and unconscious conversations in all directions with an entire network of actors. It’s not up to the individual; it’s up to a robust and engaged community in which the individual may participate as one integrated unit. I’ve inhabited enough broken ecologies in which an awareness of context is well nigh unto impossible no matter how much the individual wants and craves it, precisely because the group structural dynamics simply aren’t in place to let that happen. I believe you are referring to this very phenomenon when you talk about “avoid[ing] the vacuum.”

    So that’s where the critic comes in: that one whose job is always to be injecting context, always reminding the artists and the audiences that this work of art comes from somewhere, it responds to something, or it shows its inert stupidity by ambling out onto the highway of art history totally unaware of the postmodern Mack truck bearing down on it, or whatever the case may be.

    I just gave a talk at SCAD recently and came down pretty hard on one student who talked about criticism as the rendering of “opinion.” [Really, I was probably a little too hard on the guy.] As a critic, my opinion is almost totally irrelevant, if what is meant by opinion is whether I “like” something or not. Jesus, who cares? What is relevant is the fact that I spend a lot of time looking, very hard and very thoroughly. And that looking is informed by history and a good bit of knowledge about context. The amount of time I will spend looking at and studying a huge variety of art is probably a hundred-fold what most art fans of the general public will spend and maybe ten-fold what even other artists will spend. That’s the assignment I’ve accepted. You can’t look that long and study that hard and not have some deeper insights about art as a result.

    I think the best outcome in a critical dialog is not to adjudicate whether something is “good” or “bad,” but to ask smart questions of it, interrogate it and ponder its place in the story line of our collective seeing.

    Thanks again for the wonderful interview.

  3. “I think the best outcome in a critical dialog is not to adjudicate whether something is “good” or “bad,” but to ask smart questions of it, interrogate it and ponder its place in the story line of our collective seeing.”

    i follow your response. then questions unfold.

    what defines the quality of the collect seeing?

    also the role of the gallery?

    and the institutions?

    i ask because i am interested in how these form and who forms them and why.

    also i am seeing a bigger shift in our time where the complexity is lost in a slogan. and this is exceptable do to instant gratification. this is not new it just seems to be right in our faces.

    anyway, i dig the thoughts.

    thank you
    i will now return to my illusion

  4. Excellent dialogue – many thanks for sharing it with us. I think that no one but you and Mr. Zimmerman could have brought up the tension between Austin’s DIY and academic scenes in an open and honest manner without being inflammatory.

    Y’all have motivated me to get my ass in gear and finally finish what I started writing a couple of months ago that fits in with the conversation here.

    Part I of II

    Part II of II

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