a preface post: putting pen to paper

It all starts with an internet search. Not one using a standard search engine of choice (Bing, Google, Yahoo—does anyone even use Yahoo?), but rather, the ever popular online Merriam-Webster dictionary. The term necessitating definition: BLOG.

Blog, noun| \ˈblȯg, ˈbläg\: a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer. Origin: short for Weblog; first known use 1999. Synonyms—there are none (and yes, I checked).

Liu Dan, Dictionary

Liu Dan, Dictionary, 1991, Ink and watercolor on paper, 81 1/20 x 120 in., Private Collection

Let’s be honest, there is no accurate, all-encompassing definition of the word blog. This lack of clarity is, of course, for good reason. First, as previously stated, the word blog and/or concept did not even exist until the 1990s, thus making it still “new” to our society and therefore, constantly changing. Second, when dealing with “personal” websites, there are far too many variables for a concrete definition: blog genre, scope, location, ability of the writer, frequency of post, content of images, content of hyperlinks, viewership, etc. So why even start a fledgling blog with the attempt to define of the term?

Because: as a wordsmith, I needed to do my research.

That is who I am—a researcher. I am a seeker of knowledge, a person interested in information itself. It is what I do 40+ hours a week; it runs in my family’s DNA; it is demonstrated in my every attempt to make the most accurate purchases (typically, it also makes you an excellent SCRABBLE© and/or trivia player). As both blessing and curse, it is an innate quality, one which I have decided to embrace. And yes, I realize a pursuit of accurate and in-depth information on the web seems counter-intuitive. But does that mean we should not try? What I am striving to achieve? To quote Jacquelyn Gleisner in her Art21 Magazine blog, “informal, yet incisive internet writing.”[i] And perhaps, a little bit of this sought-after knowledge can eventually be turned into applicable wisdom.

189-E6

Xu Bing, 1987-1991, Book from the Sky, Hand printed books, ceiling and wall scrolls printed from wood letterpress type using false Chinese characters, dimensions variable, Installation view at Crossings, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1998). Courtesy Xu Bing Studio.

So, I am putting this blog out there: amidst the many lifestyle, sports, fashion, mommy, food, media, etc. blogs currently in existence—I am throwing my hat in the ring (something some may know, I never thought I would do). But before my plunge into the blogosphere (noun | blog·o·sphere \ˈblä-gə-ˌsfir\; all of the blogs on the internet as a collective whole), I must set some of my own parameters. 1) Realistically, the frequency of posting will be once or twice a month because of well…life. 2) These posts will not necessarily be for the faint-of-heart. I am hoping to move away from simply free-form, first-person narrative (ex: “Today, while sitting and drinking my daily cup of coffee, I saw a bird…”) but rather, attempt researched information.[ii] At times, posts may even need to contain citations *gasp.* 3) there likely will be guest authors/bloggers, because frankly, I know many much more knowledgeable people, and their voices should be heard.

Oh, and you may now be wondering, the blog topic? ART (more on the subject in the next post).

p.s. I hope you noticed that all the artworks in this post demonstrate the incorporation of the written word!

image1

Cara Barer, Iceberg, 2012-2013, Archival inkjet on paper, 24 X 40 in.

[i]http://blog.art21.org/2012/03/08/becoming-colossal-with-blogger-christopher-jobson/#.Va6zk1J0yHs
[ii] I must take the moment to state that, while I will attempt to largely leave the first-person narrative behind, the thoughts/artists/works/exhibitions discussed are still viewed through the lens of my mind. Therefore, what you read has to be originated from my own opinions, choices, and conclusions. Of course, there will be those who maintain differing viewpoints, and this is a good thing, at least in my estimation. Why have we lost the ability to disagree with others, while still maintaining respect?

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