Bad At Sports Interviews Paddy Johnson

by Art Fag City on November 10, 2008 · 15 comments Events

paddy_johnson_petra-cortright.jpg
Paddy Johnson (left) Petra Cortright (right) at the Net Aesthetics 2.0 panel this spring. Image via: flickr.

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.

  • http://studiotalk.org Bryan

    “…it becomes difficult for people to locate the original source. …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.”

    Socrates warned of something similar in Phaedrus, about writing and its ability to facilitate ignorance, more than two thousand years ago.

    “…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.”

    One of the best things about books is that no one reads them. Enjoy paradise island.

  • http://studiotalk.org Bryan

    “…it becomes difficult for people to locate the original source. …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.”

    Socrates warned of something similar in Phaedrus, about writing and its ability to facilitate ignorance, more than two thousand years ago.

    “…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.”

    One of the best things about books is that no one reads them. Enjoy paradise island.

  • http://studiotalk.org Bryan

    “…it becomes difficult for people to locate the original source. …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.”

    Socrates warned of something similar in Phaedrus, about writing and its ability to facilitate ignorance, more than two thousand years ago.

    “…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.”

    One of the best things about books is that no one reads them. Enjoy paradise island.

  • Art Fag City

    I’m not sure I understand your point Bryan. I’m reading your comment to mean that my practice and others is making people ignorant because we don’t read as many books. If this is your point, I of course take issue with it but perhaps you could be a little more clear about it so I can respond appropriately.

  • Art Fag City

    I’m not sure I understand your point Bryan. I’m reading your comment to mean that my practice and others is making people ignorant because we don’t read as many books. If this is your point, I of course take issue with it but perhaps you could be a little more clear about it so I can respond appropriately.

  • http://studiotalk.org Bryan

    I believe firmly that writing, as communication, is a two way street. What I did through sarcasm was reduce this discussion to binaries. The parallel with Socrates is that in his concern, there is an emphasis on dialect as learning – his warning of writing was that it took the place of proper learning by defaulting knowledge to something outside of the mind, or listening to music without ever looking at the source. The problem with the internet is that it DOES introduce “a more general knowledge of art to a more broader spectrum of people” and undermines the intelligence that comes with specialization. In art criticism, no big deal – it is dealing with a dialogue specific to the discipline. Introducing the “public” to art, great! They need to make connections between these disparate topics in order to understand how art functions in context. To artists and art making, which are supposed to represent (loosely) a push forward and a kind of evolution of ideas and the human mind, this gross generalization is a failure. It is not about the books we read, but our willingness to understand the world and not write it off as some kind of intelligentsia conspiracy to ruin our naive perspective of the world. What the internet facilitates is a coming together of minds, where we are provided the opportunity to contribute from the perspective of our specialization… rather than a halitosis of ideas, watered down and lacking research.

  • http://studiotalk.org Bryan

    I believe firmly that writing, as communication, is a two way street. What I did through sarcasm was reduce this discussion to binaries. The parallel with Socrates is that in his concern, there is an emphasis on dialect as learning – his warning of writing was that it took the place of proper learning by defaulting knowledge to something outside of the mind, or listening to music without ever looking at the source. The problem with the internet is that it DOES introduce “a more general knowledge of art to a more broader spectrum of people” and undermines the intelligence that comes with specialization. In art criticism, no big deal – it is dealing with a dialogue specific to the discipline. Introducing the “public” to art, great! They need to make connections between these disparate topics in order to understand how art functions in context. To artists and art making, which are supposed to represent (loosely) a push forward and a kind of evolution of ideas and the human mind, this gross generalization is a failure. It is not about the books we read, but our willingness to understand the world and not write it off as some kind of intelligentsia conspiracy to ruin our naive perspective of the world. What the internet facilitates is a coming together of minds, where we are provided the opportunity to contribute from the perspective of our specialization… rather than a halitosis of ideas, watered down and lacking research.

  • Art Fag City

    I noticed the reduction.

    So, as I understand it, the problem you have is that people aren’t figuring out enough for themselves, and the Internet only facilitates that (and it shouldn’t). There may be some truth to that, but I’m hesitant to make such large generalizations, particularly because the medium suits the way some people learn better than others. I’m not convinced artists don’t benefit from the Internet, (halitosis and all). Personally, I think some of the essays in IMG MGMT brilliantly demonstrate that they do (Zucker is a great example).

    As for artists and art making, who “represent (loosely) a push forward and a kind of evolution of ideas and the human mind”, I feel like that’s an awful burden to put on those practitioners. Sure some art achieves this, but I’ll be honest; I have never bought that art should have some sort of special status amongst professional fields. People move ideas forward, not disciplines in and of themselves.

  • Art Fag City

    I noticed the reduction.

    So, as I understand it, the problem you have is that people aren’t figuring out enough for themselves, and the Internet only facilitates that (and it shouldn’t). There may be some truth to that, but I’m hesitant to make such large generalizations, particularly because the medium suits the way some people learn better than others. I’m not convinced artists don’t benefit from the Internet, (halitosis and all). Personally, I think some of the essays in IMG MGMT brilliantly demonstrate that they do (Zucker is a great example).

    As for artists and art making, who “represent (loosely) a push forward and a kind of evolution of ideas and the human mind”, I feel like that’s an awful burden to put on those practitioners. Sure some art achieves this, but I’ll be honest; I have never bought that art should have some sort of special status amongst professional fields. People move ideas forward, not disciplines in and of themselves.

  • http://www.markstaffbrandl.com/ Mark Staff Brandl

    That is a great interview, Paddy. You and Duncan are great to listen to — thoughtful stimulation. Good job.

  • http://www.markstaffbrandl.com/ Mark Staff Brandl

    That is a great interview, Paddy. You and Duncan are great to listen to — thoughtful stimulation. Good job.

  • http://www.markstaffbrandl.com/ Mark Staff Brandl

    That is a great interview, Paddy. You and Duncan are great to listen to — thoughtful stimulation. Good job.

  • http://www.davidlamorte.com Dave LaMorte

    I can’t wait to listen to the episode.

  • http://www.davidlamorte.com Dave LaMorte

    I can’t wait to listen to the episode.

  • http://www.davidlamorte.com Dave LaMorte

    I can’t wait to listen to the episode.

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