Annie Leibowitz, Image via: The National Portrait Gallery, Annie Leibowitz, a Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005
- Ian Shapira over at The Washington Post attributes the death of Journalism to Gawker’s practice of rearticulating reports from other news outlets. Sure, they add a small bit of their own cheeky editorial voice, but it’s typically not enough to warrant the amount of material they rehash. Standard editorial practice over at Gawker links these stories only at the end of their own summary, which doesn’t exactly encourage a reader to click through. A couple of years ago this was considered poor blogging practice—still IS—but very few of the major blogging outlets seem to adhere to these tacit standards anymore. I realize it is ironic to be having this discussion within a Massive Links post, but I maintain that a brief summary and a link is a different animal from an exhaustive summary and a link. (The former is more like a teaser that encourages the reader to leave the page, whereas the latter is more like a photo credit.) Anyhow, a little regulation on this front wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
- Speaking of rehashed pieces, Foster Kamer over at Gawker summarizes an NYTimes style piece on the financial troubles of photographer Annie Leibovitz before blindly going on to attribute pricey photographs such as those of Leibovitz to the fall of magazines. He also suggests publisher cutbacks can’t be helping Leibovitz much, which is probably more accurate, at least as far as speculation goes. The Times piece also poked a hole through blogger conjectures that the majority of her debts were accrued from inheriting the estate of her now deceased partner Susan Sontag. Sontag left Leibovitz very little, so Leibovitz was not saddled by estate taxes in any way. From everything the Times story tells us, it seems she’s just proven poor at managing her financial affairs.
- After visiting the Louvre, NYTimes critic Michael Kimmelman concludes people don’t look at the art long enough at museums. “Visiting museums has always been about self-improvement,” writes the critic, going on to lament how contemporary culture encourages skimming books and lazy viewing. In so doing, Kimmelman indulges in the age old “grass-is-greener” folly of describing the current moment as lesser in relation to a time in which our wiser elders did much to progress society. But since when has the bulk of the population ever been reflective and critical? Kimmelman would have us believe sketching evokes more thought than taking a snapshot, even though we all know increased time spent on anything doesn’t necessarily suggest reflection. How many painstakingly executed, intellectually vapid, photorealist paintings do we have to see to erase this cliche? How many more couch potatoes need to be born?
- On a related note, I should mention that if I thought museums were all about self improvement, I’d probably go a lot less. I don’t want to sound like a boor, but it seems an awful onus on art to think of it as some sort of self-help project made for the betterment of mankind. Sometimes it serves this purpose, but from a practical perspective an understanding of art history likely won’t save the world. It just makes it a little more interesting.
- The latest from Paper Monument: I like your work: art and etiquette hits stands today! I have a small essay on netiquette in this Zagat-like guide readers can peruse for a mere eight bucks ($22 for a subscription). In the meantime though, the site is publishing a few teasers to whet reader appetite. The first of these comes from Jay Batlle, who writes on the subject of studio visit etiquette. Apparently I breach his cardinal rule all the time: Don’t be late! Sorry…