POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
I need to use my tumblr more. I have the feeling I’m missing more artist blogs than I should, Firmuhment, being the latest. Maintained by artist Justin Wolfe, the tumblr looks a lot like pre-existing net art, the closest aesthetic match being the “scrollbar workout” over at the group blog Double Happiness. Both exaggerate the relationship between physical images and the real world, Wolfe writing and illustrating his own posts by hand and then publishes the results as oversized images.
Wolfe’s most recent post is not only distinguished by its aesthetic, but the comedic quality to the writing. Of course none of the text is copy-and-pastable, so you have to really give a shit about what he’s doing to post about it. “I guess you could describe a lot of what I wrote about then as tech blogging,” Wolfe writes, describing his first blog, which he dates back to kindergarten. He cared a lot about video games.
Other posts include scanned printouts of gossip blog posts in which he’s hand written responses in the comment fields, a series of rejection letters I suspect places like the University of Oregon’s MFA Creative Writing department will soon find an embarrassment, and scanned pages from books paired with MP3 readings.
In the comment section of an earlier Fresh Link to Firmuhment, artist Tom Moody identifies a running theme of a gentile who wants to be Jewish. This conclusion was undoubtedly drawn from a post in which Wolfe cites times in his life when he wished he were Jewish (and the one instance when he did not), though as Moody notes, it’s unclear whether this is just a persona. The following description from the about page of Firmuhment is relevant:
The Jewish Encyclopaedia describes the firmament as follows: The Hebrews regarded the earth as a plain or a hill figured like a hemisphere, swimming on water. Over this is arched the solid vault of heaven. To this vault are fastened the lights, the stars. So slight is this elevation that birds may rise to it and fly along its expanse.
Uh may refer to: A speech disfluency variously articulated as an open-mid vowel such as /Éœ/ or /ÊŒ/, or as a near-open central vowel, and sometimes beginning with a glottal stop. Speech disfluencies are any of various breaks, irregularities, or utterances that are often not consistent with any specific grammatical construction and occur within the flow of otherwise fluent speech.
This doesn’t answer any of Moody’s questions, but it is, at the very least, an apt description of the blog’s visual and textual rhythm. More than anything else, Wolfe’s use of text distinguishes the tumblr from the surf blogs that pioneered the look Wolfe engages. Not only is there a personal narrative, but the blog occasionally riffs on current stories. For this reason, it’s no surprise blogging personalities like Choire Sicha and the Tomorrow Museum’s Joanne McNeil have been early to recognize the artist’s talent. Now it’s the art world’s turn.