Monday, August 30, 2010

in the nature of the beast

Writers/filmmakers/people who publicise their work* through their blogs/twitter accounts/facebook pages appear to use the medium less as an aggregator and more as a selective filter that lets in only the praise and keeps out the criticism.

This is only natural I suppose.

But I'm more fascinated by the phenomenon of linking to reviews at all. It assumes on the part of the consumer 1) laziness; 2) an inability to make up one's mind without help; 3) a willingness to be directed.

Also fascinated by what this says about the author**.


* Specifically, reviews. Information about availability/ readings/performances/exhibitions are different beasts.

**Here I'm distinguishing between the person who created said material -film, book, music album, painting - and the person in charge of disseminating information about it. It's when they're the same person and that things become really interesting.


km said...

Umm, it's (a kind of) shilling. But why is it fascinating?

Space Bar said...

km: It's fascinating because it seems to put today's author (which I'm using as shorthand for everyone including filmmakers and other artists) in a more needy relationship with the audience.

Once, an author let the work out and people made up their own minds about the work. Sure, authors waited for reviews and were affected by them, but there was a wall around what they thought about it - most of the time anyway.

Now, with personal websites and other social media, the relationship, though not really more intimate, gives both author and audience a false feeling of a direct relationship which can be misleading.

My feeling is that praise has become more necessary because its effects are more immediately felt - all those congratulatory words scribbled on walls, websites etc. And because of it, an author's ability to be stringent with her own work seems to be getting lost.

dipali said...

I think you make tremendous sense. The immediacy of response has its own pitfalls.

Crazyfinger said...

Generally speaking, these blogs and such appear to have a loss-of-confidence effect on the artists. They just can't seem to let go of their work. I wonder if the art can survive the overbearing presence of the artist in the social media these days. The right way is when the artist doesn't crowd so much the art and the experience it emanates, no? I suspect this all has to do with marketing. Artists caught in these media (and who isn't trapped in the medium?) I think are struggling with what they are not skilled at, which is to market themselves. Otherwise what explains such an amateurish imprint in their online self-marketing behavior? I am pretty sure these same writers feel much more self-aware, more discerning and more inviting of critical views if somehow the medium isn't so, how should we say, isn't so naturally narcissistic.