Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Nancy Levinson - Blogger on Fire

Last week over at the Arts Journal, Nancy Levinson wrote a humbling piece on the current state of architectural criticism. She riffed on November’s Architect’s Newspaper, several Big newspaper critics’ “Year in Review” articles, and many other sources. It proves worth the read for a sober appraisal of the several unexpected focal points. There is an interesting thesis tying the decline of the newspaper critic’s power to the slipping away of their sharply corralled audience, and a warning that new critics inherit a new unimaginable, unmanagable landscape of subjects. She compellingly presented the problems facing today’s critics, the rise of the starchitect, and also convincingly traced many of these developements to the new influence of the world wide web. From her post…
“The outlines of a multi-media, print-and-web architecture culture are still emerging, but it's not too soon to discern one of the big challenges for criticism: the Web has made the culture unprecedentedly—amazingly and impossibly—global. Architecture has been international in outlook for years, but until lately this was mainly a matter of keeping up with the foreign journals and new monographs, attending lectures and exhibits, (sometimes even) traveling. Today this manageable world-view has exploded into a superabundance of instant-access globalism at once exhilarating and exhausting. It's not that more architecture is being made around the world, it's that we are more aware of the architecture being made around the world.”


Blogger progressive reactionary said...

good link - i also have been thinking a lot lately about the (weak) state of contemporary criticism. although "criticism" is a subset of the larger project of "criticality" in architecture, i certainly think that its decline is symptomatic of a broader reaction against any critical function for the discipline. so the question is: what do we do now? maybe there's a way to take Levinson's "superabundance of instant-access globalism" and turn it around to our advantage? maybe that's just what we're trying to do??

just posted some thoughts (yet no real answers) here...

12:23 AM  
Blogger J said...

I regret not mentioning her contribution to Perspecta 37. I just flipped through an advanced copy and noted her article. It covers many overlapping issues, and may warrent its own post here.

11:35 AM  

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