Those who wish to spend close to an hour of their time listening to me discuss the Internet with Bad at Sport’s Duncan MacKenzie have a real treat in store for them: 56 minutes of pure B.A.S. podcast. By the time we get to the end of the interview my voice even becomes a little hoarse which sounds, well, less than awesome. But so be it. I suspect most people feel a little self-conscious in the form of audio — in addition to a cracking voice, I find it frustating not to be able to clean up the things I’ve said — though as a blogger, I do have the luxury of providing a bit of additional text. As such I’m providing a few supplimental thoughts on an excerpt from our interview below where I speak about the broader implications the Internet has on how people consume information;
”…by and large people know less about more stuff, and in the fine art field that’s actually very beneficial to the practice because we’re so insular. So any time I send a link to Fleshbot and they pick it up, or boing boing and they pick it up, [there] are people who would have skimmed over the arts section in a newspaper, but are introduced to these small bits of information. So I think as a practitioner on the web that kind of strategy is really important because it introduces a more general knowledge of art to a more broader spectrum of people, and in that way it’s really transformative”
The down side to the change described above of course, is that people are less likely to go out and buy books on many subjects, settling for whatever the web can tell us. Interestingly, one effect that comes with the loss of objects as containers of knowledge and content, is that it becomes difficult for people to locate the original source. Probably the most common known example of this can be seen in the music industry; it’s much harder to remember albums, track titles, and musicians now that it’s all on a variety of hard drives. We can listen to music repeatedly without ever looking at the source. Similarly, when I asked my friend recently what critics he heard artists discussing most frequently, he replied honestly, “No one. My friends all used to keep ArtForums in their bathrooms, but people don’t do that much anymore. I don’t know if people think about where they’re finding reviews.” Given that so much traffic is driven by link blogs and content separated from its original source, this observation isn’t surprising. It’s the i-tunesificiation of art criticism.