Denise Bibro, far left, welcomes bloggers to her gallery. Standing next to her is Blogpix organizer Olympia Lambert. The panel is identified in the picture below. In the audience Sharon Butler, Blogpix exhibiting artist and author of Two Coats of Paint , turns to face the camera.
Our distinguished panel: Hrag Vartanian (www.hragvartanian.com); Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof (www.fallonandrosof.blogspot.com); Bill Gusky (www.artblogcomments.blogspot.com); and Brent Burket (www.heartasarena.blogspot.com)
Hrag, Roberta and Libby are curators, along with myself, of the Blogpix show; Bill and Brent were invited to round out the panel. If you're wondering about Brent's blog title, "Heart as Arena," we learned that he'd originally named it "I Love Mary Boone" but changed it to a phrase taken from a Basquiat painting
Martin Bromirski (www.anaba.blogspot.com) took all the pics except for the top one, which I snapped just before my moderating duties began. And if you're wondering what "Anaba" (accent on the first syllable) means, it's a Japanese term for "special place." See what you learn at a blogger panel?
Here's the audience. Well, part of it; the chairs spread out in a wider arc and in deeper rows. I'd say we had about 40 attendees. I recognized a few folks: Sharon Butler at far left; Steven Alexander, exhibiting in Blogpix and author of www.stevenalexanderstudio.blogspot.com ; Alyce Nicole Dunn, an artist new to New York, welcome!; Loren Munk, aka James Kalm, author of The Kalm Report, whose video coverage of the New York art scene is rich and in depth; and Ben La Rocco, one of the Blogpix artists
Here's Olympia, below. Did I mention she posted so many comments that she exceeded her Twitter allotment and got shut down?
Here's a snippet of the conversation:
Given the decline of print media, are we bloggers getting more power than we asked for, expected, or even want?
Roberta Fallon had the funniest and probably most honest answer: "We love pontificating." But Sharon Butler offers a good example of how that power can be used in a good--no, a great, way. After writing about how she got her portrait painted by Matt Held, who is working his way through a portrait project, all kinds of great things started happening for Matt (see Sharon's update at the bottom of her original post).
Brent sees blogs as "a supplement" to print media. But given that print publications are on the decline--here, several people rattled off a list of newspapers that are in trouble--we noted that only so much of their editorial space and budger can go to arts coverage. That's where we come in. And we can do it immediately.
"Is there a sense of ethics and protocol among you?"
The question came from Denise, and was primarily with regard to advertising, which some bloggers have, and some don't. We all said, essentially, "Ads or no ads, our voice and vision are our own." I must add that all of us have journalism in our backgrounds, and we take our mission seriously--even if we have fun while doing so. "When we started, we came out of a writing and journalism background," said Roberta of herself and Libby; both write for print in addition to blogging. Olympia, also, come out of J-school. Hrag writes for PBS's Art 21; Brent for the non-profit Creative Time; I spent 20 years as an editor
How do you know if the blog is worth reading?
This is not the exact question, but it captures the gist. I responded that readers make the evaluation. If you feel you're getting propaganda, relentless self promotion (beyond the normal stuff we all do; hey, we don't get paid for blogging!) back-scratching coverage because of advertising, or plain bad writing, you won't return. The blogosphere has much to offer, and you can access (or delete it) with a click. So trust your instinct and go with your taste.
Why are we blogging anyway?
Hrag: "I find I get more satisfaction from my blog than the other venues."
Fallon and Rosof: "We love that you can go to a blog in Philly and read about a show in London."
Panelist (sorry, I can't identify from the Twitter feed): "The direct response-- having people comment means something."
Bill: "I like to be the Rush Limbaugh of this stuff--but in a good way.