This week at The L Magazine, I go to bat for Claire Bishop’s much-maligned Artforum essay,”Digital Divide”. Did she forget about the existence of every net artist? Did she not notice she’d written a sentence specifically excluding the art she was looking for? No. You just can’t read good.
Artforum’s actual readership—mainstream gallerists, parents of art students who never changed their mailing address, and coffee table owners—has pretty much been silent. They’re not a crowd, by nature, that sets itself to long internet arguments about the state of art today. But we shouldn’t forget that they are who Bishop was writing for: a great analog horde who can hear the digital apocalypse coming but don’t know which way to run. Rather than reading Bishop’s article as ignorant navel-gazing from art’s ruling class, we should read it for what it is: a proposal for change, the beginnings of a pivot, and a way for mainstream art to claim it’s moving forward without either making everything free (because of digital reproducibility) or lolcats (because lol).
To read the full piece click here.