Yes, blogging can be art

isitagenuineemin The old saying “I don’t know much about art but I know what I like” is one I apply to myself much of the time.

About the only art works I have at home where I know (and can remember) the name of the artist are some really nice prints by Jack Vettriano.

Last Thursday, I took part in a panel discussion that I called blog as an art form, which looked at the blog as the new canvas to debate the broad question “Is blogging the new way for people to express themselves creatively?”

The debate was part of the DesignIT 2008 contest run by Microsoft TechNet in which people who enter use their expertise in technology to design a system that will improve the IT infrastructure of a charity of each entrant’s choice.

My fellow panelists were Charles Thomson, co-founder of the Stuckist international art movement; Jane Kelly, artist and Stuckist; Steve Clayton, blogger and CTO for the partner group at Microsoft UK; and Steve Lamb, Information Security Evangelist at Microsoft UK.

Over the course of an hour, we had a great discussion! The early stages were quite lively as there was a clear division of opinion between the artists and the bloggers on points such as what constitutes creativity and art.

Nevertheless, as the debate progressed, it became equally clear that there was broad agreement that blogging can be artistic and creative.

Given that Stuckism’s manifesto places great importance on the value of painting as a medium, as well as the use of it for communication and the expression of emotion and experience, I’m not really surprised that a general conclusion from the debate is that, yes, blogging can be art and certainly a form of creative expression.

You can listen to the whole discussion here or download the MP3 file (64 mins, 30.3Mb).

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It was a pleasure meeting Charles and Jane and engaging in this type of discussion, one that I would not usually be part of. It opened my eyes to different types of art and thinking about art, such as Stuckism of which I knew little before last week.

The picture you see above – Sir Nicholas Serota Makes an Acquisitions Decision – is regarded as the iconic work of art that represents Stuckism. It was painted by Charles Thomson who has described it as stating the Stuckism movement’s position on art: “We are for new figurative painting and anti stale, old conceptual art.”

Sounds similar to how some bloggers I know explain why they blog.

During the discussion, there were folk behind the scenes twittering some of the comments and opinions the panel expressed. Nice use of Twitter as it enabled others to glimpse what was going on as it was happening.

The panel discussion was also video-recorded using Microsoft RoundTable. It’s the first time I’ve seen this tool in use, and I was mightily impressed.

You can see the video of the whole event, including the pre-panel chitchat, which Steve has linked to in his post about the event. (Tip: double-click on the tiny video window to see it full screen.)

The event took place at The Music Room gallery in central London which is where you can see the designs submitted in the DesignIT 2008 contest. You can also see them online.

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