Saturday, November 30, 2013

Section 02: Present Methods and Disruptions of Past Structures

          During the 2013 Print Festival Scotland, the publishing methods used with the GENERATORprinthouse’s Internet based limited edition e-paper’s will be taken into account with the disruptions of past structures within art writing and its current roles with digital technology. 
Art In America Magazine’s article, Arts Writing: The New Models, examines the current shifts in art criticism and art journalism with interviews from professionals in the field. The point that drew my interest to this article and the GENERATORprinthouse’s project was Sasha Anawalt’s interview. Anawalt describes how she and her colleagues made concerted efforts to redefine the Arts Journalism program at University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism (Los Angeles).[1] 
The shift of the structure of the program was from lecture base to projects base. This formed alumni fellowships and collaborations with professionals in a wide sense of the field, such as web designers, programmers, and advertisers. In this transition of the program, Anawalt reflected on how there was an effort to move away from making each student feel that they had to be highly proficient in all forms of media. Anawalt continues with describing this past philosophy as preparing people to be a “one-person band,” which deprives and disbands the collaborative experience behind the newsroom.[2]
 Similarities between one specific project from the Arts Journalism program and the GENERATORprinthouse’s project communicate John David Ebert ‘s title for the Internet, “nomadological technology.” I will refer to Ebert’s title to how digital technology has modified the idea of a newsroom, while recognizing transient components.  In the section 01 blog post, I outlined the structure of the short-term press facilities at Generator Projects. The Arts Journalism program’s project was a pop-up newsroom at Humana Festival of New American Plays.[3]
An obvious transient component for both projects is the temporary newsroom. The other transient component is the characteristics of the events. Besides the short-term time frame of the event, the festivals and conference attendees are temporary guests. While Ebert’s Internet title references the disappearance of choices in media sources and the structure of hierarchical knowledge[4], this temporary newsroom style corresponds with the type of short-term event. 
The Arts Journalism program’s pop-up newsroom challenges Ebert’s arguments of information-based websites having low budgets to pay quality writers and causing an enormous cultural deficiency.[5] The Arts Journalism project received funding to invite critics to write about the event in the six-day time period. The collaboration with the Arts Journalism program created a website, Engine 31, that pertains to a cultural event.   
One aspect of the two projects that demonstrates the evolution between print media and digital media is the opportunity to offer individuals 24 hour access and an incentive to contribute additional information. At the end of her interview, Anawalt refers to this component in journalism as the ripple effect, which goes beyond writing and engages a community in a conversation about art.[6] The original intentions for the GENERATORprinthouse were for it to be passed along to the Dundee art community, since their local newspaper has an absence in an art critic. The project from the Print Festival Scotland can be used as a model to ask where the City of Dundee will proceed with their conversation about art and which media source they will choose. 

[1] Rebecca Dimling Cochran, “Arts Writing: The New Models,” Art in America, November 2013, 41
[2] Ibid 41
[3] Ibid 41
[4] John David Ebert, The New Media Invasion (Jefferson, McFarland & Company, 2011) 11 - 12
[5] Ibid 11 - 12
[6] Rebecca Dimling Cochran, “Arts Writing: The New Models,” Art in America, November 2013, 41 - 42

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