The second Blowup reader was
published in three electronic formats (pdf, epub en mobi) on occasion of
the second Blowup event Blowup: Every Artist, A Journalist which took place on August 25th 2011.
1. Introduction, by Michelle Kasprzak (see below)
2. Excerpt from Aesthetic Journalism, by Alfredo Cramerotti
3. Temporary Storage, by Ken Hollings
4. The Making of P.A.P.A., by Michelle Kasprzak
5. Reality in the Age of Aesthetics, by Mark Nash
6. From the V2_ Archives: Art, Power, and Communication, by Alexei Shulgin
Every Artist, a Journalist (PDF)
Every Artist, a Journalist (Mobi)
Every Artist, a Journalist (epub)
In this, the second edition of the Blowup Reader series, each of our participating speakers is represented along with two additional texts. The Reader begins with an excerpt from Alfredo Cramerotti’s book, Aesthetic Journalism, followed by an essay by Ken Hollings delving into the history of the Dounreay Fast Reactor, which is the subject matter in Gair Dunlop’s latest work. A text I have written, written deliberately in newspaper journalism style, gives context about the beginnings of Lino Hellings’ Participating Artists Press Agency project. Also included in this Reader is a key text about truth, reality, and the ‘documentary turn’ in art by Mark Nash, and from the V2_ archive, a text by Alexei Shulgin, exploring fundamentals of how we communicate and manipulate with art.
While in the final stages of preparing this Reader, by chance I came upon an essay entitled “A Brief History of American Documentary Video” by Deirdre Boyle. In this essay she states: “The 1960s was an auspicious time for the debut of portable video. The role of the artist as individualist and alienated hero was being eclipsed by a resurgence of interest in the artist’s social responsibility, and as art became socially and politically engaged, the distinctions between art and communication blurred. At first there were few distinctions between video artists and activists, and nearly everyone made documentary tapes.” I found these statements very revealing. Here we are in 2011, with the notion of “portable video” taken to an extreme as lenses are embedded in every mobile phone. Naturally in the intervening years there have been points where social and political engagement in art has waned, making the blurring between art and communication that Boyle mentions less of an issue. At this point in time, with the rapidity of technological advancement making image making easier than ever before, we are still presented with issues of the boundaries around notions of art, and what role documentary making plays in the art world and the world at large. The texts in this Reader, and the presentations at the Blowup event, serve to illuminate where we are now, some fifty years after Nam June Paik bought a Portapak and Chris Burden made video art expressly for TV.
Copyright of the texts resides with the authors.
Blowup is curated by Michelle Kasprzak.
Graphic design by Arjen de Jong, Buro Duplex
Texts by Alfredo Cramerotti, Ken Hollings, Michelle Kasprzak, Mark Nash, Alexei Shulgin.
'Aesthetic Journalism: Acts of Witnessing, Practices of Participation' is an excerpt from the book Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform without Informing. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, 2009. Excerpt also published in German/English in Die Redner, ed., Kunst der Demokratie - Das Handbuch, Saarbruecken: 2011
'Reality in the Age of Aesthetics' originally published in Issue 114, April 2008 of Frieze Magazine (frieze.com)
'Temporary Storage' originally commissioned to accompany the launch of Gair Dunlop’s film, Atom Town: Life After Technology.