Hyperallergic correspondent Lisa Radon was on hand yesterday to catch a few choice statements made by New Museum head curator Richard Flood as part of a talk on “Creating Networks” at the Portland Art Museum, a lecture that began with a “sharply traced” viewpoint of the art world vis-a-vis Flood’s own impressive career and ended with a “wildly out-of-touch” conversation about art and the internet.
Radon’s presence at the talk, and her blog post thereafter, are direct contradictions to Flood’s assertion that the internet is a self-mutating chat room with no narrative, history, or scope. And what was the curator’s purpose in revealing that he “just found out about blogs three months ago”? Is it a confusing and convoluted ruse, a plot designed to jumpstart a new discussion in the arts community? Read what else Radon recorded after the jump and judge for yourselves.
On the internet:
I just found out about blogs three months ago. The internet is still a ghetto.
On reporting via blogs:
Blogs are like being out on a prairie and one prairie dog pops up; none of the others can see it, but they can feel the movement in the earth. So another pops up. And another. They are not communicating with each other. They have no idea. History means nothing to them. Truth means nothing to them. They have no mechanism in place for checking [facts].
On culture in recessionary times:
Culture is seen as a luxury. If you have been hit by the economy, by unemployment, it’s very easy to get riled up about the culture and the money your government spends for it.
On New York mag critic Jerry Saltz and Facebook:
You may have heard of this critic named Jerry Saltz. He has a second career on Facebook. And it’s terrifying. He has 5,000 subscribers. And he calls them, “My Thebans,” “my children,” “my army.” And we’re looking at it and asking ourselves, “How did we get to Benito Mussolini’s website?” These scare tactics. I think it’s dangerous. He has no understanding of what he’s enabling his people to do … with the aggressive spirit in this country.
We can only hope that Rhizome director Lauren Cornell, head of the experimental and technology-driven online arts platform since 2003, can tutor Flood on how constructive discourse in the online sphere can only help the New Museum. After all, why should a curator whose made an admirable career of promoting radical, envelope-pushing artists expect the audience who consumes their work to swallow any institution’s ideology hook, line, and sinker?
We weren’t in attendance at Flood’s Portland talk, but we’re curious to hear what you think about the issues he raised. Is hyperlinking a good enough tool for communication across the web? What’s missing from online arts coverage that could ostensibly satisfy both a museum’s message and its audience’s taste for transparency?
[All quotes via Hyperallergic]