Thursday, February 14, 2008

One Year Blogging!

Hi All! Well, it's been one year, and I have to say, I'm totally loving the blogging. I got the idea for some navel-gazing from Bob. So, here's a questionnaire he posten on his site - it's good to take stock once in a while.

What's the purpose of your blog?
I started out this blog in the hopes of creating something I was looking for in other blogs but couldn't find - a place to see and discuss Religious Art. [The blogs that come closest are "Idle Speculations" or "Iconia", but they both have a different approach than I do.]

I have become fascinated by Religious Art over the years. I enjoy thinking about it, and how I respond to different images. That's how it started, but I also blog about other stuff that interests me, like the environment, style choices for women, cultural stuff, and different news about my crushes.

What are the boundaries of your blog?
I blog about the ideas or issues I feel or think something about. I usually don't tread into water that's too deep for me - I don't like getting out of my depth. I want to be able to know something about what I'm writing about, or at least say when I don't.

Why can't blogs go further, to the point where there's hardly any discernible difference between artist and critic/commentator, blog and work of art?
I'm not sure that blogs can't go further. I mean, look at Aerophant. I think that blog is art in and of itself. But then, I also don't consider myself an art critic, but rather a fan, so maybe that's a difference right there.

What scope and degree of editorial control do you exercise over your blog?
I'm writing. And I have a pretty robust filter.

What about posting comments from readers, and what about anonymity?
People can post comments. I like reading what people have to say.

I change pretty much all the names of those I write about from my personal sphere, to protect the innocent!

What about liability coverage?

What's the economic model of your blog?
It's like a donation.

How do you see your blog's relation to the established print art media?
I try to find images online that reflect what I'm talking about. I view my blog as a place for the lay person, religious or not, art lover or passer-by, to see the images that amaze me. I don't try to analyze art in an academic way. Sometimes I might bring what I learned long ago in college to bear, but mostly, I am writing as someone who appreciates Religious Art. My definition of what falls into that category is not fixed.

I'm much more interested in virtual media at this point, than print anyway. I mean, art magazines and catalogs are so expensive to produce, and need art historians out the wazoo to be able to authenticate and discuss art pieces for sale, basically. Most of what I'm interested in is either mass-produced, easy to find images, OR is currently in a church or museum. So a "review" of the piece isn't going to contribute to the art market - which in my mind is the state of the art world/"established art media" these days - one big market (which isn't bad, I'm just saying).

How do you attract readers/posters other than by word of mouth?
Apparently, according to Google Analytics, by talking about "nice toes" and "slutty moms". I also use Technorati - which I often call "Technocrati" 'cause I find it hard to use sometimes. And I've signed on with some interest web rings. Or, I post comments on other bloggers' sites. But I am happy with the generally constant but low-frequency traffic I get.

In general, is blog art criticism more open and liberal, and print criticism more closed and conservative?
I think so. I think it's the same with all blogging - there are no editors beyond the writers themselves. That means you get zillions of blogs saying whatever they want ["n'importe quoi!"]. But it also means, that you can stumble across some real insight and news once in a while, which is what makes the blogosphere so amazing.

Where will your blog be in three to five years?
I'm not sure. I hope I'm around in 3-5 years!

I hope to be able to do some traveling and see some religious art "in situ" and blog about it. Like, I have big dreams of going to Romania and Bulgaria to see old churches and Byzantine icons. I just read about Aksum in Ethiopia, which sounds amazing. I'd love to go back to Mexico to see the ultra-baroque churches there, maybe even for Day of the Dead. And I want to go on the pilgrimage trail from southern France to Santiago de Compostela.

I also have an elaborate plan for researching floral representations in stained glass, and medieval art generally, to see if the artists were using the flora to express ideas. Like, using a rose to mean love, for example, in medieval religious art. I have some theories, but would love to find out more about it. If there are any experts out there who know, please leave me a comment!

So there you have it, folks. And now, as I did with my first post, I leave you with the Chemical Brothers, (an incomplete song, but you get the idea) and a possibly inappropriate link.

Here we go!


Amawalker said...

Religious art is very tied in with pilgrimage art. You might enjoy this website:

Tai said...

Happy blogiversary, Sally! And thank you for the lovely compliment about Aerophant. I'm honored.

I saw some religious art from Morocco last week and thought of your blog... these were hand-painted cedar planks with Arabic quotations from the Qur'an. Very beautiful and radiantly colored.

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