There is a dearth of critique in the Bay Area, and what critical dialogue makes it to print (digitally or otherwise) is primarily positive, with negative or neutral opinions expressed in private or via not covering/not reviewing shows. I hear this complaint often, and considered several ideas to somewhat address this – making a magazine, starting a blog or website, etc. This coincided with noticing that Facebook is underutilized for art projects beyond show announcements and networking. On a particularly fruitful day of viewing shows in the city, I found a cafe and started the Curiously Direct Facebook page. The goal is to review every show I attend, to try to say something concrete about why I feel this or that way about a show, and to fit that into the 420 character limit of a Facebook wall post. When I go to shows, I take small notes, then the next chance I get I open any info I can find about a given show (for accuracy, though I miss things that users are quick to point out thankfully) and write my review. The format allows for immediacy, and the potential for dialogue and difference of opinion.
The following excerpt was taken from Curiously Direct’s Facebook page on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011.
For the next two months we are pleased to partner with Artist-Run Alliance to feature a series of profiles of their member projects and spaces. Artist-Run Alliance (ARA) is an international community of independent artist-run spaces who wish to share knowledge through the collective exchange of ideas and networks.