The Worst of the Web, 2006

by Art Fag City on January 4, 2007 Events

There are no less than ten things the Internet brought us last year wish I could forget. They are thusly immortalized below.


10. Pluto is not a planet
Blogosphere aghast! Pluto demoted! You know what? Fuck you Pluto. Second only to the Iraq war as a pressing news item in August, this non-story dominated discussion on like, five million websites. How much discussion really needs to occur on what will eventually amount to one less tag on a flickr photo of this “non-planet”.

Image copyright Location One

9. The Road to Mount Weather
In what has to be an odd clerical error of sorts, Barbara London, the associate curator of New Media at The Museum of Modern Art has placed Cliff Evan’s video The Road to Mount Weather, at number two on her top ten list of the best films in 2006. The work culls and collages images found on the Internet to create 15 minutes of sophomoric conspiracy themed panoramas thus calling into question London’s taste and virtually every other pick on her ArtForum list. A complete review of this video can be found at The Reeler.

Image copyright boing boing

8. Live 3D body scanning scanning online of supermodel Naomi Campbell etc.
Super high resolution shots of Naomi Campbell’s body constituted a tech story in the last week of December at Boing Boing. This particular piece isn’t “the worst” of the web, but representative of the meaningless tech fetishization that permeates the web. Witness endless ipod news, engadget, and of course, this.

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7. Armin Vit’s Anti Woman rant on Speak-Up
When Tokion announced its list of speakers at their conference Creativity Now this past September there were no women speakers scheduled to attend. Not surprisingly, a number of people didn’t think it was all that cool to host a conference on creativity and not include any women. Armin Vit, author of the blog Speak Up, and a graphic designer at Pentagram, took the opposite position, and was kind enough to grace us with these thoughts on the subject in the comments section of a post he titled “Dealing With “Women” Part One: The Rant”,

My claim…is that neglecting and publicly bashing a conference about creativity (and its organizers) for its lack of women, despite their efforts to do so, is a backward-thinking proposition. Having attended the conference, there was inevitably a diverse range of point of views, the large majority coming from men. To claim that this diversity of point of views is unteniable — and detrimental to the conference — without women holds little ground.

Wow, what are the odds that there was a greater diversity of male view points at conference with 90% male participants? Idiot.

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6. Gawker
Who knows how long Gawker will be driving traffic if their site does not recover from the loss of editor Jessica Cohen. The blog is now an explosion of third person prose, constantly late on stories, and frequently boring as fuck. Prediction: Buzzfeed will eat Gawker alive. (I know, I know, it’s a different kind of site – but there are more similarities than you’d think, and the writing is in a completely different league.)

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5. Culturegrrl
Admittedly Lee Rosenbaum’s coverage of the Met Museum’s admission hike over the summer was excellent as was the work she did with the contemporary auctions in November, but there is a limit to how much self promotion I want to read on a site, and Culturegrrl exceeds this quota daily. We know where we are, we don’t need to be reminded every other post. We don’t need to read an empty entries about what will be published in a few hours – (I have a newsreader thanks) and we don’t need to read complaints about who’s not linking to the site. We would however like to see something that supports the feminist roots Culturegrrl’s name suggests (as does her first post.) I think it’s slightly disingenuous to claim grrl status, and then rarely write about women.

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4. Lonely Girl15
Too great a waste of time to discuss.

Image via true2death

3. Banksy
The graffiti/guerrilla artist Banksy is to the art world, what Snakes on the Planes is to the field of entertainment: Not so-bad-it’s-good. Nobody will remember this artist’s poorly painted elephant, or childish Paris Hilton pranks, but this won’t stop someone from thinking it’s a good idea to write a book on the growth of his popularity due to the web. When print allows you to follow a link, this idea will have some merit, but until that time we can all sneer at the inherent stupidity of such projects.

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2. Artnet
While welcome rumors that Artnet will soon launch a site redesign and new services have filtered in here over the past month, (bloggy has an excellent post today detailing some of the companies business plans revealed on VernissageTV) nobody can fix the fact that the abusive editor Walter Robinson runs their magazine. Over the last year Robinson has sent numerous name calling emails to bloggers, blindly supported the laziest and most sexist writer in the art business, and continually publishes vapid art news reporting. All the design in the world can’t correct that problem.

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1. Artinfo
When this site first launched I thought it was going to crush its competition. Artnet was in a vulnerable position, what with their website sucking and all, and ArtInfo could have offered a a real alternative. Well, so much for that idea. Blogger has more sophisticated publishing technology than these guys do, (not actually true, but their website is a mess and they don’t have RSS feeds), and they can’t seem to keep anyone on staff for more than a few months. If they want to stay alive, they have to demonstrate that they are an art authority. Nobody is going to believe that as long as they have cost cutting columns promoting the work of students who have yet to graduate. Call me old fashioned, but I think giving a student the space for their art to mature before launching them into the art world benefits everyone.

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