There are two interesting collaborative artists’ projects (that I know of) now taking place in Cyberspace in which visual artists are writing about art. Both projects involve artists who are geographically and conceptually diverse, and both broaden the conversation about art in a non-hierarchical way.
At Color Chunks, known for its images of chunks, bits, slices, balls, discs and sheets of color, artist John Tallman has just introduced his Artists Words project. Tallman has come up with a list of words that interest him and invited artists to write about one as it relates to their own practice. I’m involved in this project—in fact, I’m the first artist whose essay is posted (I wrote about "arrangement") — but I would have noted it anyway. The collusion, perhap collision, of artist and idea is sure to shed some light onto the creative process.
Tallman is adopting a laissez-faire approach to the written material he receives: "I'm more interested in observing how things shape themselves, rather than achieving some kind of coherence from the top down."
Root Temperature Chance Syntax Organization Sponges Posture Mess Transition Practice Temperature Series Correction Strategy
Some of the words from Tallman's list
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Over at Thinking About Art, JT Kirkland launched his Artists Review Artists project on June 30. The idea is to give artists an opportunity to have their work viewed and reviewed by another artist. It’s an interesting concept and an open invitation: an artist submits an image and agrees to have it be reviewed, and in turn will then write a review. The pairings are not reciprocal; Kirkland arranges the matches.
You’ll see a range of work and read a range of reviews. Some reviews are more generous than others (and some, to be honest, are not that well written) but that diversity is part of what makes this project interesting. The project gives artists a chance to have their work considered critically. It's an opportunity for artists to emerge from the safety of their studios and proffer the work for comment--a huge step if you haven't done it before-- and, equally, to step outside the box to put word to image.
Gail Vollrath. Gas, 2007, oil, china marker on paper, 7.5 x 7 inches