i am reading this book called PARTICIPATION which discusses the history of an art that demands interaction from its observer in order to construct meaning. the most striking essay so far is by roland barthes. i haven't read this since 2001, and it's good to re-read it with a bit more age on my shoulders. it's interesting-- especially when i consider the role of the Author in the art world.
what does art writing do in relation to the observer, the reader, the Author, and the artist?
on the way home from a lecture on this very topic, a friend and I concur. whatever art writing does-- it's necessary to the art world at this point.
in this day and age, everything else can come into your home fairly intact-- music, books, movies-- but art still lives in little rooms scattered throughout the city. you can see a Rothko in an art book, but you haven't really seen a Rothko until you've been swallowed by one up close and in person alone in a gallery or museum.
in other words, there is no translation from in person to print.
it's amazing, actually. to think that this still occurs. that we still collect art in little rooms dedicated to just art or the ideas of art. it's so very archaic and sometimes a bit too proud, but it is rooted in some old mysteriously wonderful world of what art is.
and for other arts that are more postmodern-- performative, relative to space, outside the gallery but still very bodily or billboardy or roaming around wildly in the city--- art writing is even more important.
at the very least because it acts as investigative reporter and invites future observers to do the same.