Blogher '06 Session Discussion: Is Your Blog a Gallery or a Canvas on Day Two

BlogHer Original Post

7th in our series introducing you to each of our BlogHer Conference '06 sessions and their speakers, and finding out what you would like to get from each session. Today, I bring you from Day Two:

Is You Blog a Gallery or a Canvas?

An artist (Elizabeth Perry), photographer (Ms. Jen) and writer (Eden Kennedy) explore art on blogs and blogs as art. Some bloggers are putting their best stuff online...for free. Others are exposing their works in progress. Are blogs a means to an end, or the end itself? And how do you decide what the right approach is for you?

Where did this session come from?

The fertile minds of the three women on it! Let me introduce you to each of them and the compelling statements they have made about their blogs and their art:

[img_assist|fid=441|thumb=1|alt=Elizabeth Perry] Elizabeth Perry got the creative juices flowing we discussed how she and other artists use blogs as a means of expression, a means of marketing their art, and as a means of connecting to an audience. Elizabeth added this:

"I know (online) other women who sketch or paint and blog about their process - I don't know whether they think of their blogs AS art, or whether they see the blog more as a container, a form of publication...blog as (artist-controlled) gallery...

Is the blog a sketchbook (more about process and discovery) or an artist's book (more about the whole product) or...an ongoing performance piece? A blog is a time-based medium, whether daily, weekly, or intermittently updated.

I think you could also look at podcasting/vodcasting and photoblogging as projects with similar issues..."

[img_assist|fid=449|thumb=1|alt=Mrs. Kennedy]Eden Kennedy (that's probably Mrs. Kennedy to me and you) started out by asking a not-so-simple question:

"Can a Blog Be Art? So many of us are writers supposedly working on novels or essays or creative nonfiction, but most of our best writing ends up on our blogs. So the question then becomes, is a blog a creative end in itself for a writer?"

Expanding on the idea, she further ponders:

"I know many bloggers who are looking to publish work from their blogs, and approach the subject that way -- why do we need the validation of being in book form? Is the web too ephemeral? Is it because the web doesn't pay?

[img_assist|fid=445|thumb=1|alt=Ms. Jen]Ms. Jen blogs in words and images, and she has some thoughts formulated on this subject too:

"I do think that a blog can be a work of art in and of itself. A nearly 3 year running conversation that I have had with an artist friend, Megan McMillan, is that our blogs are a work in progress and that each entry is a kernal adding on to the piece.

Thus, in my blogging practice, whether I am posting a set of photos, blogging a photo directly from my phone to the blog, or writing an entry, each entry is adding to the whole of my blog as an art piece.

The wonderful thing that has come out of seeing my blog as both a creative tool and as a piece of art itself, is that over time with re-reading, the themes in my work have become evident to me in a way that just having a stack of drawings, photos, or files of photos do not. It is not just the use of categories and writing in the blog, but also the juxtaposition of entries next to each other over time."

The session isn't intended to be just philosophical musing though (unless you all tell us that's what you're most interested in.) The truth is that there are upsides and downsides to letting your art all hang out on your blog. And if you're using your blog as a gallery, then sharing tips on the best ways to show and promote your art is something the entire room can do.

So, that's what we are envisioning for the session. But what do you think. What do you want to learn? What do you want to hear? What do you never want to hear again? What would make you attend this session?

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