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So long

Post #1472 • April 5, 2010, 8:39 AM

Update May 3: Blogging, or something like it, continues here.

Update Apr. 10: Regular readers of and commenters on Artblog.net are continuing the conversation at Post Artblog. I will be following them with interest.

Now that I've migrated Artblog.net to a new server and I'm fairly sure that the CMS is not tearing a hole in it, I'd like to announce that Artblog.net is taking an indefinite sabbatical.

I have now been using the Web to publish my art writing for the last ten years, with surprisingly little interruption. I began with the Miami Art Exchange in 2000. In 2001 and for a couple of years thereafter, I produced extremely pink static HTML pages on a site called The Sunburn. Artblog.net began in 2003; it would have had its seventh birthday on May 3.

From 2000 to the time I moved out of Miami, in March 2006 - four years ago - I did what I could to make an impact on art criticism there. In some ways I succeeded. Artblog.net won a Best Local Website award from the Miami New Times in 2005. After my departure, I proceeded to crisscross the country three times, make art as much as I could under the circumstances, and review exhibitions to the limited extent that I could locate them and find time to reflect on them. But I also started to tackle larger matters, trying to find a place for a modernist approach in the contemporary art setting, as a workable attitude, philosophy, and career strategy.

Finally my wife and I have settled in Boston and sunk roots. (Literally, in fact. Yesterday afternoon she planted powder-blue hydrangeas.) At this point, I feel that I have served an intellectual apprenticeship to a few extremely able mentors, and an alternately supportive and and hostile readership, as I attempted to produce interesting commentary upwards to five days a week. Spending my thirties in this manner has provided me with insights into art and human nature that are going to benefit me for the rest of my working life as an artist, writer, programmer, and recombinations thereof. Spending my upcoming forties the same way doesn't look like such a great idea. The time has arrived to put the ideas hashed out at Artblog.net into practice. I mean, first and foremost, my painting practice, which is finally producing encouraging results after a couple of years of disappointment. I also mean my writing and comics practice, and the generation of longer, more ambitious works. Too, I refer to untried maneuvers to connect self-critical, patently visual, quality-obsessed, vital work with willing audiences. As the blog used to recognize on the About page, in Miami I had no art career per se to ruin by lambasting the art world's darlings, platitudes, and failed premises. Here in Boston, in a far less stratified, exclusive, and fashion-driven art scene, I have the opportunity to participate in a manner unprecedented in my professional life to date. Speaking of untried maneuvers, over the last couple of years I have occasionally written about how artists should model musicians as they disintermediate the music industry and use technology to connect directly with audiences. A couple of weeks ago I sold some watercolors via Facebook. I'd like to concentrate my future efforts upon confirming theories like that one. Getting the bills paid with such confirmation puts a tasty layer of frosting on the cupcake of being proven right.

I will continue to journal, at an updated version of Einspruch.com, starting, coincidentally, May 3. Artblog.net will remain online indefinitely in its current form as an archive. (Not having to rewrite the CMS, reformat nigh 1500 posts and an untold number of comments, and hack .htaccess to accommodate the new CMS - all of which would have been necessary if I had continued producing content for the site - relieves me of an enormous task. The site has reached a state of irreparable chaos reminiscent of The Sunburn when I finally ended it, but a thousand times worse.) I will take the intervening month to wrap up some outstanding projects, including the Walter Darby Bannard Archive and some contracted Web development in need of completion. I will also spend the time not blogging. For a brief spell Supergirl and I have coincident time off. I then conclude teaching for the rest of the year, and gear up for a solo exhibition at Main Library in downtown Miami that will open in October and run for three months.

Artblog.net has provided me with professional opportunities that no one would have offered otherwise. (It cut off quite a few opportunities as well.) But more importantly, I have made friends across the world because of Artblog.net, and the site made it possible to cultivate friendships formed in person that now take place at a geographic remove. I feel honored to have served a community of people who take art so seriously for the reasons that one ought to take art seriously, and discuss it with such astuteness and vigor. Thank you for your support, readership, and friendship. They mean more to me than I can say. I hope you'll follow along with my meandering journey forward. I remain

Yours,

Franklin

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