Sabrina Ratte – Futures 1050

Art Writing: James McAnally

No.: Futures 001
TopicArt Writing

Prompt: Describe a possible future for art writing. Specifically, submit an idea that addresses either the economics of art writing or new models/new media for art publishing that could change the field. This could be a new idea or a recent project that deserves attention.

Attempt: In order to see a continued presence of art criticism that is attuned to the full range of activities taking place in local communities, alternative options to subsidize writers’ work are necessary. Most publications are no longer able (or willing) to pay for art criticism and few options exist for other means of funding. One possible option would be for area institutions to pay into a fund that is then used to pay critics. Since many institutions would be paying in to this communal fund, no one institution is privileged by the writers, but the entire ecosystem benefits equally. Writers would be guaranteed a more stable income apart from a particular publication, so the writing could appear in any format or media and continue to be supported. The fund could have partnerships with particular publications to guarantee a public audience, but the writers would not be tied to those publications as an employer or regular editor.

Author: James McAnally, Executive Editor of Temporary Art Review

Futures is a new series that presents speculations about emerging models, responses to ongoing crises and a catalogue of possible futures. Responding to the etymology of “essay” as an “attempt,” this micro essay format invites diverse voices to address pressing issues in the arts.


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