Cheeky Quotes: have fun!

April 22, 2014

Da Vinci's "The Last Supper"

Your thoughts up to May 21, 2014

THE ARTNEWS (the news report)

- a journalistic genre
communicative purposes:
  • to offer information to the readers "as accurately and dispassionately as possible"(Vijay Bhatia: 1993: Analysing Genre:Language Use in Professional Settings: 161)
  • to announce an artistic event / "breaking news"
  • to define the context
  • to show cause-effect relationships
  • to report comments, different viewpoints
  • to forecast (give expectations) future developments
media: art magazines, journals, newspapers that also have an art section, the Internet

Task: bring your own piece of artnews as a comment (no more than 10 lines).

Deadline: May 21, 2014


- are promotional materials which offer exact information about an exhibition (the exhibiting artists - some information about them); place (the exact location/even a map sometimes); time (the opening day,  the display period, daily visiting schedule; visiting fees; contact details); they usually offer some visuals of the exhibited works to arouse the curiosity of the public

- the card also functions as an invitation to the opening day; it may use the exhibition poster as visual information



- are very short texts written by the curators, or by the museum staff, sometimes by the artists themselves, to inform the viewers about the exhibited works, by providing such details as the title of the work, the medium/media, its dimensions, the artist's name and very short biographical data, the date the work was finished, the name of the owner or collector, specific technique/s 


- usually published by organizers of exhibitions (museums, galleries) under the form of brochures

Communicative purpose: to illustrate the most representative aspects of the exhibitions

-offers color reproductions of the most representative works; short critical essays, or fragments, or quotations to help the public better understand the show as a whole and some works in particular

- is usually prefaced by the curator of the exhibition

The Artist's Blog

Definitions of weblogs (blogs)

  • “a hierarchy of text, images, media objects and data, arranged chronologically, that can be viewed in an HTML browser” (Harvard dictionary)
  • “a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (‘posts’) typically displayed in reverse chronological order” (Wikipedia)
  • a journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption; informal; grouped by date ; with links to older posts; informative and/or inspiring; frequently linked to other sites; addictive for bloggers (adapted from Blogger Forum)
  • “a meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid pathetic life” (Urban Dictionary)

Previous research:

Susan Herring (Indiana University, 2004)
Neither fundamentally new, nor unique genre
Appeared in 1996 as a format, and 1997 as weblog (even 1991)
A bridge between the multimedia HTML documents and text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC)
A hybrid genre with multiple sources
Made possible by free software (Blogger, Wordpress)
Exponentially increasing in number (from 2.1 millions in 2004 to 181 millions at the end of 2011, our note)
Classification: 4 main types (personal journals—70%; filters = reviewing other blogs—12%; k-logs= offering information on certain subjects, and mixed)
Generic features: archives, badges, images, comments, links, calendar, guest book; frequency of posting cca. 5 days; reverse chronological order
Miller & Shepherd (North Carolina Univ.): the social function of blogs = the need to establish relations between selves
Herring & al. (2006): gender  and age study of weblogs (women and teenagers are active bloggers)
Laurie McNeill ( Univ. of Michigan, 2005): the journey of the written diary to the new web genre; the community of “netizens
Jan Schmidt  (Bamberg Univ. Germany, 2007) compares the different uses of the blog format
Cornelius Puschmann  (Humboldt Univ. of Berlin, 2009) focuses on corporate blogs; in his 2010 published PhD thesis he compares personal and corporate blogs; the supergenre” of  the personal blog; “the genre of the people”; “the blog prototype”

Art blog vs. artist's blog

Art blog vs. artist’s blog: art blogs may be written by other persons than artists (even institutions) and refer to art more or less in general; artist’s blogs are written by  artists themselves and refer to art in particular; art,here = visual art

An occupational-type of blog: occupations may include professional activities as well; art may or may not be the profession of the artist, but it certainly is his/her occupation; “professional” blog may suggest that there are other blogs which could be negatively tagged as “unprofessional” 

Communicative Purposes:

 Keeping up-to-date with the art world (artists as readers and writers of blogs; their audiences)
Keeping in touch with the latest successful practices in own field
Establishing oneself as an expert in the field (with possible professional and market benefits)
Marketing oneself (a cheap way of displaying own art and gaining public)
Advertising oneself (cheaply and efficiently)
Advertising another personal website (dedicated to sales)
Selling own works directly (“buy now” button)
Creating a successful artistic practice = creating art, showing it, telling people about it, interacting with public and fellow artists; blogging as part of the practice
Arousing and maintaining interest in own art and practice (through frequent posts and good content)
Increase visibility in the art world (the networking of blogs, blogrolls, links)
Sharing own experience(s) and techniques
Getting to know oneself better (in-depth writing and thinking)
Recording thoughts, experiences, practices (a kind of personal history)
Communicating with audiences (comments and replies)
Getting feedback (to keep, change, better market own art)
Adding to other writings about art in different media


The software structure is usually maintained with some alterations; web-design graphic artists create their own blog designs
The titles (not always the same with the URL) tend to contain the artist’s name; sometimes they offer information about the artist (“Belinda Joynes: Artist, imaginarian and daydream believer”, “Kelly Kilmer. Artist and Instructor”), sometimes they try to be as catchy as possible (“The haunted hollow tree”, “ Artsy fartsy life”, “Notes from the Voodoo Café”)
Most of the blogs are independent; very few are part of other websites, or homepages
        •Information about the artists is provided in almost all of the 30 blogs (more or less overtly), mainly through the “About” button (sincerity, authenticity)
       •Credentials and assuming some degree of expertise – present in the great majority of the blogs
       •Information about the intended content of the blog is offered in more than a half

The life expanse of the blogs (from 3-5 years to 8-9 years) and the frequency of posting (from once to six-eight times a month) prove that blogging is perceived by their authors as part of their art practice
All of the typical macrofeatures of the blog are present (reverse chronological order, archives, blogrolls, badges, tags/lables, sharing tools, statistics of visitors) to a great extent, proving that the artist’s blog is a sub-type of the blog prototype
The intensive use of images (photographs, drawings, sketches) and other visuals (videos) is a particularity of the artist’s blog, very consistent with the nature of art itself  


Headers: title of post (reflecting the work/event) + information about date of post + reverse chronology
Footers: author + exact time of posting + tags + sharing tools + comments     ( = a typical blog microfeature, re-creating a conversation type of discourse)
Links: intralinks (to own posts) +/- hyperlinks (to other blogs/sites)
Intensive use of images
Texts/words are used to explain the process of creation, the progress of a work, are complementary to images

Artist blog types:

Mixed = journal entries + tutorials + reviews + advertorials + news

Filter = review of exhibitions and other blogs

Other = a “blogazine” (blog + magazine + forum + TV section + newsletter)

Discourse particularities:

Register: none of them was formal; they tend to range from neutral to different degrees of familiarity (consistent with the communicative purposes)
Modes of discourse: all of them, with a prevalence of the narrative mode (personal experience, descriptive narrative of process of creation, of work-in-progress, reporting events); descriptions of the type “recipe-giving”; describing a work of art; expository and argumentative – mainly in the reviewing type of blogs
Discourse strategies: analysing works (describing + interpreting + evaluating), reviewing, recipe-giving, labelling, story-telling, commenting, confessing, reporting, interviewing (taken from journalism), quoting, paraphrasing, aknowledging sources as footnotes (taken from scientific writing), monologuing
Rhetorical devices: metaphors, similes, hyperboles, rhetorical questions, repetitions, colloquialism, humour, (self-) irony, imprecation
Morphological features:
The 1st person pronoun “I”, expressing subjectivity is used to give the feeling of authenticity; in relationship with
The 2nd person pronoun “you”- to re-create an “authentic” speech situation; the reader is part of the whole process of creation, actively involved
Very few cases of the 3rd person pronoun (with self-reference), trying to suggest some detachment and objectivity
Qualifiers are largely used (some less formal superlatives)
Tenses: mainly past (for narratives); present (for descriptions); future (e.g. for plans to develop certain themes, to use a new technique, etc)
Interjections (colloquialism)
Text entries:
 A relative small number of paragraphs, coherently sequenced, accompanied by many images
Rather short (some exceptions range from no text at all to very large texts)
Special typing (upper case in some words to stress upon)
Unusual spelling (“little birdie in da house”, “y’all”)
Internet slang /Acronyms (XOXO=hugs and kisses; X=kiss; O = hug; XX = two kisses; LOL = loughing out loud, OMG = oh, my god!; DIY = do-it-yourself)
Repetitions of some letters (“Yiiiiii!”), suggesting some emotional state
Emoticons: J - smiley face; =)) - laugh;  L - sad face

for further reference, please follow:

Task: Make your own artist's blog and insert the link here (as comment). If you have 5 (five) posts written in English, those will count as your final grade this semester.
Deadline: May 21, 2014
Linksl)ecting work of art, event

April 02, 2014


Communicative purpose:
  • the self-assertion of the artist's personal aesthetics/philosophy underlying his/her work in general, or a particular work/exhibition
  • stating the reasons for creating one work or the other, themes, identifying oneself with a style
  • describing own techniques and giving reasons for own choices
  • sharing all the necessary information in order to be better understood by the public
  • advertising oneself
  • arousing reader's interest and curiosity
media: a short text used as
  • a marketing material on cards, flyers, mailers, posters
  • accompanying slides, photos sent to different art curators, art dealers, etc, in order to get promoted or bought by them; participating in international art contests; applying for international creation grants
  • quotations in art reviews, in different articles (to illustrate/support the critic's analyses, interpretations and evaluations), in art history texts (as a research source)
discourse strategies:
  • a very subjective genre, hence the use of the first person personal pronoun "I"
  • a type of 'confession'
  • using catchy words and expressions to attract reader's attention
  • avoiding prescribing a certain reading of own work while still offering some guidelines
  • implicating reader (suggesting a kind of conversation)
  • avoiding obscurity (weighing upon the amount of the necessary"artspeak")
  • writing with the audience in mind (who do you address to? is it a professional public, or a general public?)
TASK 1: What do you think about the following artist's statements? Which do you like best? Any reason why?


TASK  2: Read through this article; the author seems to disagree with writing artist's statements by mentioning some dangers of writing them inappropriately; he expresses a personal opinion as to who should write the artist's statement. What do you think? Should it be the artist himself/herself to write the artists's statement, or should someone else write this text on his/her behalf ? Give reasons.

TASK 3: What would you say about yourself and your art in your statement?